Art for Business Graphic Recording leadership training offered workshop

an invite to our next graphic recording & leadership training in nyc

We’ve added a theme to our training! C’mon out to reflect on your leadership using visual thinking, specifically graphic recording!

drawitout

  • DRAW IT OUT: a graphic recording training with leadership in mind!
    Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 9am – 4.30pm
    hosted by VISUALS for CHANGE at Outward Bound NYC in Long Island City, NY

  • This is a hands-on training where you get to experiment with different graphic recording techniques and reflect on yourself as a leader. We’ll also learn tips and tricks from a practitioner!
  • This training is built for beginners and intermediates. No prior drawing experience necessary. All supplies included – even breakfast, lunch & snacks!

DETAILS & REGISTRATION: http://www.visualsforchange.com/grtraining/


Can’t make this one & interested in the next? Want to host your own in house training? Reach out via email to amanda@visualsforchange.com. Looking forward to starting the conversation! Draw on, Amanda

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
Art for Business change

artwork by amanda lyons unless stated otherwise

jarandhandfull

Bylines are a thing and figuring out the best way to include your byline (and others – holler!) can definitely be a challenge. I’m experimenting with some different ways, hoping to land on what works for me. There will definitely be some work done under creative commons licensing and some under normal copyright. Feel free to share your opinion!

*drawn by Amanda Lyons unless otherwise noted

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
complexity drawn by me Visuals for Change

an encouraging story of how #art can heal

3 masks drawn by me - deep grief is blues and greys with tears, wandering anger is striped orange and yellow with red forehead lines, run'n'hide is green with leaves sorta

I came across an article in National Geographic titled, “How Art Heals the Wounds of War” which explains how soldiers create meaningful masks in an art therapy program at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. The masks are powerful and I invite you to check them out:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150213-art-therapy-mask-blast-force-trauma-psychology-war/

This story represents one amazing example of how art opens us up to being and allowing ourselves to come through as imperfect, as vulnerable, as courageous. It’s about how art creates change, allowing us to heal as humans, to express that which is caught inside us. It may even open our voices!

As I read the article I was reminded of being abroad as a student and learning what it feels like to live within a culture that speaks a foreign tongue, has its own gestures, mannerisms, and emotes freely. Another time, as I stood next to a soldier friend on July 4th in America I saw the inner turmoil of his past sneak onto his face as fireworks lit up the nearby sky. I felt bombarded by the multitude of situations that ask me and you to put (as Glennon Doyle Melton would say) our ‘representative’ forward instead of our authentic selves.

This idea of the mask, that has existed in so many cultures throughout history, serves as an acknowledgement to the complexities in what it means to be human and to be ourselves. Create your own mask today (by cutting out cardboard from your recycling bucket, drawing it out, or getting creative however you choose) OR imagine making a mask of yourself today, what would it look like? What does it represent? What does it mean for you? Tell someone about your mask.

a mask with various blues and tears

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
change

What does it mean to grow old?

What’s it mean to be old & live well?

lipsarenevertoooldtobered3signd

I find myself thinking about old age a lot lately. There are some cultural things that bug me about our attitudes. Rather than go down that list of what doesn’t feel right to me and never has, I’ll share my perspective – one I stand by and that somehow feels out of place in our society.

Growing into our wise ole selves is an amazing journey to be celebrated.

I WANT TO BE OLD!

(Disclaimer: I don’t want to wish away my years now.)

At the ripe age of 34 (ripe because I feel alive!) I reflect upon my life thus far, remembering moments from my early childhood in grandma’s lap asking questions about her wrinkles, visiting the hairdresser with her where they’d spray enough to hold her hair for days (& choke us in the meantime), to the grocery store where we’d pick only the best vegetables, and to the porch where we’d chat with the neighbors in lines of rocking chairs. These things were childhood comforts, to see grandma’s fabulous wrinkly skin & grey hair and be embraced in a hug. I realize how fortunate I am to have had such a relationship with my grandma. She passed away many years ago now, and I realize how much I miss her and how much my life, both personal and professional is missing those things I associate with old age: wisecracks, comments so truthful they startle while helping you realize what’s actually important in the world, and questions that remind you not to take things for granted and that it’s ok to have a beginner’s mind. It makes me smile just to think of her calling me ‘tall’ (I’m 5’1″ – ha!), asking me why in the world I would do ‘that’ (to whatever ‘that’ was at the time) or the simple quiet of rocking away into my daydreams on her front porch. I only hope I bring along a bit of her spunk as I get older, a process I’m looking forward to in a huge way!

I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE LOTS OF WRINKLES! Wrinkles to me are to be celebrated. Our bodies are so amazing and they continue to be throughout the many many changes that happen over a lifetime. We oogle and awe over the first months of life, and I suspect I’ll be oogling and aweing until the last months of mine!

