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Not credentials, coasters! A fresh way to tell a company story.

Soji and Guy Downes - Coasters
Discovery, curiosity, experimentation and storytelling are core to Soji Learning & Change – a nationwide consultancy based out of Adelaide that develops leaders, aligns strategy and shapes culture. So it was no surprise when they recently approached me with the brilliant idea of developing a set of coasters that tells a micro story as well as their approach to business. As the illustrator, my role was come up with a simple but rich metaphor that could bring the whole story to life as well as the individual sentence on each coaster. I centred my illustrations on people working to nurture and grow a beautiful garden.

Other than a great spot to park your tea or coffee, the coasters will be used as client gifts and as an alternative to PowerPoint credentials in business development meetings to help spark dialogue and questioning. Imagine ditching the laptop or iPad and simply spreading six coasters on a table alongside the person you are meeting? For me that’s fresh, bold thinking and a great way to share a story and foster a meaningful conversation.
Coasters

Coasters

Coasters

Coasters

Illustrating a coffee table book for The Growth Project

Ripples - book illustrated by Guy Downes
After 12 months of learning and growing as part of The Growth Project, the charity and business leaders involved in the program produced a collection of their thoughts, learnings and advice. These stories were pulled together to create an illustrated book called ‘Ripples’. As the book’s illustrator, my role was to bring to life a key message from each story with a simple B&W cartoon. As you can see, each illustration was given a full page, which really let each cartoon have a big impact. The first photo shows me at the book launch next to a banner with all the illustrations.

Filled with contributions from charities you might never have heard of and the business leaders who have travelled beside them in the journey, ‘Ripples’ shares great lessons and learnings that will inspire, move or spark you into action.

The Growth Project is a non-profit organisation that supports small, successful charities to maximise their impact on the world. You can see my previous work for The Growth Project here: http://www.guydownes.com/2015/10/helping-those-who-help-2/
Ripples - book illustrated by Guy Downes

Telling important stories in 30 seconds: exploring a new video scribe animation format

Working closely with Soji Learning & Change, we’ve been exploring a new, micro visual storytelling format, which we’re calling SNAP videos (Short Narrative And Picture). These 30 second bursts of sketched storytelling get to the point, but also have a twist in the tail.

This video example for Soji is a prototype. The idea is to create a structure that unfolds in two parts. Initially we hear the voiceover together with my hand sketching out a picture. Then the shot zooms out to reveal the key image positioned within a different or unexpected setting that amplifies the message or gives a twist to the story (helping people to get curious and thinking differently). The story and picture is then reinforced with wording, which appears on the screen at the very end.

Whether you are looking for a way to support a change or development initiative, highlight values and behaviours or reinforce elements of a new strategy, we think these short blasts will be a great way of keeping messages top of mind and could be used in face-to-face settings (large or small), online or across social media. To see more of my visualisation work with Soji Learning & Change, please visit: http://sketchspeak.com.au/#welcome

Drawing out key ideas and insights at #ItsuptoYOUth

Youth-Health_Guy-Downes-1
In NSW, there are approximately 2.4 million children and young people. Engaging with, listening to and letting this important group in society have their voices heard was recently a key focus at “#ItsuptoYOUth Youth Health Policy Consultation” workshop for young people of Greater Western Sydney aged between 14-24 years old. As the graphic recorder at the event, held in the beautiful old Parramatta Town Hall, my role was to capture and draw out the content from a series of fast paced and wide ranging group conversations on key issues across the youth health and services spectrum. The energy in the room was great and it was a privilege to take the visual notes on some of the ideas, insights and issues that matter to children and young people today.
Youth-Health_Guy-Downes-2
Youth-Health_Guy-Downes-3

Graphic recording at the CSIRO SMiSposium 2016 conference

CSIRO SMiSposium 2016 conference
I was recently invited to graphic record the ‘CSIRO SMiSposium 2016: Partnering for the Future’ conference in Sydney at Doltone House. This CSIRO Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools program (SMiS) event was aimed at sparking important conversation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Australia. As the event’s graphic recorder, my role was to draw creative and relevant visual notes of the key presentations given by a range of experts from education, STEM, government, industry and academia backgrounds. The presentations, conversations, insights and ideas were fantastic content for graphic recording and live scribing. Here are some posters of my work as well as a great shot of the bustling conference room with my graphic recording boards in the background.
CSIRO SMiSposium 2016 conference
CSIRO SMiSposium 2016 conference

Video scribing the Futures Learning story

Working closely with the Department of Education NSW Futures Learning team, we recently created a video scribe animation to raise awareness and understanding how space and technology can support future focused pedagogies and deeply engage students in developing critical 21st century skills. The video scribe animation was brought to life using a compelling story of two teachers in different schools and how they went about navigating the opportunities and realities of a Futures Learning approach as well as the positive results that it delivered.

Listening and doodling can be powerful learning tools in business

Mojo Radio Show A3 visual notes
Podcasts are a great way to be entertained and learn about new things, anywhere and anytime. I recently had a conversation with the crew at The Mojo Radio Show who were keen to get my view on how drawing and using visuals can enhance learning, recall and knowledge transfer in a business setting. Check it out by clicking here.

Straight after the interview, I used the audio file from The Mojo Radio Show crew to go through the same process I take when graphic recording to create visual notes of the show (see the image above). The visual notes capture the key ideas, themes and interesting parts of the conversation and taking this same approach (either ‘live’ in the room or retrospectively) can be a great way to create an engaging communication and memory tool in a business setting. I also created a unique cartoon about podcasts in business which you can see right here on my dedicated cartoon site www.officeguycartoons.com

The Mojo Radio Show is a regular podcast designed to bring listeners useable, practical and up to date insights, techniques and tools to get their ‘mojo working’ in and out of work. To listen to more of their interviews, go to: www.themojoradioshow.com
Thanks to Gary and Robbo for inviting me on the show.

Action brings clarity

Working closely with my production team, we’ve recently developed a new style of product in our video scribe animation service line. The new slant is the ability for speakers/spokespeople to be integrated within the video scribe animation and next to my drawings using green screen technology and some clever post production techniques. This video scribe animation was created to profile the amazing story of Peter Baines and how he helps organisations around the world. For more information on Peter’s personal career journey and the difference he makes, visit here.

Drawing attention to the NDIS rollout in NSW

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a vital reform that will give people with disability choice and control over their lives and the supports they receive. Once fully rolled out around 140,000 people in NSW will receive support under the NDIS. When and how people enter the scheme can be a bit complicated so it was a privilege to work with the Nous Group to develop this simple and creative video scribe animation to help tell the story about the roll-out.

NDIS rollout in NSW

To view the video, visit the NDIS website.

Nous Group’s commitment to reconciliation

Nous Group, one of Australia’s leading management consultants, is committed to reconciliation and closing the gap because the firm believes reconciliation is critically important to their organisation, our society and Australia’s future. My 2 minute video scribe animation (with digital and sound effects) brings their story, philosophy and strategy in this area to life.

Nous Group was recently voted one of Australia’s Top 5 workplaces in the 2015 BRW Best Places to Work Awards and this award follows their clients voting them ‘Best management consulting firm, Australia‘, in the 2015 Australian Financial Review Client Choice Awards.