(if you are looking for the July Spotlight for Phil Bakelaar, click here )
Tamra Carhart, Carhart Creative
Where are you based?
Boston, MA and beyond!
How long have you been an IFVP member?
How many IFVP conferences have you attended?
How many years as a visual practitioner?
How did you come to the field of visual practice?
I was working for a small strategic execution consultancy in Boston, and they wanted to find a way to make their executive education course a little more engaging. As I was researching ways to accomplish this, I stumbled upon graphic scribing/facilitation. I then searched to see who was local to Boston, and got in touch with Kelvy Bird. It took a while for us to finally meet up in person, but once we did, she became my first mentor.
Share an extraordinary experience you’ve had as a visual practitioner.
I love sessions that revolve around social justice work, which often touch on taboo topics that shouldn't necessarily be taboo. Most recently, I scribed a session at the MIT Media Lab for their Make the Breastpump Not Suck Hackathon/Make Family Leave Not Suck Policy Summit. Last year, I scribed a session for a different client on Design for Social Impact where the facilitators had the room break off into small groups and design ways to encourage condom use in Africa. I had to capture the ideas as they were presented. This overlapped significantly with my Master's Degree project (encouraging healthier and safer sexual practices among senior citizens through humancentered design), and I got to draw some euphemistic eggplant and banana emojis, which were a big hit. I love being able to incorporate my sense of humor into my scribing while simultaneously contributing to the greater good in some small way.
What would like to see from the IFVP in the next 12 months?
I'd love to see the IFVP expand its reach into more external organizations and be the go to hub for finding the best visual practitioners for their projects. Also, having a library of useful business documents (sample SOWs, contracts, invoice templates, etc.) could be cool.
What’s on your bookshelf? Which of the many books published by visual practitioners is your favorite?
I have the standard Sibbett, Agerbeck, Roam, McCloud, et al. books. In all honesty, my favorite is whichever one gives me the information I need at the time–they all have valuable information. I like the "Graphic Guide" books, as well (Intro to Semiotics, Intro to Critical Theory, Intro to Linguistics, Intro to PostModernism, etc.) because they're great examples of how visual representation can help people grasp complex subjects that are usually taught through more traditional means. I'm looking forward to starting Kelvy Bird's Generative Scribing, too. Oh, and I just selfpublished an ABCs coloring book called The Animals with Attitude. Does that count?
What is the best piece of advice you received from another visual practitioner?
Sometimes you have to be patient–it often takes people a while to get to the point and you just have to listen and process rather than be compelled to scribe something because it's expected of you. Also get rid of any false sense of perfection–it doesn't exist.
How can we connect with you online or through social media?
Instagram, Facebook: @carhartcreative