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Reflecting on the Shape of Our Lives

Two weeks ago, I posed these questions…

🌀 What experiences have nurtured and shaped you throughout your life?

🌀 Who has inspired and supported you over the years? Who might do so in the future?

🌀 As you view and reflect on all these answers, how have these “nutrients” formed your essence? (Another metaphor may be, “What is the foundation you are standing on?“)

🌀 What more do you want to bring into your life? And, conversely, what will you let go of or re-shape to better serve who you are now and want to be in the future?

I am wondering if you made the time to answer them. I hope so! Here’s the overview of my thoughts:

As promised, I devoted time to reflecting on the people in my life—past and present—who have helped me grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. While my drawing identifies few folks by name, I took a walk through my memories, from childhood through to the present. The revisiting of my life experiences—from relationships to schooling, travel, work, and more has led me to appreciate the successes and challenges that have, in part, formed who I am at this moment in time.

Happily, I have an ever-widening circle of friends and colleagues who continue to inspire me. Interestingly, I am letting go of just a few of my projects (though I love them) to make more time for what I am deciding matters most to me.

I hope that you have savored your journey from the past to the present too.

Opportunities for learning and growing—oh my!

Gosh, it’s been an amazing couple of weeks! I’m stretching in new and unexpected ways!

What’s your spring been like?

  • In March, I began a course of study that requires me to use new processes and formats. Part of the work is writing/drafting, submitting, revising, submitting, revising, and sending off finished papers about all of our courses. It’s a rigorous (and lengthy) process! 
  • I’ve started working with a mentor. Deciding on the shape of that experience with a person completely new to me is both exciting and challenging. I am at the beginning of a two-year journey and there is much to consider… my background, interests and goals, her expertise, our styles of interaction, the nature of such a relationship—it’s complex!

  • Just last week, I offered a joint coaching session to the two participants who had most successfully followed the guidelines I created for assessing graphic recording work, (from my session for the Visual Jam). It was such a delight working with these women who came in with high-quality visuals and helping them to make their pieces even better. Another set of eyes, a different perspective, it’s a gift.
  • I’m developing a visual storytelling piece to present at a conference in July. While the concept is really clear in my mind, how it comes together on paper/my iPad is still a work in progress. I decided that I needed support and so reached out for an accountability buddy—to get the work and play of it done—and to offer me feedback. It’s been awesome! My colleague, who is an accomplished author, shares ideas that would never have occurred to me. Happily, I do the same for her current project.
  • One of my clients is seeking to dramatically change her approach to digital recording. Each coaching session we review recent pieces together, identifying what’s working and why, then we discuss alternatives to the options chosen re: layout, use of color, lettering hierarchy, iconography, and the harmony of text and drawings. (This is the type of work I do for myself too. At the end of almost every project, I look at what I have created and think of at least one other way to do it completely differently! It is both a blessing and a curse to have those insights.)

What projects are on your plate?

How are you gaining perspective about your work? 

Who are your mentors, guides, or coaches as you continue to learn and grow? 

How is the “feedforward” you’re receiving supporting your goals?

As you can tell, I always believe that it’s possible to do things just a bit better! Old dog, new tricks!

Reach out to me if you want to explore your next best steps.

 

Postscript: In honor of  May as Mental Health Awareness Month, I am going to post again tomorrow with my visual from two weeks ago and one of my favorite resources for taking good care of myself. 

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.

How are you growing in your practice?

With spring in the air and shoots emerging from the cold, brown earth, my mind follows suit—I am thinking about growth and change! One of the ever-present areas of interest and practice is in honing my signature style…

What’s your signature style? What has been your journey in developing and refining it?

I think about this question in all areas of my work though I encounter it the most frequently when I am teaching visualization skills. Folks come into the bikablo courses I offer with the initial desire to learn how to do what they have seen in the books and online— literally the drawings and also the methodology which supports the development of their skills. As people progress, they want to make their work a reflection of themselves which to me, is a sign of their growing sophistication. When I’m asked about how they can develop their own style, I reflect on my journey.

