How do you get better at Visual Practice? The first time I asked myself this was after a compliment. “Your work is beautiful, but you have to get faster...most PATHs should only be about 45 minutes," Bridget, lead trainer and PATH process facilitator, said. The last one ran just shy of two hours–oops. “As the graphic facilitator your role is to capture the ideas quickly and succinctly.” At the time, I didn’t know about Visual Practice or that IFVP existed: Google was my only hope. When my search for “Graphic Facilitation” returned something about a “Loose Tooth” I wondered, what in the world is this and what have I gotten myself into? To my surprise it was the website of our beloved Brandy Agerbeck which introduced me some basic concepts and a whole new world of opportunity. Back then my only goal was to get faster without having to exclusively draw “star people”. Seven years later, I’m still looking for ways to get better. There are so many ways to improve:
As an practitioner: skills, technique, tools, visual vocabulary, layout and composition.
As a proprietor: budgeting, billing, marketing and advertising, networking, taxes, etc.
As a person: fitness, relationships and community, recreation, rest, and self care.
IFVP has a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience within its membership. There are also many member led trainings and workshops. Visit the IFVP Events page to see what current and upcoming online or in person opportunities are available.
Online options include:
- "Picture This!" Webcast by Taryl Hansen
- "Level Up Your Lettering" by Heather Martinez
- And Several offerings from "Shift-It Coach, Inc" by Christina Merkley
In person options include:
- Bikablo Training in Madrid, Spain hosted by Elena Urizar
- Graphic Facilitation Workship in Vancouver, Canada hosted by Sam Bradd
- Visual Facilitation Lab in Singapore hosted by Irene Kang Hamons
If you have or know of opportunities for training and learning make sure to add it to the IFVP Events page. You can add an event directly from your profile page or see this link for more instructions. Again, I urge you to visit the IFVP Events page for more information.
Here are a few of my personal learnings during September.
I’ve reached professional status.
A friend of mine said, when someone pays your work a compliment–the amateur points out the mistakes, the professional says, “Thank you.” After my last gig I had some thoughts about how the final composition could have been better organized. As people approached the chart and were complimentary, I kept those thoughts to myself and simply said, “Thank you.” Pats self on the back.
I’m more husband and (soon to be father) than professional.
As my wife and I expect our first child and some complications have surfaced, doctor appointments have increased and my professional duties have been delayed and in some cases dropped. While unsure what effects this will have business wise, I know I’ll have no regrets about choosing to put my family first during this challenging, delicate time.
The value of sorting and straightening.
I default to the organized chaos methodology. Sure it looks like a mess, but “I know” where everything is. Construction management teaches the importance of “sorting” and “straightening.” Sorting means to decide what is necessary for the job and removing tools a materials that are not. Straightening means to place the needed items in an intentional order based on use and sequence of events. These two concepts help to reduce waste of time and material.