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The deliciousness of re-imagining work and play

The past few weeks have been flurry of activity—with travel, speaking at a conference, meetings with colleagues from around the world, a summit, and a wee bit of vacation too. The experience of doing something different every day was exhilarating.

Now that I’m back home, it’s time to dive into the work and play of crafting new aspects of my professional and personal lives. I feel a desire to find my way back into the comfort of a routine to support the changes I want to make. I wonder a bit about that feeling, though I realize that a routine can facilitate processes for me.

How are you experiencing your life right now? 

Have you had some time away from work? What did it feel like to step away? And to return?

The Visual Thinking Global Summit in Bilbao, Spain, SHAKE it to SHAPE it!, gave me the time and space to explore my world—where am I now, what will nourish, challenge, and support me going forward?

What existing and new knowledge, processes, tools, resources, and relationships can I tap into, explore, leverage, or amplify to move in the slightly new direction I am envisioning? I have ideas grounded in my reflections and insights from the summit. These questions  loom large for me:

  • What do I dream about?
  • What experiments will I design to discover the path I want to take?
  • What will I let go of?
  • What I will commit to?
  • What timeline I will create for developing these ideas, the pieces of the mosaic of my life?

Related to all this imagining is the practical piece… How will I carve out the time for this work and play of altering the course of my practice? As a maker, I need large blocks of time to work on projects — to dream, imagine, design, question, play, create, revise, and complete. As a solopreneur, I have to ”manage”/guide my business and the various projects that comprise my work.

A recent article in Upworthy on Paul Graham’s work, by Annie Reneau, describes how makers and managers perceive time (and meetings) made me pause. I felt that it explained a lot about my scheduling of myself. I am both a maker (for work and play) and a “manager” of my practice and my life.

I loved this visual by Reese Jones, it feels spot on to me. It made it so clear that I need to create blocks of time and then be certain to use them in the way I intend. It’s also critical to have those smaller chunks of time for smaller tasks. 

What’s your understanding of how you use time? Is it serving you?

I am going to recalibrate my schedule and keep an eye on whether I am using it in alignment with my intentions. A new routine seems in order for the present. When I have a new plan, I will need to assess my calendaring again—that feels right to me!

I’d be curious to hear your experiences with making the time to reflect on your business/work, how you plan for and make changes and what supports you in the process. I hope you will be in touch!

It’s about the how as much as the what, and definitely the why!

In my travels over the past few weeks, I’ve met folks who didn’t know me or my work. Answering the question of what I do, sometimes feels challenging!

Have you had that experience? What do you say? How has your response changed over time?

In the (recent) past I would briefly answer, “I teach people to think and draw so they can communicate more effectively” without getting into the details of visualization or bikablo.

My new answer is, “I help people visualize… (Wait, what does that mean?) to express, share, and capture ideas through combining drawings and words, to more effectively communicate.”

When sharing about visualization/Bikablo

It’s about the how…how to

  • hold the marker
  • draw the various types of lines
  • attend to the details
  • create layouts 
  • use color 
  • understand and use the methodology

and the what

Simple planning for the weekend.

Whether we are “talking” to ourselves (planning, strategizing, remembering, creating) or working with others (graphically recording a meeting, event or training, graphically facilitating an experience, coaching, or training) we are clear about our purpose—it is not art. We consciously do it all in service of clear communication.

When talking about Zentangle 

I share with people, “I teach a meditative art form.” (Wait, what does that mean?)

My new answer is, “I help students create beautiful designs through drawing simple, structured patterns. In the process of learning, they gain perspective about their capabilities and a new understanding of themselves.”

By learning the Zentangle method, its philosophy, and drawing techniques, I guide people in discovering their inner artists.

It’s about the how…how to 

  • use the five marks of Zentangle in a variety of combinations 
  • work within guidelines for drawing
  • integrate the philosophy so that it becomes a practice
  • become more mindful, relax and focus
  • breathe and let go when we make mistakes (as we will inevitably do… we are human)

It is an easy shift, for everyone I work with, to understand that we are the artists, the creators of our work and our lives.

As artists/people, we all face challenges— interacting with others, with materials, living within systems, learning and failing, and more. 

