Younito Man

During the VizConf 2019 OpenSpace planning, when participants advertised their sessions and everyone voted for the ones they were interested in, collaboratively creating the daily agenda, a petite woman in her 50s came to the front. She smiled and said she wanted to lead a session on “How to be a newbie”. My heart sunk. I thought that after ‘serious’ topics like “Lettering for Lefties”, “Visualisation in Education”, and “Digital Scribing”, that we already had on the board, no one would want to hear her speak. 

How wrong was I. Nearly every hand in the room shot up? “Being a newbie” was one of our most popular sessions that day. We talked about how hard it is to start something new and what resources, tools and tricks one can employ to help visualisation progress.

Plato said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work”.  It is also often the hardest.

With the first month of 2020 over, have you begun taking steps towards being a more confident visual practitioner?  Whether you are a professional or a complete amateur, becoming better at any aspect of visualisation begins with the single first step.

So, here are just a few “newbie” suggestions to help you start building your
visualisation muscles this year.

  1. Enrol in a  visualisation class. (try bikablo fundamentals or up your game with an advanced class)
  2. Try a short session, like an intro to sketchnoting with Justin Cheong or intro to graphic recording with Alice Edy,  if you are scared to commit to a few days of training.
  3. Find an online course.
  4. Join a free visualisation meetup group.
  5. Invest in some books on the topic, like this pocket graphic recorder’s guide by Jessamy Gee.
  6. Stand out at work by launching ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions. Invite guest speakers.
  7. Like shopping? Enjoy selecting new stationery and markers to get excited about practising.
  8. Social media tragic? Find some accounts or hashtags to follow to provide you with regular inspiration, tips and tricks (#visualisation #bikablo #visualfacilitation, #sketchnoting, etc)
  9. Have a 30-day drawing challenge, for example, practise a new icon every day for thirty days.
  10. Finally, volunteer to scribe for meetings or presentations at your work (you can do it!)
  11. Try and perfect something new, whether it’s digital scribing, making comics, lettering or simply working with larger pieces of paper.
  12. Start writing your ‘to do’ and shopping lists using icons.
  13. Have kids? Start a Friday drawing club with them at home and learn together.
  14. Find a visualisation mentor or group coaching.
  15. Build your network, connect with people you are curious about or admire, ask them for coffee and pick their brain.

And the best bit? You can start making plans for 2020 visually. Grab a piece of paper, a marker and draw your visualisation journey for 2020.

If you need help – join our free video training here or ask for a visual career coaching session with Marcel here

All you need to do is simply begin, and before you know it, you’ll no longer be a newbie.

Natalia Tsygankova

The article was written by Natalia Tsygankova. Natalia has always loved words and talking to people. She has put that passion to good use and has been sharing people’s stories in the community radio, TV and print media for the last 10 years. Natalia is also a big fan of true storytelling events and regularly volunteers at the most famous one – The Moth, interviewing the winner. You can hear her own story of moving to Australia from Russia in 1999 here. Natalia believes that everyone has a story – So what’s yours? Contact her today to share your story.


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