Infographics & Illustrations

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 drawings. Infographics are like mini ‘visual stories‘ combining text and graphics to visually communicate often complex issues, data and/or information. Today we are bombarded by information, data and signage so infographics are a great way to simplify, grab your attention and tell your story.

To me a great infographic cleverly uses words and pictures so the message or information is easy to understand. An eye catching infographic can also be like ‘eye candy’ for the eyes and brain too!! Sometimes clear and simple illustrations can also help to capture the message, idea or concept you are trying to communicate in presentations, publications, posters, templates or action walls Animated drawings really bring your visual story to life and add a lively dimension to the story you are trying to tell.

When I picture your ideas I help to make the complex simple and the simple compelling and I can picture any idea, topic or concept from and for the following (both live or pre-post event/project):

  • Presentations
  • Publications
  • Proposals
  • Podcasts
  • Papers
  • Plenary’s
  • PhDs
  • Policy
  • Team planning
  • Preparation (for talks, interviews etc)
  • Strategy days
  • Websites\
  • etc….!

An example of infographics and illustrations that have been created for publications, team planning days, fact sheets, proposals, presentations and podcasts

Creating visuals for people, teams and organisations is a Creative Collaboration which takes time due to the interactive and iterative approach I use to ensure the visuals I create reflect the important stories my clients want to tell and share. The process starts with a good conversation about your story and what you want the visual story to say/picture. I then develop mock-ups and together we revise the drawings to create your visual story. OR, you can give me a design brief and I will interpret and illustrate the information to create your visual story.

Please note I am not a graphic designer and focus all of my creativity on interpreting and synthesising your information and ideas to create unique and tailored hand-drawn infographics and illustrations. You will receive the hard copies of the original drawings to scan and reproduce electronically noting I still retain IP/Copyright of the visuals. A Visual Design Brief outlining the Revisions Policy and the payment schedule is required as part of all of my creative collaborations. And you can see more of my ‘handy’ work below!

Examples of my infographics & illustrations:

Here are some examples of infographics and illustrations I have collaboratively created with a range of clients to help synthesise and summarise often complex issues – from marine spatial planning and using science to inform public policy to animating sediment stories, indigenous heritage values, reef catchment repair technologies and marine research techniques. The great thing about these infographics and illustrations is that they can be used in a number of formats for different audiences from meetings and conference presentations, templates and action walls for group work/activities through to features in reports, newsletters, journal articles and on your websites and social media. I also create tailor-made templates and action boards for group work, meetings and conferences to help inspire ideas!


It is a great pleasure working with Terrain NRM to help them illustrate the important new ways Wet Tropics farmers in Queensland are working to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef (as part of the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project). This creative collaboration involves me drawing out the following catchment repair technologies which are then transformed into fact sheets for farmers:

  • Denitrification Bioreactors
  • Constructed Wetlands
  • High Efficiency Sediment Basins

Denitrification Bioreactors The first in the series of fact sheets for farmers is bioreactors and the denitrification process, an on-farm technology for removing dissolved inorganic nitrogen from water. Catchment repair technologies like this are being implemented as part of the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project.

As you can ‘sea’ from the photos below the creative collaboration to create drawings for complex issues such as this is a staged approach which includes me: interpreting the information and science presented, creating the Mock-Ups, illustrating the information in black and white and finishing up with coloured illustrations — which are then turned into informative infographics!

And you can see the fact sheet for farmers here:


Collaborating with Sue has been a great experience. Her beautiful infographics have brought life and accessibility to complex information“, Monica Haynes, Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project, Terrain Natural Resource Management

Constructed Wetlands The next in the series of catchment repair technologies that I am drawing out for Terrain NRM is ‘Constructed Wetlands’. Constructed Wetlands can trap sediments and remove nutrients, pesticides metals and pathogens in water. And you can see the fact sheet for farmers here:

The creative collaboration process starts with ideas and information and is translated and transformed into illustrations to help “picture your ideas“.

High Efficiency Sediment Basins The last in the series of catchment repair technologies that I am drawing out for Terrain NRM is ‘HES Basins’. HES Basins can stop coarse and fine sediment and associated nutrients and pesticides from entering waterways like the Great Barrier Reef. The fact sheet for farmers will be available here soon.

International Conference Workshop Templates

It was great to be engaged by Sprott Planning & Environment to create some unique templates for the 2018 American GreenPort Congress. My clients are hosting a workshop at the Congress and wanted to engage participants with templates that would be visually appealing and gather their feedback without using the ‘usual’ butchers paper exercise! As you can ‘sea’ the creation of these templates is a staged process working from the initial discussion with my clients through to the creation of mock-ups and then the black and white drawings to the FINAL coloured templates!


It was an absolute positive experience working with Dr Sue, as she quickly and accurately captured the technical content of the port industry. We look forward to working with Dr Sue again“. Sprott Planning, Australia

Dr Sue helped us uplift our interactive workshop at the recent GreenPort conference in Baltimore with amazing, creative and colourful mind maps“, Sprott Planning, Australia

Proposals and presentations

It’s always a great delight for me as a marine scientist to be able to illustrate concepts and information to help managers and stakeholders of our marine resources. Here is a sneak peak of some drawings I have created for a proposal and presentation to help picture the importance of protecting marine biodiversity and managing fisheries in The Coral Triangle.

Action and Inspiration Walls

It was great to create these simple but very effective Action and Inspiration Walls for a big Conference. These ‘action walls’ were built into the Conference Agenda as a series of group work exercises carried out throughout the day to help inspire ideas. As you can see there were A LOT of inspired ideas for strategy, action and imagine if!

Infographics for publications & presentations


A series of infographics created to illustrate Indigenous Heritage Values in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to be used in Fact Sheets with Traditional Owners and stakeholders (as below).

How my drawings were used in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Information Sheets.


Mock-up designs for the front cover artwork of the 2020 QTAC Guide to Further Study with the final front cover artwork below and you can find out more at


The final front cover artwork for the QTAC 2020 Guide with the QTAC Team!!

Drawings for PhDs, talks, preparations, websites and more!

Drawings created to illustrate the different aspects of a PhD Thesis on creative education

Illustration created for an International industry Conference presentation/proceedings.

Illustration created for an article on how to use science to inform policy, written and drawn by me!

Icons for websites

Intervention icons created for the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to illustrate the measures being investigated to help protect and repair the Great Barrier Reef which appear on their Reef Restoration and Adaptation website

Icons & scenarios for Resumes & Interviews

I create icons and scenarios to help picture resume’s and visualise interview preparations

Listening to interviews/podcasts

Infographic created to help illustrate the health care delivery challenges of the ‘Silver Tsunami’. Created by listening to recorded interviews with health care professionals.

Conference and workshop illustrations (created on site)

Infographic created for the Plenary talk given by Professor Pete Mumby (University of Queensland) at the CCRES Stakeholder Forum held in Manila, Philippines.

Infographic created for Melanie King, Senior Advisor for the CCRES project, for her Keynote address at the East Asian Seas Congress in Danang, Vietnam.

Hand Drawn Animations:

As hand drawn animations take a considerable amount of time to create with clients this type of visual storytelling needs to be booked many months in advance as I only create a handful of these animated stories per year.

Sustainable Sediment Management Story (North Queensland Bulk Ports)

Mud crab sampling in Moreton Bay Marine Park (CSIRO)

Each of my drawings are created in some way with the “help” of my pawsome creative companion!

*Please note the use of my graphics and visuals need to be attributed to me and remain unaltered unless written permission is given as all graphics and images are Copyright © 2019 Dr Sue Pillans 

For more information about my Infographics & Illustrations please