Key Steps in Illustration: Spider Diagrams

This exercise asked me to create a spider diagram on four words: Seaside, Childhood, Angry, and Festival, and then to test them with at least one other person (I asked three) to see which words overlap. This is what came out of it:


My feeling was that the easiest spider diagrams (for me and the people I asked) were the one on seaside and festival. The results were also rather similiar, perhaps because people tend to have a certain uniform image in their mind when they think of the seaside. For the festival I think it differs a bit more because festival can cover quite a wide range of subjects, e.g. music festivals for a certain type of music (rock, alternative, techno, blues, jazz, classic, etc.), fun fairs like Oktoberfest are considered festivals, and in my particular case I also regularly attend international dancing festivals, so to me a weekend full of workshops, socials and great swing music is also a festival.

Childhood resulted in somewhat more diverse answers, perhaps because people think about their own experience, their own childhood and it is often based on memories.

The most difficult, and the one with the most diverse answers, was the word “Angry”. I think this is because it is a feeling, and emotions can mean so many things to different people. I mainly associated situations that make me angry to the word, like not getting the job I applied for, or being disappointed.

What I did to come up with new words was that I started really basic and noted down everything that came to mind. For seaside, I might have started with really broad terms like sea, beach, sand, etc. and then I went into more details, e.g. for sea I came up with words that I associate with sea like waves, surfing, swimming, etc.

I then also tried to look at other, not so obvious angles. For instance, while I first always think  of hot weather and an exotic place when thinking about the seaside – that’s mainly because at the moment I live nowhere close to the sea – I also recalled situations where I was at the seaside that was cold, and wet, and story like at the North or Baltic sea. Also what helped me was to go back to one word after working on another word.

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