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Mind Maps

Updated: May 1, 2021

In this video you will learn how to create cool mind maps for your GCSE theme.

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When you are given a theme to develop work for, usually you discuss and brainstorm with your teacher and jot down some ideas to get started. The best way to present your ideas in your sketchbook is to create a mind map. A mind map helps you visualize, organize your ideas, and present the possibilities. It is usually the first page in your sketchbook that the examiner sees and it’s important to create a first good impression.

So what is a mind map? For those who are unclear, a mind map is a visual diagram that connects ideas, keywords, and images around a central concept. Sometimes we also use the term spider diagram, so think of a spider’s net how it expands from the centre outwards,(a. image) this is how you develop a mind map, you expand ideas from a central theme and use lines to connect words, concepts and even brunch out to sub-ideas.(b)

The mind map is used as a visual tool to present the bigger picture. A very simplistic form to start with a mind map is this one, (c) where you just jot down keywords and branch out into further sub-themes. This is a good first draft, (d) and you can do this on a separate piece of paper, and once you feel it is complete and refined then you can move on onto your sketchbook and create something more sophisticated and visually pleasing. You can get creative with your mind map and treat it like a piece of artwork on its own right.

Let’s look at some interesting examples on how you can take your mind map to the next level and impress the examiner right from the beginning!

1-For starters, you could just create a simple diagram using lines to connect text, emphasising the basic concepts and keywords, and writing short phrases.

2- Or if you want to get a bit more creative you could splash some paint around your diagram, and be playful or create some sort of a tree branch or spider net diagram.

3-Or you could just decorate it with patterns, designs, and different colours or create a nice background for it and play with the font and make it look like a graphic design poster.

4 - You can also combine your mind map with the mood board into one page. Sometimes if you are having difficulty in understanding your theme and getting started, it is a good idea to work on these two processes, the mind map and mood board, simultaneously because they will inform each other and you can get more clarity on how you want to approach the theme. Check out also my video on inspiration -mood boards.

5- Another option would be to draw or paint images within your mind map to illustrate your ideas and keywords visually.

6- Or you can take it a step further and integrate a full artwork within the mind map. This way you use your page to catch two birds with one stone; you create a mind map and also an artwork on one page. Of course, make sure the artwork relates somehow to the theme and keywords.

7 Also a collage of words or phrases could be created using cuttings from text, or you could combine the collage with an image as in this example of the face scuttered into broken pieces and words. This collage can be done digitally, or traditionally, just with scissors and glue.

8- You can even collage cut or torn images from magazines, books, or printed material and present them in a nice visually pleasing manner.

9- And finally you can create a mind map using free digital online softwares, there so many out there if you search on google. The digital version might be a good option for those who are doing GCSE in photography or product design, but if you feel comfortable with using digital softwares it is still a valid way of organizing your ideas and creating mind maps.

So this is it for the mind maps, I have shown you a variety of approaches to create your mind map, from a very simplistic to a very complex or a digital version. It is really up to you how you choose to present your ideas in a mind map, there is no requirement to make it in any shape or form, and the complex ones do take time to make, so of course, you could just choose to go simple. As long as you communicate your ideas and keywords around your theme effectively, you cannot go wrong with this. But of course, that little bit of extra touch that adds to the presentation always makes a good first impression.

I hope you found this helpful… Is there anything specific you want to ask me? Tell me about your questions or concerns, in the comments below. Also don’t forget to grab the guides at the link below and check out the details for my online courses.

· Click here to book your first FREE trial for 30 mins online tutoring with me.

· Download the guide ‘Quick Tips for GCSE in Art Students’, from the link below to help you prepare for your art studies.

· Do you want to excel in your GCSE in Art and create outstanding sketchbooks? Go ahead and check out my online course ‘GCSE in Art & Design made simple: The Complete Beginners’ Guide’ at

#GCSEart #GCSEartsketchbook

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