The first felting project I am posting is, of course an owl.  Owls were the first thing I learned how to felt, from my then 6 year old buddy, Jackson. They continue to be a popular fav, and I will be sharing more soon.

Visually mapping the system

I was recently asked to coach a group of undergraduate students who are entering the “Map the System”  from Oxford University.

 A global competition to learn more about the issues you care about and present your findings to the world.

As part of the competition, each participant is asked to submit a “visual map” to accompany their report, but there is little criteria to describe how to create the map, nor its intended role in the presentation.  As far as I have been able to determine, it is a supplementary document, which allows the students to show their creativity. Looking at the finalists from 2017, it seems most of the students took an infographic approach, or went into a full scale interactive website production.

I wanted to share a few resources that I have seen that may show some alternatives.

Truth be told I am not a master at creating or using infographics, most of my recent work has been creating visual summaries of conversations and keynotes, in the realm of graphic facilitation and recording. My ‘go to’ if asked to create a visual map would likely be some kind of sequential art, combining narrative and data with some eye catching visuals.

I have dug up some research though to help explain visual mapping and its variety and power. The landscape for visual work is expanding, and more often the discrete disciplines tend towards overlapping.  It is a good idea to zoom out and get a high level look at the space before we begin. Continue reading “Visually mapping the system”

2018… One way.

Trying to get a bead on 2018 right out of the gate, and I found the perfect image to describe my goals. 

I do enjoy the practice of charting a plan, a route through the journey of a new year. In the past I have made resolutions, used keywords, even drew doodles, to direct my focus and summon my intentions. It must be something to do with old age but I increasingly want to do things, the ‘right’ way.

For many, myself among them, 2017 was a time of strife, at least half of it anyway.  The other half was, for myself was a time of awakening, discovery and love. More on that in a bit. The strife of 2017 began for me with an abrupt upheaval in my living situation which I can only sum up to the housing crisis that is affecting so many Vancouver residents these days. Moving, downsizing, decluttering, refactoring, commuting, was the backdrop of my year. Strife continued on in larger arenas in the world, as I sat back in abhorrence, watched in horror, and clicked in disgust through the headlines via my “socials”.  This too was a backdrop for the year, and an unpleasant one that I probably spent too much time on. My first correction for 2018.

Despite being temporarily homeless and overwhelmed with uncertainty, I did manage to find a wonderful place to live, with some wonderful people. A place to grow plants, make music, and meet heaps of folks that it seemed I have known a lifetime, some would turn out to be very special.

I was fortunate to achieve what I believe may be my most productive year in my career to date. Building on the previous year,  Sketching in Practice, managed to pull together for a 2nd run, with a few new lessons along the way. I delivered the most Going Visual workshops to date, and extended the visual practice culture at SFU to a wide audience. The first forays into an independant producer were also taken, with many side gigs, external workshops and contracts taken.

Making Art, giving it away. – (felting, drawing, gardening)

Speaking up, recording it. – (publishing blog)

Partnerships, saying yes. – (projects)




She said yes.