Latest Work


Top author, Adam Grant, features my cartoon in his book, Hidden Potential.

One of my most popular and best-selling cartoons, Podium Finish, is featured in Hidden Potential. In his new book, organizational psychologist and best-selling author, Adam Grant, ‘illuminates how we can elevate ourselves and others to unexpected heights’. Again, a big thanks to Adam for liking and selecting my work. You can find out more about the book here: Hidden Potential – Adam Grant To take a closer look at my featured cartoon, click here: Podium Finish – Office Guy Cartoons 

Adam Grant’s work explores the science of motivation, generosity, rethinking, and potential. For more information on Adam, check out his website: Adam Grant – Books, Podcast, TED Talks, Newsletter, Articles

Bring your edge: Next Generation Graduates Program

It was fantastic to work with CSIRO, to tell this story about our national science agency’s new graduate research training program for AI, quantum and emerging technology. We created the animation from end-to-end, including discovery meetings, script, illustrations, voice over and post-production. The entire production process was conducted remotely. To find out more about Next Gen, feel free to visit: Student information – CSIRO

Make your content more captivating with cartoons and illustrations

This photo shows a good sample of books, magazines and journals where my pre-drawn or bespoke cartoons and illustrations have been used recently. Cartoons can captivate, add clarity, pose questions or simply help make people smile. Consider using cartoons in your next piece of content, whether that’s a book, an article, a blog or a presentation or something entirely different.

You can check out my cartoons here:  


One of my cartoons is in Adam Grant’s best-selling book, Think Again.

One of my cartoons featured in Adam Grant’s million-copy best-selling book: Think Again. Adam’s book ‘examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people’s minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life’. A huge thanks to Adam for picking one of my cartoons. You can find out more about the book here: Think Again, the latest book from Adam Grant To take a closer look at my featured cartoon, click here: When I’m successful… – Office Guy Cartoons

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author who explores the science of motivation, generosity, rethinking, and potential. For more information: Adam Grant – Books, Podcast, TED Talks, Newsletter, Articles


Improving childhood asthma management in Melbourne’s inner west

We were delighted to work with the Department of Health Victoria on this important topic. We created the animation from end-to-end, including discovery meetings, script, illustrations, voice over and post-production. The entire production process was conducted remotely. The animation highlights the great work of many clinicians, organisations and people in the community, all seeking to improve the management of childhood asthma in Melbourne’s west. To find out more about the initiative, feel free to visit: Improving childhood asthma management in Melbourne’s inner west |

My ‘Podium Finish’ cartoon exhibited at the Musée de l’Armée, Paris.

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in Paris is 2024, the Musée de l’Armée devoted an exhibition to the notion of Victory and the various ways in which women and men have experienced, celebrated and embodied it across the world and history. My cartoon was displayed to show the hidden effort and sacrifices sportspeople make well before they succeed – most of this struggle and commitment is hidden and unseen. To take a closer look at my featured cartoon, click here: Podium Finish – Office Guy Cartoons To find out more about the exhibition, take a look here: Victory! The Making of Heroes – Musée de l’Armée (

‘Beating Hearts of Australia’: Rural & Regional Maternity Services

Improving regional health in Australia is a topic that matters a lot to me. So, it was a privilege to work with RANZCOG and create this animation to highlight how Rural Maternity Services are the foundation for healthy, prosperous, and growing rural communities. RANZCOG has used this animation widely, including during a visit to Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra. Animations can be a great way to get a key audience up to speed on your point of view and then springboard to conversations, discussions, or actions. RANZCOG is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to high standards of practice in obstetrics and gynaecology. To find out more, please visit: Excellence In Women’s Health – RANZCOG

Tackling everyday sexism in the workplace? It starts with us.

This animation was one of our most important and impactful pieces of work in recent years. As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO is solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We worked closely with CSIRO Diversity & Inclusion team to create this unique animation that outlines why everybody has a responsibility to address everyday sexism in the workplace. This video explains what sexism looks like in the workplace and the impact it has on both staff and the organisation. We created the animation from start to finish: from discovery, script, illustrations, filming in the studio, voice over and right through to post-production. 