I LOVE MY GREY HAIR. I’m super excited to be going grey and to have all grey hair! Even those who know me really well sometimes question my perspective, saying, ‘I don’t get why you don’t want to dye your hair….’ or what I get more often is a shake of the head with a laugh, ‘You’re crazy.’ I’m not one to conform to society where it doesn’t fit. To dye my hair would be to hide. To dye my hair would be to pretend. To dye my hair would be to be ashamed of the aging process. To dye my hair would be not me. I think it’s important that we talk about aging differently than we have.

I’m not ashamed to go grey, have wrinkly skin, and watch my breasts sag.

whooshshegoesThe amount of pressure surrounding me to dye my hair & ‘stay young’ depresses me at times. It’s as if there’s something wrong with being whatever age I am and feeling alive at that age!? Why is ‘feeling alive’ so often synonymous with ‘feeling young’ in our vocabulary? I think part of the answer is in our ability to create age silos. (Silos beyond the work place?! Oh dear!) Where are the programs, the schools, the workplaces, the living situations, the institutions that appreciate the diversity of age? The people who want to work, live, and learn outside of their own generation? It would be dismissive of me to not mention the institution of the family where it does still exist here and there: in Japan where generations of families live together, in Native American communities where the utmost respect is given to elders, in countless other places all around the globe. The amount we have to learn from one another individually & collectively astounds me, and to be able to do such in an actually diverse environment can build connection & trust like other experiences simply cannot.

To be old and live well is something I imagine we all aspire to, to always live well, yet the systems of thought and institutions supporting those systems seem to set us up for something much different – challenging conversations about how to live when we need help, how we want to die (having never thought about it/picked up on everyone’s fear of it & not wanted to talk about it), how to continue to feel great, to continue to learn and love.

I continue to ruminate on this topic, meeting people with stories all about their parents & grandparents and the humongous challenges they face(d), stories about end of lives and the beauty of celebrating so many years of a life, stories of fear, confusion, excitement, wonder and so much more. I’ve recently read Gloria Steinem‘s Doing Sixty and Seventy, which I’d recommend, bought and played the game My Gift of Grace and I’m jumping into a project with a friend & colleague (woohoo, Ann!) that’s unfolding in time – perhaps we will focus on supporting intergenerational communities of people? Perhaps we’ll design experiences for one nearing the end of their life and those connected to that person? Perhaps we’ll look at how interactions and visuals can help us connect in old age? These are some of the things we’re talking about and I’m thinking about.

What’s it mean to be old and live well for you? What life do you imagine for yourself in old age?

 

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
Graphic Recording training offered workshop

graphic recording training in nyc – reflections

The room was full of color & curiosity – the best kind of room. We had a great time at our graphic recording training DRAW it OUT in NYC this past December. Every training is different since every group is different, although all of them have been a good time! My highlights from this workshop were the capacity of those in the room to listen deeply, the honoring curiosity in challenge and the readiness to jump right in and try things!

I often include a bit of ‘choose your own adventure’ time in my trainings. I think it’s important for us to have the space to learn the way that we learn best. (We all know that most trainings and schools are set up in a way to program us as though we’re machines. This one aims to be different, meeting you at your own learning style and making sure we get right into the content by moving into it – literally.) This group chose to work together to further build out their visual libraries using terms and words that would be most helpful to them in their professions. We found ourselves understanding that words do not always have a clear definition and can often be colored by context or have differing meanings. These are the sorts of realizations that show how using visual thinking in your communication helps you level up, to use gaming terms, or communicate more clearly. We know what we mean (or we think we do) when we share a thought in a meeting, yet what the 10 people in the room hear and how they each interpret that thought varies. Using visuals helps us clarify that. This group learned that firsthand as we asked, ‘How do you draw conflict? community? change? …’ We found ourselves having to define each and sometimes even add context!

Forgive the low lighting in these photos, but I had to share a few! THANKS for coming out to draw and learn with us!! AND THANKS to Heartbeat for hosting our training in your amazing space!

pointing

librarylibrary2library3

 

 

 

 

 

 

everybodyatthewall

rockingthelibrary   drawitoutposterbw   sitandcapture

seeitinaction

ROCK ON VISUAL THINKERS! Until we meet again with markers, THANKS for everything!

 


For more info on the next training or how to hire VISUALS for CHANGE to run an in house training, reach out to amanda@visualsforchange.com. Look forward to hearing from you!

