My Visual Journey
By José Luis Anzizar (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Facilitating meetings with teams at Citibank was pretty much a huge responsibility during the years I worked for this bank. For me, grabbing a marker and a sheet of paper (or flipchart) and drawing was mandatory (and such a pleasure!). I needed to validate, to prove my words with simple schemes, flows, drawings, and the team needed to be totally clear about what I was expecting from them. This “basic recordings” were really useful because, each time I finished drawing, they would ask “can we take this drawing with us”? It really amused me, and (confession!) boost my ego too.
Probably that was the beginning of my visual practitioner journey, although I did not know that. Maybe it all started before, in 1968, after my first flight ever, from Buenos Aires to Montevideo (a short 30 minutes flight) in an old Avro748. A few hours after arriving, I created this “sketchnote” of the airplane flying among really white clouds, with all sorts of information (airport names, time of departure and arrival, my dad as pilot, etc., with my 8 years old handwriting).
With the arrival of Social Media, information flew from one place to another at an unknown speed, and opened the doors to worlds totally new to me. You need to understand that I live in Buenos Aires which is 8 to 13 hours (flying) far from everywhere in this planet.
What could be totally popular and in California, or Europe, was a discovery to me.
And I discovered David Sibbet´s The Grove. And I flew to San Francisco and took their three basic levels. And I discovered IFVP, and I went to the conference in Austin, and became a fan and a member. And I met (and fell in love with) Brandy Agerbeck, and flew to Chicago to her fabulous Lab! And then went to the conferences (which I love) in Washington D.C., Decatur and Copenhagen. Little by little, IFVP became a family. A global, diverse, experienced, nourishing and totally adorable family!
I always say that my purpose in life is “to help people to see things clearly”. I do this in several ways. As a visual artist, as a Leadership Development Consultant, as a professional Coach and, of course, as a Graphic Facilitator/Recorder.
At the end of each year, 80% of my time is spent with big organizations working on Leadership Development and Personal Effectiveness Learning and Development. I love to leave PowerPoint alone and innovate, using all of these awesome Visual Thinking tools, like templates, recordings prepared beforehand, sketchnotes or even some handouts, crafted with my hands). As a Coach, I always work with a large piece of paper and markers (Neuland´s, but of course!), to record the conversations. The 20% of my time is spent as a Graphic Recorder. That is OK for now, but my plans are to balance that ratio over the next 5 years. But everything I do, from dawn to dust, involves markers and paper.
Also, I am working with a group of Visual Practitioners in Latin America to spread the word about our practice, so well-known in USA, Canada and Europe, but not well known in our region.
At the end of 2018 I volunteered to become a member of the Board of Directors, (and some crazy people voted in favor of this idea!). What I think I bring to the BoD is my experience on project management, team management, organizational development, change management and leadership development. And also a pair of hands, ready to concentrate on what might be needed.
But really (really) what moved me to join the Board is the idea of giving back to the IFVP all the tools, knowledge, perspective, love, joy and fun that I received over these years.
IFVP members are the ambassadors of this unique practice to the world and the mentors to any person who wants to develop a career and shine as a Visual Practitioner!
The IFVP family is worth knowing, joining and enjoying!