This article is a commentary of the author’s experiences with visual representation as a doctoral candidate. It is an autobiographical reflection of her doctoral journey towards a PhD in education, a mixed methods study which explored teaching for creativity and creative processes for music educators. The author reflects on the experience of engaging with her own work visually via cartooning and mind mapping, and what this meant for her studies and her experience as a research student. The author hopes that this can offer a scope for reflection to readers who are doing similar types of studies or intend to engage more creatively with their doctoral studies. The article aims to demonstrate the benefit of cartooning as a self-expressive tool for the PhD candidate and to show the value of visual representation through mind mapping in the process of data analysis.