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
Amazing People Series process

swirling around in my head

I wanted to share these brilliant influencers & their articles/books/blogs/etc. that have been swirling around in my head lately, convincing me to embrace vulnerability, and step into this slightly new direction (that includes MORE ART!):

inspiringpeople

amanda_palmer

AMANDA PALMER (@amandapalmer)- This woman has figured out how to do what she loves, genuinely communicate with her community in dialogue, and tell her story well. After finding her TED talk over 2 years ago & taking some visual notes (see that blog post here), I’ve been paying attention to her process. She’s onto something! It’s in the questions! I’m 3/4 of the way through her book, The Art of Asking, and I’d highly recommend drawing in the margins as you read!

elleluna

ELLE LUNA (@elleluna) – This woman is rocking her art and inspiring people to go for their own ‘must.’ I had been working for years to take the word ‘should’ out of my vocabulary & have taken to re-reading her article, The Crossroads of Should and Must, from the moment I found it earlier this year (blog post on that – too). It’s peppered with amazing art, too! (I believe there’s a book now too!)

brenebrown

BRENE BROWN (@brenebrown) – I hear the name Brene Brown and ‘Whoosh, there’s a guttural instinct that kicks in urging me to be the human I am, accept and stop pretending. If you haven’t found Brene’s work on vulnerability yet, then you definitely want to tune into her TED talk… and do your research on this researcher – she rocks! (Brene has books, interviews, and a few TED talks out there!)

margaux-motin

MARGAUX MOTIN – I love her illustration style & her sense of humor in her book, But I really wanted to be an anthropologist, which I found a few years ago via Comic Con! Makes me smile!

mariekondo

MARIE KONDO (@konmari_method) – ‘Do I love this?’ is one simple question that has helped me better understand my own thinking process and make better decisions allowing me to let go of those things I need to let go of, physically and mentally! If you haven’t yet found the #konmari method of tidying, I’d suggest you look into it. She gets in your head – in a good way. Check out her best-selling book, and borrow it from the library or a friend!

kelvybird

KELVY BIRD (@kelvy_bird) – This woman leaves me speechless. She embodies deep listening in a way that creates presence like few that I know. I’m honored to know her. She has found ways to work within the roots of the ‘social humanness of this space and time’… (I made those words up… and so I don’t make up too many more, I’ll send you to her website.) She’s creating space for it to be ok for people to be different in the graphic recording field and beyond and for this I am humbled.

megankimble

MEGAN KIMBLE (@megankimble)- I’m over half way through Megan’s book, UNPROCESSED: My City Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food, and appreciating her incredible style. She has a way of integrating research into her stories that has me drooling for more. It’s an honest way to write where her inclusion of story & fact leads me to compare the raw & real life I actually live these days – the one where I’m bombarded with the rights and wrongs of my eating choices, assaults on my ignorance and often left in a puddle of a feeling closer to disgust at my unknown (or supposed known and ability to choose wrong…) than confusion. It’s complicated, and Megan presents her take in an almost unbiased personal way in a time when soooo very much bias not only exists, but is flung around. (More on this disgust in an upcoming blog post!)

andreadorfman

ANDREA DORFMAN – This woman has made some seriously amazing films! I urge you to check them out… there are little ones and even a big one! How to be alone is the first film of hers that I came across and have shared widely as well as find myself coming back to watch it anytime I need a ‘tiramisu’ (= “pick-me-up” in Italiano). The incredible playful drawn style mixed with a challenge for people to spend time alone and be ok with it completely rocks. It’s a short, under 5 minutes! Go watch!

fridakahlo

FRIDA KAHLO – A recent visit to the New York Botanical Gardens, where a few of Frida Kahlo’s drawings & paintings hang on display and a replica of her and Diego’s gardens embraces passerby’s to walk through, woke me up. I walked out feeling inspired by the plants living among bright colors (despite the bugs in my plants at home), hopeful of personal transparency as Frida’s way with her personal struggles and understandings showed up on her canvas, and reminded of the way art helps us deal – with life, with ourselves, with the context around us. Art allows us to express our struggle in a way that just words, or just one modality never could….

 

TO Amanda, Elle, Brene, Margaux, Marie, Kelvy, Megan, Andrea, Frida & all those other instigators and inspirators,

A HUGE THANK YOU for meddling in my brain waves, challenging my threads of thought and encouraging me to see the process, to acknowledge the process and listen deeper, to experience the dark bowels of the process (which might kick me while I’m down because I’ll learn so much more from failure). It’s through my own journey, reading into the art and writings (etc.) that you share, that I find myself inspired and hopeful that I will fail again! And again! And again! And I will learn more than I thought I could. And perhaps along the way I’ll encounter and collaborate on some interesting projects. I’m out seeking canvases, collaborations & color!

Sending LOVE,

Lyons (as I’m known when there’s another Amanda around)

 

 

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
process

blog undergoing a redesign

Hello! Just a bit of warning that things are changing & may look wonky. We’re undergoing an accidental redesign. I broke it – heehee! Things are evolving! Woohoo!

constructioncolor

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
process Reflection

an assumption no longer held high

What happens when we take an assumption and listen deeply? When we pluck a structure’s brick for examination of its holes? An intense staring ensues, the kind where eyes lock and you forget to breathe, the kind where your heart skips a beat but not because you’re falling in love, because the pressure squishes, smushes, suffocates.

