layer experiential ideas


In brainstorming, I use a specific method to layer experiential ideas. These layers add depth to the idea and make it more appealing. A parallel is Jackson Pollock’s approach to create layering in his painting which he referred to as “gardening the image.

Jackson Pollock’s approach to painting profoundly affected the art scene in the 1940s. From the mid-1940s through his premature death in 1956, he was one of the leading abstract expressionists. He forever altered the course of American art.

layer experiential ideas

He would begin his famous drip paintings by placing a canvas on the floor. Pollock would stand over the canvas and slowly pour, drip, and flick paint, creating dense, mesmerizing paintings. Instead of using the traditional paintbrush, he would add depth to his images using knives, trowels, or sticks. He referred to this method as “gardening the image.” This phrase embodies how he brought a masterpiece to life by meticulously layering the paint.

The following video, How Jackson Pollock Changed Painting Forever, looks at this profound painting style and his impact on the art scene.

Applying Gardening the Image to Brainstorming

I love Pollock’s concept of “gardening the image” where his paintings grew based on cultivating one layer after another. Da Vinci method called Layer the Experience applies Pollock’s concept to experience brainstorming.

I use six value propositions to layer experiential ideas in brainstorming. These value propositions were derived from an audit of over 1,300 marketing experiences in over thirteen product categories. Even though they are based on marketing experiences, they work well for adding depth to internal experiences too. The six value propositions are as follows: entertainment, knowledge, social, simplicity, money, award. The following is brief description of each.

Many times, experiential ideas are one dimensional. By layering the experience in brainstorming, you will create depth to an experiential idea by adding value. I am constantly fascinated with this method because it can turn an average idea into a great idea. Conversely, I have had teams initially come up with seemingly wonderful ideas. However, when we applied this method, we could not increase the value and inevitably moved on from the idea.

If you want to learn more, check out this method and more in my book Brainstorming with Da Vinci. I also talk about Layer the Experience in a recent podcast.

About Da Vinci Deep Cuts

In my journey to write Brainstorming with Da Vinci, I spent many hours researching different artists and their methods they used to create a masterpiece. While some of these methods made their way into the book, many did not. But it doesn’t mean they weren’t inspiring. Da Vinci Deep Cuts are the artist stories I feel are worth sharing.