2015 Reflections | 2016 Hopes

Posted by | Jan 6, 2016

2016 Markers 2015 has been quite a whirlwind: from a new baby, a growing practice, exploring social media (what does it really means to be online), creating a new partnership and program (after 10 years of going at it solo), and balancing all of the above. It might have been wiser to spread this undertaking out over two years, but steep learning curves pushed us to be stronger and more resilient, and exciting adventures (while slightly stressful) were had by all.

After ten years as a visual practitioner, 2015 was an especially interesting year. Here are the biggest changes I’ve seen happen this past year.

“Did you invent this job?” has been replaced with “I saw someone do ‘this’ last month — was it you?” There is now an awareness to our work (shout out to the folks at Ink Factory, ImageThink, Sunni Brown, and Brandy Agerbeck who have introduced the work into the mainstream), but there’s still a disbelief that “this” is a full-time career. I’m confident 2016 will bring much more visibility to the nuances of our craft.

There is an exploding interest in training in graphic recording/facilitation. People are willing to commit resources to develop the listening, drawing, and synthesizing skills we use on a daily basis. Our challenge now is how to create comprehensive training that teaches people to do the work well. It’s not enough to draw any picture. Drawing the right picture, for the right purpose, to reflect the right content needs to be the gold standard.

Growing membership in IFVP (IFVP.org) and the Graphic Facilitation Facebook page, illustrates how rich and diverse our field has become. With thousands of practitioners from all over the world, sharing online, we’re re-imagining our craft together.

There is a renewed need for tactile and analog experiences. From technology-heavy topics like big data to high-touch topics like personalized learning in schools, my clients have used graphic recording, collaboration walls, and sketch videos to reach their audiences. The need is to create experiences that enable people to be heard, to connect with one another, and to create together—all beyond the screen.

What will 2016 bring? More exploration amongst ourselves and with our clients around the possibilities of our work.

How will you stretch your practice into the unknown?

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