How To Paint A Vision

October 12, 2012

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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We all remember art class – some with fond memories, some with disdain.  Staring at a blank canvas generates either creativity or panic.  For some, it’s a chance for total free expression – these are the creators of abstract art.  For others, it’s a matter of precision and beauty – of getting just the right colors blended and just the right strokes in place to create a masterpiece.  And then there are those who see it as a total waste of time.  There are those who sense very real fear, not knowing where to even begin to fill in such an overwhelming blank canvas.

Where do you fall on the

“blank canvas” scale? 


Life is a bit like that blank canvas.  It’s up to us what we do with it.  We can just begin and throw color into it and see where it lands.  There is a certain appeal to such an abstract art form.  We can, with great precision, paint the picture we see in our minds.  Or, conversely, we can just give up, thinking it is a waste of time and do anything.  Or we can stand there looking at life like a deer in the headlights.



Truthfully, I’m not a real fan of abstract art.  I don’t totally “get it”.  But I’d rather see someone do that than nothing at all.  To me, real artistry is about creating a vision – creating a picture, whether abstract or concrete, that speaks to people.



There’s a verse that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Vision is absolutely key. Vision brings hope, and hope is foundational to life.



As leaders, we must be painters of visions.  We must paint them so vividly they speak life to people.  We must teach others to paint their visions.







  1. Deb, you touched on such an important aspect with “the blank canvas scale.”What is the vision and how do you project it? Good ones!

    I’m a visual learner. I see pictures, not dead people by the way, just pictures. I have learned to trust my guidance system of pictures. When I was a fight choreographer in the theatre, I would be brought into a director’s meeting where the script would come to life and the overall vision of the play and the character’s evolution would unfold. It was up to each one of us, set designer, lighting designer, costum designer and myself as the fight director to take the director’s vision and integrate our creative aspect into the play.

    I process in pictures.

    I would sit in these director’s meeting listening, taking careful notes, ask questions, interact with the other designers, then go off to imagine how I can assist. my process was to then go for a walk or run and watch the movie develop, the images unfold as the strings of scenes began to knit together. I would return and begin the process of writing down the movie that I saw in my mind.

    Scary huh? Yet this process was responsible for making me one of the most saught after young chroeorgaphers because it yielded the two most desirable outcomes in fight choreography. My scenes fit the director’s character evolution, while being both safe and quickly choreographed. I got the process down to a few runs and writing sessions.

    Just tell us about the movie

    The way I described my choreography was the same animated and engaging way you describe to a gathering of friends about a move you are excited to recommend. The real point is that I trusted my own process and it proved to be a winning formula for success.

    What process do you trust? What’s your intuitive super power that you use to make sense of the world around you and create clarity out of chaos?

    Deb, another thought provoking post. Best!

  2. Deb Ingino says:

    David thanks so much for your comment!

    I love the fact that you are well aware of the fact that your process visually…in pictures and the fact that you have a background as a ‘fight choreographer’ illustrates this all too well my friend!

    I love your questions…”what process do you trust?” As a visual learner and executor myself it is all about word pictures. And your question about my superhuman power to create clarity out of chaos…hmmmm I’m still working on a name for that one!

    What about each of you?

    Davd’s questions are great…so what is it for you?