Steven Tomlinson, detail of graphic notes on gridded paper, 1914.
Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present Just Because 15.1: Steven Tomlinson: NOTEBOOKS. The exhibition opens on Sunday, January 18, with a public reception from 4-6 p.m. and a moderated discussion with Tomlinson at 4:30 p.m. The project will be on view through March 22nd and will be accompanied by a workshop on February 10th led by Steven Tomlinson.
This text-based installation features schematic drawings and notes from Tomlinson’s work as a management consultant and communications strategist, the first public presentation of these compelling artifacts from his work in academics, theatre and business. Whether collaborating with clients or organizing his thoughts for the classroom or the stage, Tomlinson creates intellectually and visually engaging maps of ideas, objectives and process. The testsite presentation explores the meditative, personal and professional qualities of his practice. testsite will host a complementary workshop on visual note-taking to facilitate ideas, objectives and process, Thinking Aloud on Paper, on Tuesday, February 10th, from 6–8 p.m. The workshop is led by Tomlinson, and is free and open to the public.
As a kid, I drew with my friends when we made up stories. This was my favorite way to connect with people, a form of dancing, and I've never outgrown it. Developing an idea graphically facilitates connections, engages the body and the imagination. Visuals provide an external focus, an antidote to self-consciousness, and a playful invitation to think together. I love the shared sense of accomplishment when I leave a visual with a client at the end of the meeting. Even when I’m alone, I think better “out loud” on the page, usually in very tiny print and whatever colors are at hand. Paper and pencils and felt tips conjure a very old and reliable source of inspiration stronger than competition and judgment.