Developing a love of early learning: Tamworth’s HIPPY Program

Working with TFSS, a family support service based in northern NSW, was incredibly rewarding. We created a snappy animation to explain the value of HIPPY: a free two-year education program for children aged 3 and 4. The program helps parents lay the foundations for success at school by teaching their child literacy, numeracy and language skills, and physical motor skills. Working remotely from our team studios, we created the key components of animation including discovery meetings, script, illustrations, and post-production. The magic twist? TFSS organised the voice over using voices from the local community, which we think added authenticity, interest and impact. For more information on TFSS: please visit: Home – TFSS

Are you having ‘the conversation before the conversation’ in your family business?

Together with leadership consultant, Lee Williams from Infinity Leadership, we recently launched a new service called ‘The Conversation before the Conversation’. Healthy conversations are vital within every family business and our new service offers clients a facilitated and creative workshop to kick start these types of important conversations before the more formal conversations, processes and procedures begin with official advisors. Starting conversations early on and picturing the way ahead in a family business can help save on time, emotions, and costs later. We created this animation from end-to-end to bring to life our value proposition in a sharp, impactful and eye-catching way. To find out more about the service and what clients get out of each workshop, please visit: The Conversation Before the Conversation – Guy Downes and Lee Williams (

Helping ABTA’s vision of safer births, better healing

THINKNATAL is an online platform from ABTA (the Australasian Birth Trauma Association). It’s filled with educational resources aimed at providing support and information on a variety of topics that are often excluded or underrepresented in existing antenatal education. Working closely with ABTA, we were delighted to support this initiative by developing short and unique educational animations on a wide range of key topics. The static images of the animation drawings were also repurposed as posters and fliers. Here are a few animation examples below, more can be found at thinknatal – Birth Trauma


Building on understanding of and responses to domestic, family, and sexualised violence

Since late 2020, we have been honoured to work with the team at Insight Exchange developing a wide range of unique animations (in both English and Spanish) that combine hand-drawing, voice overs, sound design and creative post production techniques. Each unique animation has been developed to build on understanding of and responses to domestic, family and sexualised violence. In nearly fours years, we’ve created over 20 animations, and you can browse them here: Animations and Videos – Insight Exchange

Insight Exchange centres on the expertise of people with lived experiences of violence and gives voice to these experiences. It is designed to inform and strengthen social, service and systemic responses to domestic and family violence. For more information, visit:

Rich pictures can be used in many ways to engage your team

Over the last 13 years, my Sketch Speak collaboration with Soji Learning and Change has helped numerous leadership teams co-create rich pictures (also known as Journey or Strategy Maps) letting them share a story that matters to their teams and stakeholders. Using a creative metaphor as an anchor, the illustrated pictures can bring to life an important story like a new strategy, a cultural change or a challenge or opportunity that their business is facing. A picture does paint a thousand words and, in doing so, helps teams to get curious and spark important conversations. Plus, rich pictures can be used in so many ways, as the photo above demonstrates. For example, share them online or print them on posters, mouse mats, mugs and much more. Some clients have also used them as pieces of large-scale art on their reception or entrance area walls! For more information on Sketch Speak and rich pictures, go to: Sketch Speak and Journey Maps – Guy Downes

Illustrating the ‘Your Stories, Your Brand’ creative workbook

I illustrated Gabrielle Dolan’s ‘Your Stories, Your Brand’ creative workbook that helps people discover and build their own engaging stories. Gabrielle is an expert in strategic storytelling – she brings a human element to corporate communication helping executives find stories that connect with their audiences in a meaningful way. For more information on Gabrielle, visit: Gabrielle Dolan can tell you a story or two – Strategic Storytelling…

Creating a unique cartoon for Bald Blair’s Bull Sale postcard

Bald Blair is famous with Angus cattle breeding in Australia with more than 110 years knowledge and experience with the breed. I illustrated this creative and fun cartoon that featured on one side of a postcard that the Bald Blair marketing team sent out to hundreds of key contacts in the run up to their August 2023 Bull Sale.  The aim of the hand drawn cartoon was to do things differently, grab attention when people sorted through their mail and, hopefully, make them smile. For more information on Bald Blair, take a read here: Bald Blair Angus

Look – it’s your book!

