Sketchnote Sherlocks

A conversation arouse of the responsibility of graphic recorders. The question  posed was ‘where does the value lie in a visual recording and when does it become a visual translation?’

First, allow me to clarify some insights. When a graphic practitioner  performs a recording or graphic transcription, capturing key ideas or conversations is the primary role, thus the term recorder. When a practitioner expands their recording to include the non-verbal or textural communication, then the process goes from recording to translation. Converting one form of language into another.

Visual translators perform a similar function like that of a sign language interpreter who stands at the edge of a stage and signs what is spoken or written. Yet, they must also include the emotion and inclination of the speaker to help communicate the meaning of what is expressed. This action is as much an art as a science.

Visual Detective

Unlike sign language, visual translation can achieve another level given the proper training and detective skills. The act of investigation is part observation and part reflection. As visual translators trained to be listeners, an opportunity to uncover gaps in conversations and discover what could be an underlying issue adds a bit more dimension to the recording. These unspoken issues can be included into a graphic note or sketchnote to add more impact, increase clarity and add greater insights. By taken the next step beyond merely recording and translation, a recorder can increase the value of the output.

A word of caution!

Caution must be taken as not to jump ahead of the process and make a presumption of direction or assumption of issues. Only by reflecting on the whole of the event and recording can the investigation be performed.

It may not be elementary to be a Sketchnote Sherlock and may not be an applicable in every case, but in meetings and strategic planning sessions, it can be extremely helpful when needing to shine some light on the issue and help solve a mystery of stagnation or hesitation. so add another tool to your pack, a graphic spyglass and increase the value of your services.

SPARK 2013 Highlights

On Thursday and Friday of this past week, I had the great opportunity to attend COCAbiz’s SPARK 2013 Creative Conference which focused on Collaboration and Design Thinking. It was an incredible event filled with speakers, activities and performances by both staff and attendees. The following canvases are Visual Translations produced from personal experiences and of guest speakers. Let’s call it a visual recap of 14 hours of inspiration and collaboration. (I will update this post as canvases are completed.)

Start Witth Why 2013

Simon Sinek’s Presentation on “Start with Why”

Design Thinking Pres

“Design and Brand Thinking as Business Lenses” by Neil Stevenson of IDEO and Debbie Millman of Sterling Brands.

SPARK 2013 Cast

8 presenters, 6 minutes each, 2 days

Spark activities 2013

Sketchbooks and Collaboration “The Musical” Spark Creativity Labs

Steal It!

Steal From Yourself Seriously, the best resource for improvement is your competition. Those who would luke in the shadows to undercut the price or improve on the quality or its value can help you improve your offering. So I say to you then..

“Steal from yourself, before someone else does.”

I know this sounds quite odd, but that is exactly what your competition does when you introduce a new offering. They analyse every aspect and attempt to either cut the production cost to bring it to market cheaper or they add more value to the product, making it seem to be better. It’s basic business. My suggestion for you is to create a team inside or even attempt to do this yourself if possible. It’s a great way to uncover design changes, cost cuts or overall improvements. Steal from yourself and act like your own competition to keep fresh, valuable and keep up the advantage.

Graphic Recording Process

I have heard many variations of what graphic recording is from long-time experts, amateurs and even some casual hobbyist, and all of them are correct in one form or another, yet when a prospect or a non-practitioner needs an answer, I thINK understanding how it works adds more clarity. Pictures do help or I wouldn’t be doing this!

the processShow your next prospect, supervisor or friend this sketch or one of your own, to illustrate how graphic recording works, then pull out a pen and show them.

Actions are far better than words. Heck, if you call yourself a visual thinker or graphic recorder, prove it by drawing it out. Literally. Okay, okay, stepping down off my soap box now.

I see the overall system as four primary steps:

Listen -> Process -> Sketch -> Share = Visual Recording

So, go with the flow and start recording in sketchbooks, back of napkins, notebooks, scrap pieces of paper, whatever, just do it. Today!

Until next time, keep with the flow (ink that is) and start out sketchy. They’ll understand.

Obstacles of Life

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost gifted us with these wonderful words which we use in reference to life, careers, business and many other challenges. As an idea guide, I follow this same thinking by attempting to visualize what obstacles we can face as we travel along our selected path. Many times I hear wonderful goals and expectations without the pondering of the obstacles that may impede our journey.

Just seeing the obstacles is not enough to ensure a successful journey, we must contemplate the effects on our goals if we can not overcome these obstacles. How will our path change or be diverted at each unsuccessful hurdle?

The next time you create a plan for the future, try listing every obstacle and how you will overcome them and what will be your course change if you can not prevail.

Visualizing the solution is the first step towards success.