A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

My current dilemma is to describe my newest area of work…

How do you talk about what you do for work? 

Or, perhaps a better question is, how do you describe what you do for your clients in your work? Because it’s really all about them, right?

These are very practical questions for me as one who has had many different types of work.  When I was a teacher of children with special needs, a principal in schools, and then an administrator in schools, people assumed they knew what I did. To be honest, I’m not sure they had any idea of what it took to be a teacher of children and young adults with special needs back in the late ’70s and ’80s (but that’s another conversation). I was a constant in the lives of my students, an authority figure who nurtured their social-emotional growth and created an environment in which they could engage meaningful learning. 

Becoming a curriculum developer (or instructional designer in the language of business) was a title that my colleagues in the education field understood. In my experiences in the business world however, the understanding ran the gamut from in-depth knowledge of the requirements of designing and developing curricula/training programs to think that ID’s create slide decks (and training is about reading slides).

I heard these questions, as a

  • coach (“Are you a life coach?”)
  • trainer (“Do you work in a gym?”)
  • facilitator (“So you make facilitate things, make them easy, what does that mean?”)
  • visual practitioner/graphic recorder, facilitator and coach (“How do pictures and words help people communicate?”)

I have faced so many questions—granted, that is a good starting point for a conversation though the frequency with which they occur is alarming. 

What’s your label? Does it really describe what you do?

My current dilemma is to describe my newest area of work. Visual practitioner, visual storyteller, sequential artist, comics artist, cartoonist, graphic novelist, graphic memoirist…when I say any of these terms, what do you think of?

What do you think?

I grew up reading comics and so my idea of “comics” —what they are—is tied up in those memories…Peanuts, Archie, Dennis the Menace, Batman, Spiderman, and more.

Here are some examples of this work from my project/book to illustrate (haha!) my experience training as a chaplain. I feel like I’m straddling different genres and I wonder how much a label matters…

When I visit the Graphic Medicine website and read the description of their work, it makes me change my thinking about the word “comics.”

“Graphic Medicine is a site that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. We are a community of academics, health carers, authors, artists, and fans of comics and medicine.”

They believe “the graphic is the medicine.” Think about that for a minute or two, the graphic IS the medicine—so cool right?

I think I will choose between these labels for the time being — Visual Storyteller or Comic Artist — the first being more inclusive of my work (graphic facilitator and recorder, observer of life) and the second being more my next move/my multi-panel works about my internship experience.

I’d love to hear your thinking!

If you’re the plant, what’s the sun, nutrients, and water?

There are so many changes possible in 2022 and yet there are some deeply challenging aspects from the past few years that remain.

With an eye on the present, and a desire to take good care of myself so that I can continue to grow and be of support to others, I’m focusing on what nurtures me. 

What’s nourishing you now?

Several times a week I turn to my Zentangle practice for the creativity and calm it provides me. For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with botanicals and last week I added color. 

I’m writing a few haiku almost every day (as part of a year-long program), as it really stretches me. Here’s one of my favorites:

Beauty of first snow

breathtaking and heart-stopping

Vanishes quickly

Meditation almost daily, and a silent retreat for part of this week, are both restful, a respite (from the cacophony of my life), and CHALLENGING.

My daily walks in the neighborhood and a local state park, and my standing desk keep me from feeling rooted in my chair and energize me.  

Happily, I’ve found a few groups of colleagues who stimulate and support me and I leave those meetings feeling inspired and connected. 

 

 

 

How are you growing yourself—whatever that looks like to you?  

What habits have you created? 

What is no longer serving you, that needs to be let go?

(And, just knowing that we need to leave that which holds us back, doesn’t make it easy to do.)

What dream do you have that will move you forward? How will you design the ease, growth, play, calm, or whatever it is that you desire? I’m guessing you know those answers if you make the time to ask and answer the questions and develop a plan. 

If having a sounding board or a partner to ask some of the questions and support you in the design of your own self-care package, please reach out to me. It is a delight and privilege to walk on the path/be a part of the journey with those who want to take good care of themselves and step into more of their dreams. 

New (and old) tools and resources

What’s new and/or different in your repertoire?

Last week, I started an online art course and learned not only new ideas and techniques but discovered tools I had never really used before (okay, a bit of dabbling in the past).

I have to say that I am smitten with Posca acrylic paint markers! They’re juicy, rich, thick-delightful! (It was my first time really working with acrylic markers… I have concluded (!) that I need more nibs of different sizes to enable me to color backgrounds more quickly AND get into tiny spaces.)

 

 

I started to reflect on tools I love and use consistently to make my work more fun (for me) appealing (to me and to others)!

What about you?

What’s new in you’re toolbox?

I swear by my fountain pen with PlatinumCarbon Ink Cartridges. The feel is so smooth and the ink seems to last FOREVER!

 

 

 

And, I was reminded yesterday of my “five-finger sketchpad” (h/t to Clark Strand, haiku editor for Tricycle magazine, for the reminder of how I use my fingers for counting syllables for my haiku every day).


