As an avid hand drawn mind mapper for nearly 15 years now, I have become accustomed to casual observers of my technique describing the paper based version of my mental musings as art.
Sure they have colour and pictures too but I wouldn’t go as far to say they are works of art even though I will admit that to the uninitiated, they do look rather striking.
Now whilst a powerful component of their success the fact that you have to "draw" a Mind Map is one of the very things that puts many people off trying them out.
I find myself continually stressing to people that you do not need to be Michelangelo to be able to use Mind Mapping because simple stick figures and thumbnail sketches are absolutely perfect.
However as I find many people need to find a valid excuse to hide behind their own feelings of (unfounded) inadequacy then when it comes to mind mapping the "Well I can’t draw" excuse is the one they jump on straight away as the reason they won’t try them out.
But what of the other end of the spectrum where truly gifted artists apply their talents to creating mind maps that are indeed a work of art?
Well there are mind mappers just like, and what I want to do is review a site where you can go and see some incredible examples where the maps are truly beautiful and inspiring.
You will find some amazing examples of Mind Maps as art at http://www.mindmapart.com/, a site run by Paul Foreman and Adam Sicinski and contributed to by some of the world’s leading Mind Mapping experts/artists (two of whom are contemporaries of mine).
The site has over 170 Mind Maps filed under the categories of Arts, Business, Education, Lifestyle, Offbeat, Science, Sports and Technology.
You can also search the maps by topic and across the 170 maps you will find topics as diverse as Adjusting to Eye Loss, Graphic Recording, How to Make a Pancake, Richard Branson and Weight Management.
There is a definite personal development slant to the topics here with some natural bias towards the site owners personal interests (9 separate maps from Adam Sicinski on Basketball alone implies more of an obsession than a mere interest!).
However given the number of maps here there is a really nice balance of topics.
Each map has a description, details of the artist and you can rate the map on a scale of 1-10.
Not all of the maps are from Adam and Paul as there are also contributions from some other serious online Mind Mappers too.
When you go through the site you will start to see the different styles of the individual contributors.
Adam Sincinski’s style is unique and very easy to spot once you have looked at a couple of his maps and one of my favourites is the mind map on How to Twitter which is very topical map at the moment.
Paul Foreman is no slouch either when it comes to his mind mapping skills and I think if more of us studied his mind map on peace, then I think the world will be a much better place.
So in my humble opinion, this site is an excellent resource if you want to see some fine mind mapping examples from a range of different artists.
However always remember that what you will see on the Mind Map Art website is at the very extreme end of the Mind Mapping spectrum and you don’t need anywhere near the level of artisitic talent to be able to benefit from this marvellous tool.
In fact if there was to be any criticism of this site at all then it would be that potentially it might turn people off from using Buzan’s invention.
But to be honest I am clutching at straws here in an attempt to give you a balanced review because I actually find the examples Adam and Paul have shared with us to be utterly inspiring.
So go have a look at this site, make sure you let them know what you think of your favourite map and vote on a couple too.
Maybe one day you might even see one of mine on there.