This image is from the imagination of Bryan Mathers who releases similar sketched ideas under a Creative Commons license on his Visual Thinkery site.

As he describes his work:

These visual thoughts are usually a result of a conversation, stumbling across a blog post or someone tweeting some verbiage at me. All these images are available for use under a Creative Commons licence – I’m always interested to hear how you used them.

I’d become aware of Bryan’s style in seeing his images in presentations by Catherine Cronin and Doug Belshaw, in looking at the badging work he has been part of at City and Guilds.

A few weeks back he contacted me via Twitter direct message:

I see from the twitters that you have undertaken a project with those super people at CC. I have some thoughts on CC (and how it’s often misunderstood). My Visual Thinkery business model sort of depends on enough people understanding CC. I wondered if you’d be interested in helping me articulate some of them visually, and in turn possibly make use of them in your project?

This led to a wonderful conversation where we talked about his rationale for sharing works under Creative Commons, how attribution is an act of gratitude, etc. He relayed that many times he does not have to track down the places his work is re-used, sometimes with credit, sometimes without, because people will tell him when they see it.

We brainstormed this idea of a possible role for people aiming for a Creative Commons Certification, to be a “Defender of the Commons”, e.g. people who are positive advocates. And thus he drew:

Our colleague Kelsey Wiens has said she is making that the tagline on her CV ?

And out of the blue today, Bryan shared another visualized idea from our conversation

I find this interesting to think of us, our work being not just some binary of open/closed, but on some continuum between © and CC, and naturally, we hope for more on the noisy side ?

I hope we get to do more work with Bryan; he not only has these skills to visualized ideas but also the ethos on the value of openly sharing his work. It makes it easy for me to say this:

Thanks Bryan!

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Right back at you, Alan, I really enjoyed our conversation. Expect to see a few more Creative Commons related images emerge as a result of it! 🙂

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