I Can Draw

I Can Draw

Originally uploaded by Choconancy1

And you can draw.

Yesterday at the IDRC sponsored pre-meetings, I ran a small 2.5 hour workshop on Graphic Recording 101. With the support of my friend and colleague Allison Hewlitt, we planned a quick hands-on tour of using graphics with a focus on recording sessions at meetings like GK3.

We started by drawing graphic self introductions. This example is from Dimage (I don’t think I am spelling that correctly) from Cambodia. His intro is in the lower left of the image. We then toured each others pictures around the room and had a chance both to get to know each other and appreciate the talent we brought into the room. In 8 introductions, we could spot a clear quality of graphic recording, even amidst the disclaimers of “I can’t draw.”

So many of us as adults have lost touch with the innate skills we cultivated as a child. My request at that point was to let go of this inner self censor.

The next thing we did was loosen up with some big circle drawings, then dove right into lettering. I asked them to write the headline “I Can Draw.”

I don’t know how they felt, but I felt joy at seeing them write this. It was a declaration. We have the power to make our mark.

Then we practiced fast lettering, lists and played a bit with color. After that we sat in a circle on the floor and experimented with different pens, looked at samples of other people’s (amazing!) work and shared basic icons on our sketch books. We had a strong emphasis on options for quickly drawing people – which seems to intimidate a lot of us.

Finally, everyone went to a clean sheet of large paper on the walls and we did a practice session. I made up a short, disorganized 5 minute speech and they recorded. WOW, what talent. Everyone created compelling and useful images. (You can see some more photos here..)

Over the week at the meeting, everyone will record a session. We are meeting at lunchtime to share stories, tips and coach each other. By the end of the event the hope is we capture digitally all our images, and then share them via email for final critiques and coaching.

Images are powerful allies. Finding our ability to create and share them, to make our mark, is a powerful act.

Yes, I can draw. So can you. After this workshop, I’m even more convinced that this is a learnable practice.