Graphic Recording FAQ
I'll have to make a more comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, but for now, here are the ones I'm really asked most frequently:
Do you travel?
I am based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but I would love to travel to wherever you are to contribute to your event. Here's the catch: I have a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old, so travelling is not always super easy for me just now. However, if we can make a plan that works, then sign me up! The farther ahead we plan, the easier it is for me to be available.
These days, it makes the most sense for me to travel only to jobs that provide a full day's work. However, if your event is less than a full day and you really think it would be a good fit, I'm happy to discuss options.
Are you a graphic facilitator?
"Graphic facilitator" and "graphic recorder" are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences. I have no training as a facilitator. There are some amazing people out there who incorporate visuals into their facilitation practice, and to find them, you might want to check out the International Forum of Visual Practitioners. I'm not a facilitator, but a graphic recorder. My background is in the arts (along with some writing), not in facilitation. This means I am very happy to come to your event and listen like a "fly on the wall" in order to create an illustrated record of your event story. I am also happy to collaborate at events which are led by facilitators, and join in the conversation as needed. However, my practice is not really interactive. I'm just there to listen and draw!
What kinds of events do you work at?
I work at all sorts of events: conferences, workshops, strategic planning sessions, team meetings, visioning sessions... and pretty much any events at which people are speaking. My favourite kind of event is an event where there is one speaker speaking at a time (i.e. a conference featuring presentations and/or a keynote speaker). However, I also often work at events where participants are divided into breakout groups, and I can circulate among the people to record highlights from multiple conversations. Finally, I also work at engagement events, in which many participants may come up to my board, to have their contributions put on the visual record.
What I don't do: weddings, birthday parties, and fairground-type caricatures. I don't do a lot of illustration work, but depending on the project, it might work out.
Did you go to school for this?
I received a BA in English from the University of Toronto. (For me, graphic recording is all about the stories!)
I also completed the "Foundation Year" at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto. After that, I'd had enough school, so I got a "real" job that allowed me to spend my free time growing my career as an artist. I quit that job in 2012 and now graphic recording is my real job! I've always drawn comics and sketchnotes, as far back as I can remember. So somehow all of these things must have contributed to the way I operate now.
What skills do you use as a graphic recorder?
Here are a few:
1. Deep listening
2. Writing really, really fast (and - good spelling)
3. Organizing space
4. Oh... drawing, too (that's actually the least important part...)
What can my organization do with a graphic recording?
Good question. I have put together a few suggestions here.
How much does it cost?
Please get in touch with me to let me know your event details and I can send you my project rates. Every event is different and I'm happy to discuss budget options in order to enable us to collaborate.
Are you available to work at my event?
Please contact me to check if I am available. The more advance notice, the better!
Can you give me some advice about how to work as a graphic recorder?
It's exciting for me to learn that so many people are interested in getting involved in this fast-growing field! Send me a note and I'll do my best to answer (but, see above note about 7-year-old and 3-year-old - please accept my sincerest apologies if you do send a note that I am not able to answer at this time)!
Can you refer me to anyone else who does this kind of work?
Unfortunately, I do not actually know a whole lot of other practitioners based in Alberta. However, I am getting the sense that there are quite a few out there. I am hoping to put together a bit of an online resource about this subject - since it is definitely a question I am asked a lot. Stay tuned! And in the meantime, you may find some good people by checking out LinkedIn and searching for a group called "Calgary Visual Practitioners."
I'm sure there's more. But those are the questions I get asked most. Do you have any other questions? Send them along and I'll do my best to answer them!