What’s your foundation… what supports you? What are you building on?

I began drawing, for use in my training business, with the book, Beyond Words, by Millie Sonneman. As I remember it, she said if you can draw circles, squares, and triangles, you can draw just about anything well enough for people to recognize it. I took her at her word and started drawing on flip chart paper taped to the glass door separating my kitchen from the deck. I loved it—it was fresh, fun, expansive—it opened up another channel of communication for me.

Feeling that my initial work was good yet there was more to be learned, I started poking around online, (back in the late 1990’s) and discovered  Nancy Margulies. I studied how she created her drawings—to learn how she looked at things and started to imitate her style. Her approach was completely different than Millie’s in that she used swatches of color to create her figures. Nancy mentored me briefly and the experience moved me in a different direction—it was fantastic! I searched further and found Christina Merkley, ultimately taking courses with her for over a decade.

In 2016, I attended the IFVP conference and participated in two workshops delivered by the bikablo team of Frank Wesseler and Stefan Böker. I loved the simple approach supported by the structure and methodology—it made it easy to learn and achieve good results fast. Now almost 5 years later, I have become a Bikablo trainer. I’ve also worked hard, OK I have worked and played hard, to develop and use a style that is recognizable as mine in my work outside of teaching the Bikablo method. I have discovered that my digital work/play affords me better practice in sharpening and refining my style because it is so easy to make changes… though that is a double-edged sword because I’ve become more perfectionistic about my work with my Apple Pencil in hand.

How has repetition and persistent, consistent, practice helped you to evolve? In what ways, and in what situations, are you developing your signature style?

Here are a few examples of my own style over the past year or so… as you can see I am still “on the move” incorporating new ways of drawing, using color, experimenting with layouts, and lettering. It’s such fun!

How are you saying, “Yes!” to change and growth in your visualization practice?

If your future visualizing work could be any way you wanted it to be, what would it be? Maybe you’re all set with your signature style of drawing figures, icons, and graphical elements—maybe layout, new uses of color, or lettering are what’s up for you. Or maybe, there’s some other aspect of your work that you want to explore?

How will you be the agent of your own change?

If you’re looking for personalized support along the way, a partner on this journey, let’s have a cuppa coffee (or tea) and conversation over Zoom…

And, if you’re seeking a group coaching environment, to learn from others too, e-xtraklasse starts next week— I’d love to have you join this small coaching program that focuses on deepening your skills. Learn more here, reach out to me with your questions, and register here.

What’s on your horizon?

New day dawning! 

What is on your horizon for 2022?

I’m brimming with excitement—there’s so much I want to do and share. Here are my offerings at a glance — events for the first four months of the year plus my coaching offerings that are available year-round.

I hope you will read the course details and registration infomation on my calendar page and join me!

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

BIKABLO Virtual Training Programs

Bikablo Basic Day 1

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

5.17 & 19.22

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

5.17 & 19.22

Bikablo Day 2

Continue your journey, going deeper and broader — take your skills to the next level!

4.8 & 9.22

 

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. 

 

ZENTANGLE

Learn to tangle!

Intro to Zentangle session — FREE Sessions 

Begin the journey by exploring the roots of this art and the steps to follow to draw your own beautiful patterns.

4.2.22 at 11 am EST/10 am CST/9 am MST/8 am PST

5.4.22 at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST/5 pm MST/4 pm PST

6.14.22 at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST/6 pm MST/5 pm PST

 

Zentangle series

Class 1:  Stunning Black Zentangle tiles*

Class 2: Introduction to Renaissance Tiles*

Class 3: The Beauty of Zendalas*

Class 4: Crossing the Border 

Series Dates: 4.6, 13, 20, 27

 

ZIA—Zentangle Inspired Art—FREE Session

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! 

April 19 — 7 pm ET/6 pm CT/5 pm MT/4 pm PT

April 30 — 1 pm ET/12 am CT/11 am MT/10 am PT

Fundraiser for Ukraine. Learn more here and register here

 

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  

4.23, 30, 5.7 & 14.22

 

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!