 It was a delight to help out leading author, Anna Featherstone, on her book: ‘Look – it’s your book!’ It’s the most comprehensive book on self-publishing for Australian writers and it is also a great resource for traditionally-published authors who want to capitalise on the marketing of their book and leverage new income streams. I contributed a chapter on what to consider when working with an illustrator and a couple of my cartoons were featured as well. For more information, check it out here: “Look – It’s Your Book!” A self-publishing book for Australian writers by Featherstone – Official website (

Insight Exchange: Guide to selecting a counsellor

Working closely with the team at Insight Exchange, I illustrated their guidebook to selecting a counsellor for people who have experienced domestic, family, or sexualised violence.  The guide is designed to support someone in their selection of a counsellor and to support their reflections about the value and safety of the counselling experience. You can view the full guide book here: PowerPoint Presentation (

One of my cartoons found… in Found Regional magazine

Found Regional magazine dedicated a full page to show the creative process I go through to create one of my hand drawn cartoons, titled ‘The Rule Book’. I provided snaps of the development process on my drawing board: from idea creation to the draft and onwards to the final inked version. If you like the cartoon, you can see the original version here: The Rule Book – Office Guy Cartoons Found Regional ran an online feature on me as well about why I draw and how I started cartooning – take a peak here: Behind the Lines with Guy Downes — FOUND Regional

Discover, dream, design, deploy: a reflection planner to reach your goal

Sometimes you need to sit down, think about a key goal, and work it through from imagination to reality with a trusty pen and piece of paper. To help you do this, working with innovative consultancy, Soji Learning & Change, we’ve created a visual frame based on Appreciative Coaching, that you can use as a reflection tool and self-coaching resource. This gift to you allows you to harness your strengths, focus your attention and craft a path to your most important goals. To get one, visit this link to read more about the process to follow and download your copy: Like a River, Craft Your Path: Appreciative Coaching Resource | Soji – learning and change


‘Four seasons’: a hand painted story wall

I’m delighted to share one of my latest hand painted story walls for Bambini Boutique Childcare. This is a beautiful, intimate and unique childcare centre in Tamworth (NSW, Australia) so I felt their story deserved to be told in a unique way. I worked closely with the founder and staff to plan and depict a magical story that is engaging for the kids, sparks curiosity and wonder but also includes the behaviours and values that resonate with the centre’s philosophy. Filled with eye-catching detail, the large scale mural shows a sweeping view from a farmhouse verandah. The mural is created around the concept of four trees as they change during the seasons. The feedback from the staff, parents/guardians/carers and kids has been fantastic. For more information on my story wall work, feel free to visit:

Follow My Lead: informing and supporting responses to domestic and family violence

Are you thinking about how you respond to someone you know who might be experiencing domestic and family violence? If so, check out this short video animation based on Follow My Lead – an Insight Exchange Foundation awareness-raising resource.

We were honoured to recently support the work of Insight Exchange by bringing to life this important resource as a short, impactful and engaging animation.

Follow My Lead speaks from the voice of people with lived experience of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) who need the professionals and their social networks to be more prepared to respond effectively; more prepared to respond in ways that uphold dignity and build on safety. Follow My Lead is for any person who at some point may be listening to and responding to their friends, family members, colleagues, peers or to the people who use their service, who are experiencing DFV.

Insight Exchange has been established, developed and is governed by registered charity Domestic Violence Service Management (DVSM).

Helping business owners to seed, weed and lead!

