Learning and Drawing at the LooseTooth Lab
August 9, 2012[ssba]
I had the great fortune to attend Brandy Agerbeck’s three-day graphic recording workshop, the Lab. Not only was it my first trip to the gorgeous city of Chicago (Brandy gave us a mini architectural walking tour), it was the perfect immersion experience for diving into the field of graphic recording and visual facilitation. After all, Brandy just wrote the book on the subject!
Content is King
Much attention is paid to the drawing aspect of graphic recording and facilitation, but Brandy’s workshop equally stressed the importance of capturing meaning — as she says, “content is king.” We spent a lot of time at the wall, but we also did some listening and creative thinking exercises that helped us “chunk” spoken information into the essential ideas.
We also stepped back to see how the information we captured related to each other. Above, Brandy shows us how she strengthens the meaning of a numbering system that she used to outline different theories of how the Great Chicago Fire began.
Throughout the workshop, I had the unique feeling that I was learning to see in a new way — how graphic facilitators organize, synthesize and structure information in a way that makes it more accessible and memorable. Below is my chart of the same Chicago Fire presentation. The participants were able to compare our own charts to Brandy’s and the others’ to see the most effective ways to synthesize and represent the auditory information.
Critique and Feedback
One of the best parts of the Lab for me was the opportunity for creative thinking ,thoughtful discussion and critique. We spent time after each practice session looking at the work as a group and each individual chart. Hearing what other’s notice about your chart is always useful, and I think it’s the single most important factor in improving a skill set. I got to see my work through the eyes of the others in our group, and learn from what they did as well.
We took several before and after photos of our charts because we’d make subtle changes based on feedback. Almost always the suggested changes made the chart more engaging and clear.