Seeing the big picture
What is Graphic Recording and how can it help you to “Picture your ideas“? Graphic recording is visual storytelling that will help you to better engage with your stakeholders, clients, students and audiences and show them, literally, that they are being listened to? Graphic Recording is a way of visually capturing and conveying discussions in real-time; at events, meetings, teleconferences and also remotely via teleconferences and online streaming services.
The process is more about me listening than drawing as I listen for the key messages, interpret the information, synthesise the discussions and then draw out the visual story with words and pictures. As about 80% of us are visual learners when we “see it, we get it” so this visual approach provides a clear way of organising information for both the eye and the brain and shows the ‘big picture’ (…as shown below).
Through my visual storytelling I have worked with over 40 organisations to help make the complex simple and the simple compelling. So if you are looking for a new way to engage with your teams and stakeholders that isn’t Powerpoint, you want to bring others on the journey with you in your business or industry or maybe you are looking for exciting ways to visualise your ideas and issues – then visual storytelling through graphic recording could be a way for you to tell your story and ‘draw out’ people’s ideas. Putting your people IN the picture is also a powerful way of engaging with your teams to help to see the BIG picture of why and where you are heading as an organisation. You can see a collection of my visual storytelling work via my YouTube channel (Dr Sue Pillans) and watch below:
To SEE how I “picture your ideas” SEE the time-lapse videos below and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzu9Ew-O2A&t=12s and please see “My visual needs” if you would like me to picture your next event/meeting/discussion and how you can use the visuals post your event.
WATCH how I bring peoples ideas, information and discussions to life through graphic recording!
I also use my graphic recording skills to bring visual stories to life remotely with clients so everyone can share their stories! Depending on your visual needs I can graphically record any information that is provided to me, listen to online meetings or teleconferences and I can also visually capture online conversations and discussions through online streamlining services. I can also elevate your powerpoint presentations by “picturing your presentations” by replacing all that text with words and pictures, which you can see more at https://drsuepillans.com/recording/infographics/
I also use Sketchnotes to quickly draw out discussions and concepts with people. The Sketchnote Army defines sketchnotes as ”purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting. It doesn’t require high drawing skills but does require a skill to visually synthesise and summarise via shapes, connectors and text.” So sketchnotes are visual notes created from a mixture of hand-drawn words and pictures which can include visual elements of typography, shapes and lines.
I love to sketchnote as it is a creative way of note-taking and I also enjoy helping people to put the joy in their notes! I believe anyone can draw — if you can draw a line then you can draw and I’m here to show you how! So if you’re interested in learning more about sketchnotes come along to one of my Drink & Draw MeetUps (see Community & Health)! I also deliver Sketchnote your Science in School to help students, teachers (…and educators, scientists, anyone really!!) to visualise their science. I visit Schools and any group situations to discuss how to use sketchnotes in an interactive and hands-on way. Stay tuned for more group learning activities at Community & Health, Sketchnote your Science or Contact me for more information.
I started working as a Graphic Recorder in 2015 and have worked with a wide range of people, teams and organisations to capture and convey their conversations, ideas, meeting outcomes and presentations with pictures and words – to create their visual story. I draw upon my strategic skills and experience, my scientific background and my creative abilities to provide a unique visual storytelling experience. Meeting minutes and PowerPoint certainly have their place, but just watch what happens when you use words and pictures to capture and convey what is happening in a meeting or presentation….people really become engaged!
I ensure that the visual products that I create from my graphic recording and sketchnoting suit the needs of every client and audience from capturing the big picture to simply providing a record of discussions for later reflection – as illustrated below. I have been told that “I make the complex simple and the simple compelling“, and I love such feedback as a visual storyteller! Your visual stories can be used in SO many ways during and after your events/meetings from providing a point of reflection throughout your event to a visual legacy post your event to being published in reports, journal articles and even on your office walls! You can see more about how you can use your visual stories below and at https://drsuepillans.com/recording/infographics/
As a Graphic Recorder and Sketchnoter I have had the great opportunity and privilege to work with many different people, groups and organisations from Indigenous communities, International organisations, Business and Industry, Community and Health, Government groups, Schools and Universities, scientists and managers to draw out local, regional and international ideas and issues. With my clients I have also created unique and eye catching Infographics & Illustrations to help tell people’s stories and simplify complex issues. I take my experiences as a graphic recorder and visual artist to hold in-house tailored Workshops to help people, teams and organisations to “picture your ideas“. I also visit schools and groups to help people to visualise their work through sketchnoting, for example through Sketchnote your Science. Please view my client stories for further examples of my visual storytelling work and below are examples of the visual products I create with clients and how you can use your visual stories.
