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
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.