Working closely with Brainbox Marketing, I recently created a short animation for Alan Green Business Coaching. The purpose of the animation was to connect with Alan’s prospective clients and help them better understand how and why he can help their business. Alan’s passion is to help business owners weed out bad practices, seed new growth and lead their teams to success. In only 60 seconds, we brought to life a short and sharp story packed with animation and effects. It was great collaborating with Brainbox Marketing who look after Alan Green’s marketing. Brainbox developed an engaging script with memorable messaging and organised the voiceover. Based in Melbourne, Brainbox works with businesses across Australia providing reliable and smart marketing services.

Commenting on the project, Michelle Le Cornu, Director, Brainbox Marketing, said: “Guy was a pleasure to work with. He quickly grasped what Alan was trying to say about his business and how I wanted to tell a story via the video from a marketing and comms perspective. In fact, he took our brief to the next level with his ideas and creativity. Guy delivered a high quality product on time, on budget and proactively communicated throughout the project. I thought his work was great but more importantly, my client was tickled pink with the result. I’ve already engaged Guy on another project and will continue to work with him.”

Sparking conversations to help improve women’s birthing experiences

It was a pleasure to work with the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) and script writer and voice over artist, Paul Armstrong, on the development of a film for their new Think Natal initiative. This first film is about perineal tears during birth. It aims to inform and empower women toward the best birth experience possible. On this and many other birthing issues, ABTA is doing terrific work. The animation and the Think Natal initiative (see: ) were launched recently by the heads of the College of Midwifery (ACM) and the College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). My illustration from the animation was also used to create an education A4 poster and Information and Discussion Guide. Here’s to the animation and associated resources sparking many open and collaborative conversations between women and their health care providers about birthing.

Struggling with WFH? Check out this daily action planner.

Working From Home daily action planner.
Working from home can be tough. You need a simple plan to help tackle each day with pace, hope and fun. Teaming up again with leadership, marketing and advertising doyen, Chris Savage, I illustrated Chris’s great checklist to make the most of working from home each day. Download the planner, keep it close and then read Chris’s brilliant explainer on how to use the checklist. You can read it here. Stay safe and good luck!

Cartooning Tips and Tricks on Virtual Working

Working from home can be challenging and complex. The way we get stuff done has changed and there’s lots to learn in this ‘new normal’. To that end, I was invited by Soji Learning & Change to illustrate some virtual working top tips seen through their leadership development lens. We created a short story-based series of 7 audio-visual posts that highlight some of the challenges and opportunities of working at home. I used my drawing style to create simple, clear and eye-catching cartoons to help re-enforce the main messages from each short story. Each story was written and voiced by actor and writer, Paul Armstrong.

Providing light relief with practical tips, the series (all which can be found here at our showcase) looked at the following areas:

  • Find a Place
  • Focus Attention
  • Create Routines
  • Embed Tools
  • Elevate Wellbeing
  • Keep Commitments
  • Improve Meetings

With the next series of short clips we create, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into wellbeing so stay tuned and stay in touch! To check more of our other visual collaboration work, go to

Free Business Action Plans in Time of Crisis

Free Business Action Plans in Time of Crisis

In times of massive change, a simple plan and structure can sometimes make a difference. So, here are two free ‘Business Actions Plan’ worksheets designed to help you and your business navigate through these very rough times. Feel free to print them out and get cracking.

I worked with Chris Savage to turn his headline tips from 37 years of agency leadership experience into these visual one page plans. It’s a free guideline chart to help you take the right actions – today and tomorrow. One is for Internal actions – getting your business ‘house in order’. The second is for External actions – keeping super-close to existing clients, driving the pipeline, etc. Develop your own plans and actions for each section. Take action every day. Update as required.

If you’re interested in proven ideas to help manage agencies and teams through massive disruption, you can view the Business Action Planners by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to share these Business Action Planners with your clients, colleagues and wider business network if you think they can be of value.

Download the Business Action Planners here:

Chris Savage is the founder of Ogilvy PR, a former chief operating officer of STW (now WPP AUNZ), and today is CEO of growth advisory firm, The Savage Company. Chris has been part of teams that successfully led agencies through the 1987 crash, 1990s recession, and tech bubble burst of the early 2000s. He was chief operating officer of the 4,000 people strong STW (now WPP AUNZ) following the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC).