 

 

Why do you do what you do? What have you noticed about why you have chosen your work?

I’ve noticed patterns in my life. I have always gravitated toward transformational work—whether it is my personal growth or the needs and desires of those I want to work with or the systems that I believe need to change.

My work continues to evolve—now I seek to be more aware of the inner struggles, learning and growth of individuals… discovering and shining a light on people’s strengths, values, and capabilities, and asking people what supports them through challenges. I find that I can ask these questions no matter the content that I am sharing (or the hat I am wearing).

What is your thinking about your work… the what, the how, and the why?

If I asked you for a brief and rich description of your work and why you do it—what would you say? I’d like 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.

Mmmmmotivation!

Last Sunday I spoke at Brandy Agerbeck’s ENVISION event—it was fabulous and so much fun! Brandy had tasked with addressing, fully engaging with the topic of motivation. So, my question for you is…

What motivates you? 

Maybe the first question or the better first question is, what does motivation mean to you? 

How is it different from inspiration? 

And where do you “get” both of those things? 

Inspiration is exciting, it pulls me forward. I’m inspired/totally engaged in almost all my projects or endeavors. 

Motivation is the engine/energy that keeps me going because in most projects not only is there a beginning, middle, and end, there are also periods of excitement, immersion, flow, joy, and yet there are also those times of disappointment, feeling stuck, working through challenges, frustrations, making and learning from my mistakes and rising up again. 

 

One of the fabulous ideas from Brandy Agerbeck’s ENVISION 2021 Card Deck

So my question for you is, what keeps you moving forward (know that this is not a straight line) when it gets challenging?

For me, part of it is my philosophy of life. I’m steeped in the field of positive psychology and come from an Appreciative Inquiry perspective. In short, I endeavor to focus on the positive AND be realistic/acknowledge the things are difficult. Ultimately, I choose to focus my attention and energy on what’s going well, to amplify that, to work with the things that I perceive to be obstacles, concerns, or frustrations. 

So when I need motivation, I think about experiences I’ve had in the past that are similar. They/the learning and insights become the foundation to build on. And, I love turning to books, articles, websites, and, of course, my ever-growing network of colleagues and friends, who among them possess a vast amount of knowledge. Truth be told,  I’m also motivated by the deadline…

How about you?

I’d love to hear you’re strategies and tactics for generating and maintaining your motivation.

How are you growing?

As we wind down from summer and gear up for fall there’s a lot to be thinking about!

What are you reading? 

That was the question from my buddy in Tasmania as we chatted over the weekend. I’d like to take that question and run with it.

What are the resources that you are currently working with and expanding on? What’s new and exciting in your world?

For me, the past few weeks have been chock full of new experiences, new resources, and using existing resources in new ways. 

The bikablo + IPEVO Meet Up two weeks ago was brilliant! I say that because we—the bikablo team and the participants—were using existing tools (document cameras, markers, and paper), and collaborating in new and different ways. 

 

 

The Graphic Medicine UnConvention was fantastic! I wrote about it on LinkedIn in August and just this past week here.

As a result of presenting and participating in the GM UnConvention, I have read Rosalie Lightning, by Tom Hart. It is an incredible graphic memoir. Truth be told, I have also signed up for the Graphic Memoir course offered by Sequential Artists Workshop and the Graphic Memoir Working Group. I believe that aspects of the internship I started last week will become a graphic memoir.

And, I have this stack of books to dive into—just some of the books suggested in the second lesson of SAW’s Graphic Memoir course—I’ll be working my way through them starting this weekend. 

Finally, my schedule and the Visual Thinkers Society monthly meeting are in sync—I can’t wait to join the meeting on Saturday morning!

Next week, I will start the bikablo Sketchnoting train-the-trainer course… it’s going to be great to learn from Amelie Vesper once again and join my colleagues in this training. I’ll be offering this course soon too!

Lastly, I am expanding my digital drawing capabilities by learning Concepts, a vector-based app… More to tell about the project that will support soon!

Upon reflection, the themes I am noticing now are, self-education through books, videos, podcasts, and direct instruction from colleagues, focused practice, and the beauty of collaborations with colleagues.

What are you noticing about your world?

What’s new in your world? Please ping me and let me know!