What are the tools and resources you adore using?

What might increase your enjoyment of your daily work or special occasions? I’d love to know!

2022 is looking great!

I am sooooo delighted to be starting a new year! What about you?

How are you envisioning your work and play in the coming year? 

Yesterday, I was struck by the idea of laying out every little bit of my planning for public offerings (okay, that’s an exaggeration) for the first four months of the year… and I’m almost there. Here’s what is cooking in the variety of interrelated areas in which I work and play.

Choose to focus on your area(s) of interest or take it all in!

  • bikablo — visual practitioner work and play
  • Zentangle for focus and calm
  • Appreciative Living Learning Circle for a new look at your daily life, increasing your joy every day
  • Transformative Coaching: Appreciative Inquiry Design with a Positive Intelligence Approach
  • Sharing the Highlights of Our Lives Visually (Creating a Visual Obituary)  (Most recent addition, didn’t make the visual!)

If you prefer to see the big picture and then look at the details, here you go!

If you love a list, here’s the plan… 

BIKABLO Virtual Training Programs

Bikablo Basic Day 1

For sketchnoters, scribes, graphic recorders, and graphic facilitators… those on the path to becoming visual practitioners.

  • Learn to hold the pen, draw clean lines, and structure your space on the flip chart
  • Create graphics and text containers/geometric shapes, objects, and symbols
  • Discover the easy ways the bikablo®  method provides to draw people, roles, groups, and situations
  • Use simple and fast options to color elements and spaces to support the graphic structure
  • Improve your handwriting—make it more legible and attractive—on flip charts… and more!

Training fee and materials, $500 USD

2.8, 10, 15 & 17.22 — First time ever in the evenings! Register here

3.4 & 3.5.22 — Friday & Saturday, Register here

 

Bikablo Basic Day 1 Refresher (for previous participants, 25% discount)

3.4 & 3.5.22 — Friday & Saturday, Register here

Training fee and materials, $375 USD

 

Bikablo Day 2

Continue your journey and take your skills to the next level!

  • Learn rapid drawing techniques—draw icons, symbols, and figures FAST
  • Explore emotions
  • Improve your hand lettering—make it more legible and attractive
  • Discover and practice a variety of headline styles
  • Capture live conversations using a simple, elegant technique for creating visually appealing charts
  • Work and play with mobile elements to create evergreen posters
  • Develop a complex visual presentation—from idea to draft to revisions to final product

Training fee and materials, $500 USD

4.8 & 9.22, Register here

 

Bikablo Advanced

  • Deepen your use of the bikablo visualization technique!
  • Discover the three levels of poster/chart design
  • Work and play with the emotions figures—bring them to life in a wide variety of narrative situations
  • Develop transformation stories in three pictures with the emotions figures
  • Write more legibly and faster—check your handwriting against legibility criteria
  • Add to your repertoire of attractive headline styles
  • Learn new mapping styles to take your scribing skills to the next level—develop meaningful, structured charts
  • Use all the learning steps and methods in concert to create your final project

Training fee and materials, $900 USD

3.15, 17, 23, 25.22 — Register here

 

1:1 Time—Visual Practitioner Coaching with Jill

Are you seeking to raise your competencies in analogue or digital drawing and design? Whether it’s for your personal practice or  graphic recording or graphic facilitation for clients, I can help you see your work in new ways, refine your skills in layout, use of color and lettering or guide you to explore new styles of drawing. 

Package of three sessions—$600. Choose your sessions here. 

(Choose the first date and we will finalize the remaining two sessions.)

Individual session—$250/50 minutes. Choose your session here.

Please reach out to me with your questions about all of this programming!

 

ZENTANGLE

Every session is 7 pm ET for 75 minutes 

Tangling with Our Favorite Memory of the Year!*

12.30.20

FREE

Learn more here.

Register here.

* Previous experience with Zentangle required

 

Learn to tangle!

Intro to Zentangle session — FREE Session 

Begin the journey by exploring the roots of this art and the steps to follow to draw your own beautiful patterns. In the very first class, working with creamy white tiles, black Micron pen, pencil, and a smudger, you will learn how to create your own beautiful Zentangle tiles and leave with a hunger to learn even more!

1.4.22

2.9.22

3.3.22

Register here.

 

Zentangle series

Class 1

Stunning Black Zentangle tiles*

Explore the reverse of all you have learned—we will use black tiles and white pens! With gel pens in hand and white chalk pencil at the ready, we will play with layering techniques to create fascinating new visuals. Black tile and white pens—an awesome combination!

* features black tiles, pencil, white gel pen, and white chalk pencil

Class 2

Introduction to Renaissance Tiles*

In this session, we shift into working with tan tiles, black, and brown pens, and white gel pens to visit the time of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. We will study the iconic characteristics of these masters and use techniques that are similar to make our own works of art.

  • features Renaissance/tan tiles, black and sepia Micron pen, white gel pen, and white chalk pencil

Class 3

The Beauty of Zendalas*

Step into the mystery of circular pattern drawing—it’s relaxing and fantastic! These tiles are astonishing and call for our best creative selves. Learn to create simple designs that pop in this new configuration! Fall into the rhythm of working in the round.