A race against time: an animation about cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in Australia for over 40 years – and yet most of these deaths are preventable. With rising chronic disease and obesity rates, heart disease is an increasingly urgent concern for Australians. It’s a race against time to prevent these unnecessary deaths. We must do things differently – but how? Dynamic simulation modelling can help.

This was another rewarding project that we worked on with Amgen and the Sax Institute to create a premium-style video scribe animation to share the story and outputs of their systems modelling work around the topic of cardiovascular disease in Australia.

Using a Sketch Speak visualisation process, we worked with their multi-disciplinary team and initially ran a Story Mapping Workshop that helped the team to articulate key messages in a short and engaging story arch. Using our facilitator, Jarrod Siegertsz, the workshop delivered a creative, rigorous and fast-paced half day shared team experiences where ideas could be shared and voices could be heard. Post workshop, our writer, Paul Armstrong, pulled together the voice over script and working closely with my film and production team, we crafted the video scribe animation based on my illustration and storyboard ideas.

The final animation included hand-drawing, voice over, digital and sound effects as well as sound tracks. To see the best results, view this animation on full screen with the volume turned up.

Using a Rich Picture to talk about learning and change

Rich Picture - Soji Learning & Change
Soji Learning & Change engaged my illustration skills to help create a Rich Picture (also sometimes known as a Journey, Strategy or Purpose Map). The image brings to life the work Soji does, how they partner with clients and what is most important to them. My role was to take the information and ideas generated from an internal Soji team rich picture development session and turn it into a clean, engaging and eye-catching illustration that could be used as a platform for discussion and storytelling. Soji uses the image to spark discussion with clients and partners as well as internally to anchor behaviours and routines and keep things that are most important top of mind.

Discussing the concept, Jarrod Siegertsz, co-founder at Soji, said: “We couldn’t think of a better metaphor for learning and change than a botanic garden. A garden full of growth, opportunity and complexity. We see that every situation is unique, just like the various plants and habitats in the three distinct zones in the image – a Japanese Garden, a Rose Garden and a Rain forest. These three gardens signify the areas we predominantly work in: developing leaders (Japanese Garden), aligning strategy (Rose Garden) and shaping culture (Rain forest).” For more information on Soji, please visit:

Author Your Journey: One Step at a Time

Kelly Irving Author Your Journey
I recently worked with Kelly Irving to provide the illustrations for her interactive book that helps people to write work that matters. The ‘Author Your Journey’ journal is for productive people and writers in all genres, but particularly useful for non-fiction and business. It’s a great tool for authors of books, white papers, articles, blogs, LinkedIn posts, thesis, reports, or, even, emails. It’s packed full with useful advice, tools, tips, quotes, writing exercises and illustrated resources to guide you on the adventure from writing idea to implementation. It was a joy to work with Kelly again and bring so many areas of the journal to life with my hand drawn illustrations. Kelly is one of Australia’s best writing and book coaches. She is the go-to-editor for people who want a partner to produce their best work and to create a book that has impact and influence. The journal was also beautifully designed by Ellie Schroder who is graphic designer based in Melbourne.
Kelly Irving Author Your Journey
Kelly Irving Author Your Journey

What if? An animation about Osteoporosis & Bone Health

Around 6.3 million Australians have poor bone health, and many don’t even realise it. Dealing with these fractures costs us $3 billion per year, and a lot of distress. So how can we help stop it before it happens? Systems modelling gives us a dynamic window to the future, so we can work out what strategies will have the best impact.

On this important project, we worked with Amgen and the Sax Institute to create a premium-style video scribe animation to share the story and outputs of their systems modelling around bone health in Australia. The animation included hand-drawing, voice over (supplied by the client), digital and sound effects as well as sound tracks. To see the best results, view this animation on full screen with the volume turned up.

