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1) Imagine: Sometimes an image comes to me while I’m trying to think of a visual way to represent an idea.  Sometimes it just comes, like the sun one 🙂  When an image comes to me, I jot it down in pen in my notebook:


2) Prototype: I usually let the image sit for a few weeks or even months.  I might sketch it out in pen several times, before I redo it in colored pencil…


3) Finish: Again, the image sits for awhile, days, weeks or months…before I resketch the image in black ink, and use the pastels for bright color:


And here is the final product!


4) Capture: I find some decent light, and just take a picture of the sketch with a digital camera (my Canon 870is takes great quality pictures).  I then do some basic editing/cropping with Adobe Photoshop Elements, upload here or into a presentation, and voila!

One I’m cultivating now: a “PebbleStorm Tree” image

‘Cultivating’, get it?  Ha, sometimes I crack myself up 🙂

In the Vipassana meditation retreat I just attended, this image came to me, outlining four different types of happiness (fleeting, enduring, lifetime, universal/mindset). Most people spend all their time focused on happiness at the leaves/fleeting (get a promotion/bonus) and branches/enduring (job/career/salary) stages, without applying themselves to determine their trunk (lifetime work purpose) or retrain their roots (mindset/awareness/attitude).

PebbleStorm’s strength is helping people with their “trunk” (building a business around a life purpose), which in turn creates healthier branches and leaves (more money, better career), and an easier connection to ways to enhance fundamental awareness/happiness at the mind level.

I’m only in the prototyping stage now, and don’t know when the final sketch will crystallize…



UPDATE Dec 23/08…here’s the tree I sketched while at a cafe in Buenos Aires (text and labels to follow…)


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6 Responses to “Sketch evolution + a prototype “PebbleStorm Tree””

  1. Debra Gehrke Says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Aaron! I love trees (I’ve hugged many to prove it!)…one of the things I love the most is how trees offer themselves to us in this way, such profound symbolism they give us. I love how you equated the 4 kinds of happiness with the tree. It’s an image that sticks. (hah! sticks…very good, those come from trees too!)

    I’m also a very visual person…and kinesthetic…these images speak to both. Isn’t it FUN to color with pastels???? :0)

    Peace, Love and Harmony…

  2. Lynn Higgin Says:

    Beautiful Aaron! The tree image is so powerful -very important about the roots being grounded in the drawing image (nice, Ruth!) !! I’m in the alternative healing field, and I have far better outcomes when I use that image for myself before I work with another person. It’s so cool how that pertains to all aspects of life-career, love, healing!

    I also love the fact that it all starts out as a ‘sun’- which is the logo of my business! My original ‘napkin’ sketch was similar-puts thing in perspective for sure!! I am a very visual person, so I relate to your drawings very much-awesome! During my last retreat (back in 2005) I had to draw an image also, and my ‘meditation vision’ and drawing was that of a tree! Such an amazing visual, and so representative of human growth and happiness.

    I signed on to your website for emails and am passing them to my husband, who is in a definite holding pattern for moving on to his passion and career. I have a feeling you may be hearing from him!

  3. Ruth Higgins Says:

    The image you had about happiness is so right on! We did an art therapy class within a Reiki class once where everyone in the group scribbled or drew on a piece of paper for about 30 seconds…then they gave their scribble marks to the person on their left and that person was supposed to see something within the scribble and draw something and label it.

    We had one student who had a received a scribble that, as her teacher, I had no idea what she was going to do with it…she turned it into this beautiful knarled tree. She said it was a reprensentation of herself. The tree was alittle crooked like the trees that are shaped by the wind(like the events in her life had affected her)….The one thing she noticed was that her roots were on top of the earth and not grounded into the earth.(she said that was also like her life in that she had no groundedness…her roots were not strong) In doing that art project, she was able to solve her own life problem and put some strong roots down into the earth.

    Since then she has become alot more spiritual which has changed her life incredibly. I couldn’t believe how strong she became by becoming grounded and rooted.

    So…back to your imagery about trees and happiness…I love it!….can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Love and Blessings. Ruth

  4. Babita Dubay Says:

    I so get it!!

  5. Scott Krajca Says:

    Love how you share your process! I think this will help TONS of people! Thanks for sharing your brilliance! 😀


  6. Olivia Kuhn-Lloyd Says:

    This is great, Aaron. I love to see the metamorphosis!

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