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When we use the free association strategy, there'll be times when concepts just seem to fall into your lap. When they don't we'll need to coax them out through applying a little imagination and sketching. Like the storytelling strategy we've used previously, composing concepts from a stash of free association material, we'll involve some playful thought process to make sense of the many phrases and descriptions. This is when the notes and sketch images we created earlier can, again, help shed light on, on tap potential.
Viewing the material we created with free association is a bit like looking at a jigsaw puzzle after it's been dumped out of the box. We've got bits and pieces here and there. Like any puzzle, it'll take a little effort to put it together, examining each piece, figuring out how each fits and where it might go. There's a big difference, however. Free-association puzzles can be assembled many different ways, creating many different solutions. It's up to us as the creatives, to fit those pieces together in a way that we feel produces the most intrigue, it still makes the most sense.
To get a feel for the process, we'll try a scaled-down example so we can get a sense of how to look at the free-association material. We'll be looking at it to see if and how it can be expanded on and of course. To make sure it relates back to our clients product somehow. As we sift through the notes and sketches it can be helpful to ask ourselves some questions. Have we looked at the subject matter from multiple angles? Is there anything about the subject matter that has some relationship to our product.
Can we possibly build some type of little story around it? If so, how might that story evolve? And, how might that story convey our message? Like the strategies we've used previously, this process also involves storytelling and it's a great way to explore the potential. Looking back at some of the notes and sketches from the floor cleaner example we worked with earlier, let's see if we can find some additional ideas that we may have missed that first time around.
As we make our way through the material, it's very important to try and expand on the individual pieces. All the while keeping the floor cleaner in mind as a key contextual reference. In looking for related content, and imagining those mini-stories. Sketch them as you imagine them. Again, stick-figure drawing is perfectly fine. For instance, when I consider the free association phrase, ice hockey championship. On the surface, I might think to myself how does that even relate? But, as I expand on that thought, I imagine how the game of hockey takes place on ice.
It's slick, it's slippery, it's even shiny. And now, a mental image can begin to appear. Quick sketching through the process will help visualize the potential of an idea. (NOISE) And then, I'm imagining a mom wielding her mop like a hockey stick. And she's daydreaming, she's a hockey player.
She's so caught up in this moment she can even hear the crowd cheering her name. Suddenly, she's forced back into reality as it turns out to be her kids screaming with joy as they come home from school. Hm, maybe the story would have a more unique twist if it featured a stay at home dad. Now, some of the stuff we work on will have more potential than others. Regardless, we should consider every combination. Keep in mind, there will be trial and error.
In time, we'll be able to look at the pieces of any free association puzzle, construct those mental images. Sketch stories in our mind and eventually evolve them in the rough sketches that'll communicate our idea through image.
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