My visual needs
As a graphic recorder I am seen as the ‘independent’ in the room who is really there to listen to the discussions and then interpret, synthesize and simplify the information into words and pictures. My visual stories help to take people on a journey, provide you with the ‘big picture’ and leave you with a visual legacy of your event, meeting and/or discussion. To help me to picture your ideas I just need a few things to be set up for your event, which you can see in the photos below:
- Lights – I can’t draw in the dark 🙂
- Whiteboard (the bigger the better), large desk and chair (I can provide my own small easel for rooms without whiteboards but please note I can then only capture a small amount of information eg. usually 1-2 hours of discussions)
- Concurrent sessions – until I am cloned unfortunately I can’t be drawing in two places at once 🙂
- Agenda – to help me to prepare for your event/meeting it is always helpful to see a copy of the agenda/proceedings prior to the day
My graphic recording and sketchnotes can be used across groups, teams and organisations and events (in person and remotely) for a range of purposes including (but not limited to):
- Team meetings and team building exercises
- Training and professional development
- Stakeholder engagement
- Strategic and scenario planning
- Conferences and presentations
- Interviews with clients and stakeholders
- Workshops and meetings
- Conceptual discussions
- Graphics for books, reports, journal articles, websites etc
- Learning to use sketchnotes
Visual Products for you
Visual products I create from my graphic recording ‘live’, as an observer or through pre-recorded interviews include the following, which are tailored to the client and audience (along with examples of these visual products below):
- Visual stories (carried out “live”, as an observer or via recorded interviews or remotely)
- Sketchnotes (carried out “live”, as an observer or via recorded interviews or remotely)
- Infographics & illustrations (see more of my Infographics & Illustrations)
- Conceptual diagrams (see more over on of my Infographics & Illustrations)
- Workshop templates (see more over on my Infographics & Illustrations)
- Action and inspiration boards (see more over on my Infographics & Illustrations)
- Visual meeting minutes
- Animated visual stories
- Sketchnote your science (How to put the joy in your notes)
Visual Products you can use
Below are some examples of how you can use your visual products (unaltered) after an event and for further information here are 10 ways to USE your VISUAL STORIES.
Share the BIG picture: from graphic recordings and discussions I can create wall mural artworks to display in your office spaces (or anywhere) and can tailor them to be living murals where spaces are left to provide regular updates, to work and display on
Share them: from the ‘big picture’ you can share the key themes and messages and even hold a competition to ‘gift’ the visual!
Display them: as your works of art, as that’s what they are!
Video them: taking video and/or time-lapse of the drawings I create at your event provides a lasting visual legacy which attendees, clients and staff can watch over and over again!
Use them: to brand your next workshop including on name badges, workshop agenda, powerpoint slides etc
Use them: to illustrate ideas, information and issues in your documentation, fact sheets, stakeholder reports, annual reports, journal articles etc
Use them: to help engage groups, workshops and conference attendees
Share them: via email, newsletters, team meetings, social media, websites and media (as below)
Present them: as gifts, unique keepsakes and as marketing materials to share with others
Examples of my visual products:
Infographics & conceptual diagrams
Visual meeting minutes
Animated visual stories (short and simple stories via iPad)
Sustainable Sediment Management Story (North Queensland Bulk Ports)
*Please note use of my graphics post-event need to be attributed to me and remain unaltered unless written permission is given as all graphics and images are Copyright © 2021 Dr Sue Pillans
Infographics & Illustrations – words and pictures for people I love to live my life in colour and help others to live a colourful life through my visual storytelling. I use a range of drawing techniques to help people ‘picture their ideas‘ from creating infographics and illustrations to telling animated stories through hand drawn digital … Continue reading Infographics & Illustrations
Picture your ideas As a visual storyteller I get so much joy in engaging with people, teams and organisations to help “Picture your ideas“. I now hold in-house tailored workshops to help communicate your stories and cover any topic, issue and information for any team, organisation or event. My workshops are tailored to meet your … Continue reading Workshops
International ideas, issues and information I’m so fortunate in my work to be able to “picture” international ideas, issues and information as my graphic recording takes me to many places here at home and overseas. Examples of some of my international work is pictured below. 1st Asia-Pacific Conference on Integrated Care (Brisbane, Australia) I was … Continue reading International organisations
The art of storytelling with Indigenous communities I am very fortunate in my work as a graphic recorder and visual artist to get opportunities to picture the story of our Indigenous communities. Indigenous storytelling is the oldest form of sharing stories and I am honoured when asked to use Indigenous symbols in my visual artworks. … Continue reading Indigenous communities
“Drawing out ideas” with Business and Industry I am very fortunate to be able to “picture ideas” with some of the most innovative and world class businesses and industries. My visual storytelling approach helps business and industry to draw out their ideas, visualise their goals and team vision. You can see how my graphic recording … Continue reading Business & Industry
Health and wellbeing of our Communities I am so inspired by those who work, help and support the health and well-being of our communities whether that be through medical research, not-for-profit organisations, our on-ground practitioners or those who gather to make a difference. I try to volunteer my creative services where I can to support these … Continue reading Community & Health
“Picturing ideas” for Education I’m very fortunate to be able to work with the education sector and research organisations to help schools, universities and education providers ‘Picture their ideas‘ through visual storytelling. Below are some examples of how I have drawn out the ideas of our educators, researchers and students. I just love my job!! Ministerial … Continue reading Schools and Universities
Government projects, people and priorities International Education & Training Summit It was great drawing out the discussions of the Study Queensland Pop-Up at the International Education and Training Summit held in Cairns. To celebrate the outcomes of the Study Queensland Positioning Framework for the Department of Trade and Investment Queensland Minister Kate Jones announced the … Continue reading Government groups