Using a Sketch Speak visualisation process, we worked with their multi-disciplinary team and ran a Story Mapping Workshop that helped them to articulate key messages in a short and engaging story arch. Using our facilitator, Jarrod Siegertsz, the workshop delivered a creative, rigorous and fast-paced half day shared team experience where ideas could be shared and tested and voices could be heard. Post workshop, our writer, Paul Armstrong, pulled together the voice over script and working closely with my film and production team, we crafted the video scribe animation based on illustration and storyboard ideas.

Sharing an important story with school leaders

Leading a school can be a hectic, varied, unpredictable and rewarding role – so getting new information out to principals and other leaders can be a tough job. That’s why the NSW Department of Education’s EDConnect team turned to us recently to create a short and sharp video scribe animation to help connect their busy school leaders with some new developments. We worked closely with the EDConnect team to write the script, develop the final video scribe animation and provide the audio recording (‘voice over’). Working with the Department on such an important story was a highly rewarding experience.

The aim of the hand drawn video scribe animation was to grab the attention of school leaders and to raise their awareness of Scout – an online system that provides access to key data and reports that can help them with important school information about things like finance and human resources. These reports can help school leaders to navigate their operational environment, stay up-to-date and make decisions more quickly and effectively.

A vital ingredient for a great video scribe animation is a great script. We offer clients the opportunity to work with our scriptwriter, Paul Armstrong. Paul is an accomplished writer, actor and corporate facilitator with a fantastic ability to discover the critical elements of the story a client needs to tell, and then distil these into an engaging, relevant, digestible and creative story. His skills don’t end there – Paul also jumped into the recording studio to provide the voice over for this animation. For more information on Paul’s work, visit:

Capturing student ideas at Flinders University Law Open Days

Getting the drawing zone ready for the start of the Open Day

University Open Days are a great way for future students to learn more about potential courses and get a good feel for a university. I recently graphic recorded the insights and ideas of future students at a Flinders University Law Open Day. Based at the Law Faculty stand, my role was to work with a facilitator and capture what was going through the student minds in relation to studying Law as they circled past. Lots of students came up to proactively share their story and many more were curious about what I was doing which helped drive traffic to the stand. It was fast, furious and enjoyable work to draw out the many and varied conversations and reasons why students were interested in law. Over two super days, I created two large graphic recorded posters (each 5-6 m in length!) that will be used by the Law Faculty in future as engaging communication tools.

The final 5-6 metre poster full of student stories and ideas.

Detail of one section of my poster shows the student micro-stories, ideas and insights.

It’s quiet now… the view at the end of the day.

The importance of the capturing the nursing process in the digital environment

One of my latest video scribe animations is a premium product developed for a team from the Synergy Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre and Health Research Institute at the University of Canberra (ACT, Australia). Titled “The importance of the capturing the nursing process in the digital environment”, we worked closely with Dr. Kasia Bail, Associate Professor in Nursing, to create an engaging, fast paced premium style animation that involved significant planning and extensive filming and post production work to add relevant and compelling effects.

Launched at a recent Australian Association of Gerontology conference, this premium video scribe animation was designed as an educational tool to help nurses explain their practice and decision making in team discussions with project managers and IT teams designing health information systems. The video scribe animation might also be informative for nursing students, consumers, or anyone else interested in how to make health systems work more effectively for the needs of people who happen to be patients. This was an extremely rewarding project to work on and many thanks to Dr. Kasia Bail for picking up the phone and getting us involved.

The animation recently got a great write up in Nursing Review, which is Australia’s only independent nursing print and digital content provider. Titled “More than chit-chat: demystifying nurse-patient interactions” the articles gives a great explanation to the reasoning behind the animation. There’s also a really good 9 minute podcast within the article where Dr Kasia Bail describes how this project came about and how it’s being used. Here’s the link:

