“To draw is part of what it is to be human.”

Kati Orav
3 min readFeb 7, 2022


I love this quote by Gill Hope, one of my favorite researchers and writers about drawing.

One of the oldest tools for collaboration has been drawing. Our ancestors did not draw with the idea that the people of the future could study history from their cave paintings. Our ancestors drew to leave a mark for others- to show where the danger is or where to find food. In addition, drawing was a collaboration tool for them. This helped to plan a mammoth or enemy attack. Even today, drawing is a very powerful collaboration tool. But it’s not just for brainstorming, making mindmaps, or presenting. Teams who have discovered collective visual planning in its original and profound sense, just as our ancestors used it, are one step ahead of others.

We can explain drawing with a basic definition that it is a form of purposeful and meaningful mark-making. But it is much more than that. The desire to make a mark can be seen in cave drawings but also from the toddler’s scribbles. Drawing comes from within, from an image held in the human mind ( Gill Hope, 2008). Gill Hope adds that drawing can be seen both as a product and a process.
- To “draw” is a process that is a creative journey that we undertake.
- “The drawing” is the thing that contains our ideas and perceptions.

I am definitely more of a process person. It is so fascinating to take a complicated text and start crafting the drawing- the strategical journey into the light and clearness. Of course, it is great to see the outcome later but I am one of those who believe that drawing for thinking doesn’t have to have an outcome as a beautiful artistic picture.

Most important is that the picture will show us the patterns, helps simplify and synthesize information and most of all helps us to make meaning and do better cooperation.

The visuals on the picture are from my visual facilitation training with the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications leaders who had a task to explain their ministry work to a regular person using visuals.

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
Charles Darwin

If you and your team want to be pioneers and winners, learn to reuse this powerful tool. Contact me and I will show you how to draw as a thinking and collaboration tool.

In my training, there is always laughter in the air. Well, I do not make my students get naked of course. Even if sometimes it feels that getting naked may be easier for them than thinking about their drawing skills. But the room is full of laughter after they have discovered their drawing skills. I can be always sure that line by line people open up and finally they are ready to see how drawing helps not just to see the big picture and cooperate, but also have such a fun time with your colleagues. They discover that you can always find something to laugh about in very serious topics and it actually helps to find better solutions.

When was the last time you had a training that was very useful, creative, interesting, eye-opening, mindset-changing, and fun at the same time?



Kati Orav

I encourage people to dream bigger and be more creative and entrepreneurial. For that, I teach them how to use the Magic of an Imperfect Line.