After the lettering and courage journaling exercise the big assignment for bootcamp came as a surprise and quite a challenge: turn our 5 acts of courage into a mind map and make it using the style of our illuminated letter. I didn’t even know what a mind map was. Wikipedia says it’s a “diagram used to visually organize information that is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole.” But I stuck to the word “map” and decided to make mine as an actual map with roads and building and all.
I also thought it would be better to extract the bigger picture from each of my courageous acts and make it generally about being a creative entrepreneur so more people could relate to it and have it be more marketable as an editorial piece. I thought no one would care about my personal experiences. But I realize now that was total bulls**t. Many people in the group made their mind maps very personal and they were totally if not more relatable.
However my map is not completely impersonal because all the little drawings represent actual experiences from my life. There’s the beaten old Ford I learned to drive with at 30 in LA freeways (terrifying). And playing my ukulele in front of an audience, which is teaching me to be less shy and more myself in front of others. There is also selling little fabric characters to a boutique in town when I was 8 years old, and then later in LA walking into two stores and selling paper cards (back when there was no internet and buyers would buy on the spot).
I may also have opened mysterious doors and fallen down rabbit holes, to end up on shaky grounds. But for sure on one hot summer night a raccoon terrorized me as its shadow crossed my cracked open window. Then there’s time’s always ticking. And feeling like a fish out of water at each career change in a completely new field.
This map has been a big learning and therapeutic activity for sure. It got me to examine my life and… finally stop talking about getting back to animation and really do it! You can see below pieces of my map come alive. Hope it’s as fun to watch as it was to make.