Posts in Creativity
Using visuals to support your writing process

Many of us are well trained in using writing to develop and convey our insights, but only some of us learn how visuals can help us organize and communicate our ideas. It’s well worth learning what you can, because visuals have many unique abilities. The best visuals balance the use of thoughtful images and words, and the best writing balances thorough explanation and visualization. Writers that use visuals to describe their ideas help their readers better understand the frameworks of thinking that inform what the writer is seeking to convey, and they make it easier for readers to share those ideas with others.

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How to use visuals for analysis and discovery

Researchers often think to use visuals to present findings, overlooking the fact that to effectively communicate they must first fully understand the information themselves. While researchers may be surprised by the role visuals can play in their process, professional creatives like myself use visuals for observation, analysis, discovery and presentation. Researchers from all fields have a long history of using visuals as tools for analysis and discovery. No matter what purpose it serves, the type of visual that is best used all depends on what is being compared.

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Ways creatives bring hope and possibility to the world - and what it takes

When I meet people and they find out I'm an artist, I often hear the same responses: "I don't have any artistic talent.” "Why did you choose a creative profession?” "How did you get to where you are?" The answers are never simple. I've learned that the journeys of creatives rarely are. I believe that, like everyone, we were told when we were young that our art was poor, self-centered, and/or pointless. Those of us who think of ourselves as creatives simply chose not to believe that. We chose to keep making.

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How committing to co-creative process is different from producing an outcome

As a designer who's deeply interested in relationships, I value thoughtful process. I am not only used to the "labor pains" that a thorough, deliberate process requires but I consider myself fortunate to experience this labor of love on a regular basis. I know from experience that intentional process always leads to the best outcomes: deep understanding and meaningful relationships. I believe these lasting solutions can only come from thoughtful processes.

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"Hiding" in your communications: When it's harmful

While you may know me as an expert communicator, what you may not know about me is that I am also an expert hider. It has taken me years to develop messages about my services, to have a website that I am proud of, to be able to write and stories like this - and a lot of that time and energy was spent waiting, overanalyzing, rehearsing, pretending. Knowing one needs to communicate well and committing oneself to the hard work of doing it consistently are two different things. Like me, the organizations I work with often recognize that communication - among internal teams and with the communities they are a part of - is one of the greatest obstacles they face as they seek to grow their impact.

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Sketchnotes from the Regenerative Future Summit

Earlier this month professionals and leaders from across science, business, energy, finance, and more met to have conversations about creating an "Economy in Service to Life" at the first annual Regenerative Future Summit. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a couple sessions near and dear to my heart: "The Power of a Narrative in Building a Movement" and "Conscious Leadership in Business."

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Using design principles in relationships

As a designer, I work in ideas. But I also must work with people. If I could distill everything that I’ve learned as a designer down to one thing it would be this: Ideas are excellent; people are essential. People are not only vessels for ideas, they bring them into form. Designers sometimes think they are responsible for both discovering ideas and executing them, but at some point our ideas must live beyond us. They are shared with co-creators, with clients, with stakeholders, with audiences we may never meet.

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