The ABCs of Visual Journaling – Zip Zap Zop

Zip Zap Zop art journaling page

Zip Zap Zop is an improve game that’s fun, focusing and energizing. Use this playful game to overcome your fear of approaching the blank visual journal page.

For the next 26 days I will be sharing the ABCs of Visual Journaling and thanks to my friend Nancy Shobe, I’m starting at Z and working backwards. She reminded me in a conversation yesterday that creativity is about beginnings not endings. I believe it’s also about opening and expansion, not closure. Let’s meander our way from Z to A and see what we can find on the path.

Join me for a curated conversation about visual journaling and how to use this playful creative process to open your heart, to heal your relationship with your art and to transform your life. Sounds lofty doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s gentle. It’s subtle. It’s being curious on the journey and allowing your Inner Child to come out and play.

Z is for Zip Zap Zop (aka bright shiny idea syndrome)

Zip Zap Zop is a game often used in drama classes or improve groups to get energy moving.

Zip, Zap, Zop is about focus and energy. As students pass the energy across the circle (in the form of a Zip, a Zap, or a Zop), they make eye contact with the person they send the energy to, and work together to keep the rhythm going. The activity also provides an opportunity to explore pace, specificity of choice, “energy” and sequence.

In a nutshell, a person zips energy across the circle of people to a particular person, who zaps it to another, who zops it to yet another, on and on around the circle. It’s fast, fun and silly. It will get you into your body, light you up and help you to feel focused and connected to others in the circle. Here’s a fun YouTube video where you can see an example:

What does Zip Zap Zop have to do with visual journaling?

I’m sure at this point you are thinking to yourself, what the heck does zip zap zop have to do with visual journaling?

Have you ever tried to sit down to a blank page and found yourself staring at it blankly? Or overwhelmed by so many thoughts, ideas and color choices that you simply walk away from the page?

Often when we have a few minutes to create, we dash excitedly to our stash of supplies and then stand there with our head doing one of two things: spinning out of control or completely blank.

A simple physical activity like Zip Zap Zop gets you back into your body, clears out the cobwebs and gives you focused energy. It’s like shining a laser beam on that blank page or canvas and suddenly seeing the perfect place to begin.

Other ideas for ways to bring your mind and body into alignment when facing the blank page are go for a walk, dance, stretch, drum or do jumping jacks. Get that blood flowing from your head to your toes.

Once you feel that sense of aliveness, your creativity will feel more present and accessible.

Bring Energy to Your Visual Journal Page

Here is another fun activity to try with your Zip Zap Zop, especially if you don’t have family or friends near by to play the game with. Zip Zap Zop paint, marker or crayon right onto your page! Repeat the words in your head and see what fun you can have. This will help you get some marks and color right onto the page. Nothing to be afraid of! Choose three colors and go. Here’s me doing this in the video below.

Bring Zip Zap Zop to your Visual Journal Page

I encourage you to grab a few colors and Zip Zap Zop your way across a blank page. I promise your Inner Child will be so happy with this playful approach to embracing your creativity. Enjoy!

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  1. cheryl on November 3, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Great ideas. I often have these blank pages in front of me. I think that is one reason that I’ve never finished an Ultimate Blog Challenge. I will try walking or dancing more often and will try your crayon Zip Zap Zop. Thanks!

    • minette on November 3, 2021 at 10:09 am

      Let me know how it goes Cheryl!

  2. Janet Miles on November 3, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Wonderful idea. Have you ever done the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April? This would be a great series for that. Thanks for sharing. I’m following you now – not in the stalker kind of way – LOL

    • minette on November 3, 2021 at 10:08 am

      I have not but does sound like a good one, thanks. And I am happy to be followed 🙂

  3. Kelly on November 3, 2021 at 10:02 am

    LOL! I enjoyed the fun energy at the very end! Color on the page, energy coming out of you – it looks like a great release.

    • minette on November 3, 2021 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Kelly, it was so much fun!

  4. Tamara on November 3, 2021 at 10:31 am

    It’s always great to learn new techniques and approaches. I am usually the *spinning out of control* kind of person, hahaha!

    As my blogging buddy Janet was saying above, if you like the Alphabet and a good writing challenge, you should join “Blogging from A-Z”, it takes place in April. Let me know if you want more info.

    • minette on November 3, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks Tamara, I would love more info!

  5. Francine on November 3, 2021 at 11:50 am

    This looks like fun! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

    • minette on November 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you Francine! Excited to journey together!

  6. Kate Loving Shenk on November 3, 2021 at 11:57 am

    Everything is energy. Once the flow happens, it becomes a habit.

    • minette on November 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      So true Kate!!

  7. Dr.Amrita Basu on November 3, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Zip Zap zip sounds like fun.I do UT with my brush or pen though!

    • minette on November 6, 2021 at 5:25 am

      I love doing it with pens too, haven’t tried with a brush, will do that next.

  8. […] you missed my first post on the ABCs of visual journaling yesterday, you can read it here. I’m meandering my way from Z to A and exploring the many avenues of approaching visual […]

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