Posts

Practice makes perfect… I think not!

What do you think?

I’m no fan of that phrase or thinking.

  • What kind of practice?
  • Why do I need to make it perfect?

Perhaps a little context is needed here… I’m not a heart surgeon or a rocket scientist for NASA. If I were in either of those fields or a variety of others, then perfectionism might be a worthy trait… not so much in my work as a visual practitioner. Let me tell you how this plays out for me and then I hope you’ll let me know what you think.

I create visuals to teach people how to draw, capture course content (as a learner), make templates for my books and participants, and record presentations of conference speakers. Sharpening my skills through learning new techniques or taking a deeper dive into my existing technique is exciting to me. I always strive to do my best work, and for me, that means,

Persistent, consistent, and conscious practice makes progress

For me, being consistent and aware in my practice — looking at each time I take a stroke or make my favorite figure or create a layout, this is what leads to improving the quality of my work, increasing my speed.

In our bikablo training there’s a particular stroke for making two types of shadows that takes a good deal of practice for folks. And while I suggest that my students repeat the stroke A LOT—while in meetings or on hold on the phone or at other opportunities, I remind them to make each stroke consciously and learn from it.

What worked well? What needs work?

What are the elements to the experience and what needs to be fine-tuned—is it the position of the pen, the beginning, middle, and/or end of the stroke, the way they are holding their wrist?

How do you plan for improving/strengthening your technique and your work? What conscious practices do you consistently embrace to hone your craft? I have a colleague who is FABULOUS at blending pastels… Just below is an example of my playing/experimenting with pastels and learning the technique that gives me the results that I seek.

I find that placing myself in a learning context for improvement is the biggest boost I can give my skills. And while I can’t take classes every week, I can choose wisely from the existing opportunities, so that I continue to grow.

What does your professional development plan include? What courses, books, study groups, 1:1 coaching or other means are you using to continue your journey?

 

For those of you who have taken a bikablo class and are seeking to deepen your skills, the E-xtraklasse, a ten-session Small group coaching journey offers … The journey begins in September… you can learn more about it here or get In touch with me.

If 1:1 coaching for a project or a series of sessions is more your appetite, let’s have a conversation!

Whatever options you choose to level up your performance, I say,

 

Be persistent, consistent, and conscious in your practice!

.

Paste, glue, rubber cement…. Making learning stick!

In what ways do you lock in your learning and have ready access to it all the time?

I’ve been pondering this critical question of late—for me and for the participants in my bikablo training programs.

The most urgent concerns I hear from participants at the end of the bikablo Basics training courses is about assimilating the new skills into their everyday lives. Participants wonder about how to consistently and consciously practice their visual thinking skills. My answer is always the same… first I say,

Use your skills every day in every way!

  • Goal setting—for yourself and/or with others
  • Planning for a meeting or a piece you are writing
  • Capturing ideas, questions, decisions, plans in a meeting
  • Creating templates for training, facilitation experiences, and coaching sessions
  • Reflecting on a meeting, strategy session
  • Drawing in your journal instead of writing
  • Buddy up! Get clear on what you want to learn/do/apply and find a companion for that journey

Reflecting & drawing about how to use my visualizing skills in my work.

Clearly, this part of my answer is task-oriented/tactical—making it easier to get their arms around it… the second part of the answer is more strategic and gets at how we do what we do in our lives.

My friend & colleague, Julia Curtis and I are working our way through Making Comics, by Lynda Barry.

Make time and space in your everyday routines to draw!

While it sounds simple—the suggestion is deceptively complex. It requires changing ingrained habits… those things that become like barnacles on our minds!

We have conversations about ways to enhance their existing habits and create behavior change. I suggest The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg… and yet, weeks later, in an email, at our  North America Alumni Graphic Jam, or in passing at a virtual conference, I hear the longing from alumni to better leverage their skills.

 

 

Meeting participants’ needs and my own desires in one fell swoop!

Last week I completed the Train-the-Trainer course new bikablo training, e-xtraklasse, because I want to take folks deeper into their own learning, beyond the basics, AND I want them to integrate it into their everyday lives. 

A shot of my micro-teaching during the e-xtraklasse

In wanting to support my participants in consistently accessing their skills, I have turned to offering bikablo’s e-xtraklasse and “1:1” coaching. The former is a deep dive into strengthening their skills, learning from others, and being tasked with homework during the 10 session program. E-xtraklasse is the right fit for those wanting a small group coaching environment, and, for those desiring one to one attention and or needing/wanting confidentiality around a project.

You can learn more about these new offerings on my site, here.

Registration is Open for the Bikablo 1 Day Basic—Virtual Delivery

Jill Langer, my Bikablo colleague in Canada, and I had so much fun delivering the Bikablo Basic One Day Virtual program last week, that we’ve scheduled a second for June 15th & 17th!

Please contact us with any questions after you have learned the details of the offering. Registration is now open and space is limited.

 

Registration is Open for the Bikablo 1 Day Basic—Virtual Delivery

We have exciting news to share!

The “Jills”—Jill Langer, my Bikablo colleague in Canada, and I —are offering the Bikablo Basic program in May!

Please contact us with any questions after you have learned the details of the offering. Registration is now open and space is limited.

 

Bikablo 1 Day Basic—Virtually!

We have exciting news to share!

The “Jills”—Jill Langer, my Bikablo colleague in Canada, and I —are offering the Bikablo Basic program in May!

Please contact us with any questions after you have learned the details of the offering. Registration opens tomorrow—space is limited.