Step one is awareness. Check. I’ve stared at this assumption so hard, my jaw tightened, nose scrunched, eyes squinted. I couldn’t see the holes in the brick anymore. Too much. Needs air. I let myself breathe again & I keep telling myself I’m letting go of this brick. Keeping just the holes.

assumption = My writing & drawing (all blog content really) needs to fit. It needs to be professional, a certain way. I find myself editing before I even write a post & wonder if I’ll be questioned on my authority, my expertise or lack there of about whatever subject I am sharing about.

the Brick = Tightness. Constriction. Barriers surrounding. Holding onto a way that isn’t me and is the way I’m supposed to write, draw, share under the auspicious idea of what ‘business’ SHOULD be, professional (what does this even mean today?), not necessarily personal and certainly not me.

Taking that assumption from its hidden pedestal makes the world, my/your world, shutter. Seismic shift. Be gone brick! And the sun comes up on another horizon.

Which brick is next?

If you pulled a brick from your mortar, what might you see?

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
business Definitions

creative commons licensing is the way to go

Creative Commons licensing = some rights reserved, you pick!

(watch the video & read about the different licenses)

In a video on the Creative Commons’ website, someone wraps up the thinking behind these concepts well, “[It’s a] move away from thinking about content to thinking about communities.” YES! If we listen on a deeper level to what’s going on around us, we’ll be serving ourselves and each other better, rather than stuck with our noses and our egos in our idea of ownership and what that means.

As one who values acknowledgment of complexity in our human ecosystem (including the digital), I find myself wondering more and more about how to fit these complexity values into my business practices? It’s about changing with the times rather than holding onto traditional ways. It’s about noticing. It’s about having more open conversations with people on sometimes difficult topics in many art forms. It’s taking open source learning beyond… I’m excited to share that I’ve found a way that allows me to approach traditional copyright differently: Creative Commons licensing! 

My backstory goes, that I’ve always known I am an artist and I will someday do something with my art. That knowledge has always lived in me somewhere. Naturally, copyright comes up as you get older and learn more about the way business works in the world. I’m not a lawyer and so my understanding of copyright is based on whatever research I’ve managed to do & mini conversations with lawyers. I’ve always said, ‘I don’t understand it.’ Thing is, I think I was actually saying, ‘It doesn’t feel right to me’ – I have a gut feeling about traditional copyright that has always left me backing up away from doing anything where I would need to better define my copyright. (Disclaimer: That said, there is a time and place for confidentiality. I’m not suggesting that everything always be open, rather that open be our default.)

So, I’m jumping in with two feet and am excited to be using this creative commons licensing with my graphic recording work (including it in contracts, etc) whenever possible and plan to use it with much of my artwork! It’s a learning journey. Woohoo!

I’m also quite excited that the folks at Creative Commons are creating a Creative Commons Toolkit for Business to help businesses (i.e. people in business) understand why and how Creative Commons licensing works.

 

MORE

Creative Commons’ twitter = @creativecommons

Here’s a link to an article with more information on open source learning for teachers!

*Next time I’ll draw this post!

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
Graphic Recording

the Gloria and Wilma School for Organizers

The Gloria & Wilma School for Organizers is an initiative in partnership with Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts. The idea came out of the friendship between Gloria Steinem (writer, lecturer, political activist, & feminist organizer) & Wilma Mankiller (first female chief of the Cherokee nation). I had a blast getting to know this amazing community as well as adding some graphic recording to the event! Here are a few highlights!

Social change happens at the intersections, where people meet even if they happen to be going different ways….

drawing of an intersection with a stick figure walking and a squiggly arrow coming from the center of the intersection

Empathy matters!

Language matters. In the past, the language of women’s and other minority stories have been changed so it doesn’t include important and sometimes painful truths…

talk bubbles in colors being hit by a bat

Gloria Steinem is full of amazing quotes. “When you’re an old person, you become an archive.” was part of her preamble to sharing some information and connections for specific topics discussed… brilliant!

drawn in a frame: "when you're an old person, you become an archive" - gloria steinem

The gathering included women and LGBTQ community members. It was referred to as a ‘women’s space’. The atmosphere felt different in a positive way because of the people who were present. 

We’re making history. It’s not always in the past! 

There was an amazing sense of team in the group which consisted of many different perspectives! “We’re in it together!”

 

Whoosh!
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN
twitter
facebook
google+
google+
http://www.visualsforchange.com/blog/">
INSTAGRAM
follow by email
LINKEDIN