  • features Zendala tiles plus pens noted above 

Class 4

Crossing the Border 

Join in the fun of creating beautiful borders for frames, greeting cards, postcards, and more! Discover specific tangles that work well in this format. We will focus on making frames for photo cards. This is a great way to share your tangling skills to surround a special photo of your family or friends.

  • features notecards plus pens noted above

Series Dates: 1.11, 18, 25 & 2.1.22

Buy the package!

  • Package of all series classes with all materials sent to you one week prior to class (USPS in the USA) — $120 ($96.00 + $24 for all materials, postage, and handling). Register here.
  • Package of all series classes (without materials) — $96.00, Register here,

 

ZIA—Zentangle Inspired Art for Valentine’s Day 

It’s not doodling and it’s not scribbling —it’s Zentangle Inspired Art! Take the art of the Zentangle method for creating beautiful images by drawing repetitive patterns—and change it up! 

In this session, we will draw tangles within representational constraints. Bring your favorite image in outline form—a heart, your initials, your sweetie’s initials—you choose! We’ll fill it with patterns using our pen and pencil, making our own unique works of art! You will complete the session feeling relaxed and calm.

2.7.22

FREE Session, Register here

** No previous experience required

 

Appreciative Living Learning Circle

Imagine what it would be like to…

  • Energize yourself each morning with a positive, productive attitude for the day  ahead…in less than five minutes
  • Transform the negative thoughts and beliefs that keep you stuck and unable to create the life you truly want 
  • Develop stronger, smoother and more meaningful relationships with your spouse, family, friends  and co-workers
  • Recognize the potential good in ANY and EVERY situation  

Appreciative Living Learning Circles were created to do just that! You will learn an easy-to-understand, practical set of exercises that will change the way you see the world and help you become truly happier.  And best of all, it takes just a few minutes a day.  

4.9, 16, 23 & 30.22

Group ALLC – $149 + purchase book on your own. Register here.

Group ALLC for returning participants — $119 (20% discount), Register here.

Package — ALLC course + one 50 min coaching session – $349 (Group experience plus 20 % discount on the coaching session.) Register here.

Package of Group ALLC course + three 50 min coaching sessions – $749 (Group experience plus 20 % discount on coaching package of three sessions.) Register here.

 

Sharing the Highlights of Our Lives Visually 

When we make the time to think about the breadth and depth of our lives, there is so much to be remembered!

In this two-part workshop, we share what we know about writing obituaries and explore the topic of life stories. We learn about creating visual obituaries and use a variety of questions to spark memories. There’s time in between sessions to gather memories, photos, and materials and create your visual. We come together to share our creations and experiences with this life-affirming process.

3. 16 & 23.22

Register here.

 

Transformative Coaching—Appreciative Inquiry Lens + PQ/Positive Intelligence approach 

Available year-round!

Curious to learn more about this fascinating, fun, and life-changing work? Discover if this approach is the right fit for you!

Book a time for a complimentary strategy session, here.

Frame the way you want to see it! 

As the year comes to a close, we may focus our attention on the grief, pain, and trauma of the last 12 months. And, without question, we need to spend time, be/sit with, acknowledge, and work with those emotions. And, that’s not a one-time experience. Grieving over disappointments and difficulties, sickness, and death is a process, really inner work, that happens over time, and on no particular timetable. Being gentle with ourselves, living in the present, and opening up to finding a place in our hearts and minds for our losses is crucial.

I invite you to reflect on this past year—all of it—and then shift your attention to what you want to remember and carry forward with you. I have created a guided visualization to support you in remembering the bright spots—the people, projects, events, and connections—of this year. I’m happy to share the link* with you if you would like to listen and use it as a prompt for collecting your memories.

And, I’m wondering if you would like to join me for a session memorializing your memory. Here’s what I have in mind:

Tangling with Our Favorite Memory of the Year!

  • Find a photo or draw a picture of one of your favorite memories of 2021. While it can be any size, I’d suggest 5 x 7 inches (or smaller).  
  • Use a piece of card stock—white, cream, or black, 8.5 x 11 inches if your using a 5 x 7 photo/drawing/image… larger paper if you’re using a larger image because we will tangle the “frame” of our work.
  • Gather a Micron pen (01), a no. 2 pencil, tortillon/smudger/have your pink in hand (hahaha!), and if you’re working on black paper, gather a white gel pen, chalk pencil and if you’re feeling like it, silver or gold sparkly gel pen too.
  • Have scissors and ruler or paper cutter.
  • Lastly, glue stick, glue, tape, or zots.

We’ll tangle a frame around the photo of our choosing… be ready to work and play with new Zentangle patterns!

See you on Thursday, December 30th at 7 pm on Zoom. Sign up here for the session and guided visualization* (Zoom details will be sent following sign-up.)

 

Hoping to tangle with you on Thursday!