Graphic recording powerful stories at Future of Leadership 2018

Future of Leadership - MathewsThis year I was invited to support Australia’s premier leadership conference, the Future of Leadership series, as the event’s official graphic recorder at Sydney’s International Convention Centre. This was a super event to graphic record at as the conference series attracts top speakers and more than 2000 delegates annually, bringing together members of corporate, education, government, NFP and small business sectors. The Future of Leadership series provides excellent opportunities to rub shoulders with the most motivated and influential thought leaders within key industries spanning the Australian and international business community. Each speaker had 25 minutes to share their story, ideas and insights with the audience.Future of Leadership - HillDuring the full day event, I worked furiously to graphic record straight onto large paper posters attached to a whiteboard. In parallel, I also captured visual notes in a sketch pad to transfer onto the posters when I finalised the posters the next day. Adding the finishing touches poster included building in illustration detail, colour and shading so each graphic recording poster became even more eye-catching.Future of Leadership - MastersGraphic recording back-to-back speakers at a conference can be intense work as the information comes thick and fast and you need to listen intently. But it is also incredibly rewarding as I help personal, powerful and meaningful stories live on beyond the event as a creative memory tool for delegates.Future of Leadership - ScammellWhatever your work, whatever your position, this one-day conference series equip attendees with tools and insights to make them a better leader both personally and professionally. To check out the full line-up of top-notch business and leadership speakers that I graphic recorded, click here: And above all, by attending Future of Leadership, delegates were learning but also helping an event that supports at risk Thai children and communities through the charity partner Hands Across The Water.Future of Leadership - McCrindle

ICC AuditoriumThe FOL2018 venue: the amazing ICC Sydney just before doors opened!

Using sketches to grow campaign ideas and spark great client conversations

Ag Storytelling 1Over the past two years, I’ve been doing some interesting illustration and storyboard work for C7EVEN Communications. They’re a smart and rapidly growing communication and marketing agency based in Tamworth (NSW) and Sydney that connects its clients with audiences in regional and rural Australia.Ag Storytelling 2At their heart the C7EVEN team are great storytellers and, from time to time, when they’ve needed to bring a concept, campaign or story idea to life visually in front of their clients they’ve picked up the phone and given me a call. You’ll see a sample of my pencil and ink storyboard work for the team in this blog post – each piece was used to introduce a campaign idea and start a discussion with a client.Farm Concept 1Interestingly my work has not been used for a final or external campaign but in the earlier planning stages where getting conversation momentum around an idea is important. What I love about this is that the C7EVEN team look to visuals, sketches and pictures to quicken understanding, foster alignment and spark conversations around their thinking. Plus, when my sketches have been printed out on big boards or paper, it gives the C7EVEN team something tangible thing to discuss, pass around and touch in meetings.This is for me is a unique and fresh approach and ties in with what motivates me: using authentic, hand drawn pictures to open minds to a seed of an idea and at the same time start good conversations.Farm concept 2P.S. The C7EVEN Instagram account is worth a follow. If you’re a rural tragic like me, their ‘on-and-off the road’ photos will take you to some amazing and remote places right across regional Australia. Check it out here: concept 3

Illustrating ‘Feedback Flow’: a visual business book on embedding a feedback culture

Feedback FlowIllustrating written work that has energy, insights and stories that jump off the page is a joy. This was the case when I illustrated Georgia Murch’s latest business book: ‘Feedback Flow – the ultimate illustrated guide to embed change in 90 days’. Georgia is a leading expert in designing feedback cultures for organisations across Australia helping them build trust and respect through conversations.

Today, leaders want to create high-performing teams, cultures, products and services that ripple throughout their business and into the market. 
But what is required to do this? How should they go about it?
 This straight-talking illustrated book shows readers how to create lasting change and become the feedback culture that people love working in and for. A feedback culture that not only sticks, but flows.Feedback FlowGeorgia has worked with public and private clients for over 20 years, leading teams and businesses, designing and facilitating culture change and leadership programs. Georgia truly appreciates the diversity and challenge of complex workforces and the intricacies of managing a business while leading change.Feedback FlowThe illustration process was very rewarding and I created well over 100 unique hand drawn illustrations for the book. I spent many hours over my drawing board, reading, drafting and tinkering with concepts and ideas. I worked closely with Georgia and her super team of Kelly Irving and Ellie Schroeder. Kelly is a highly sought after editor for people who want a partner to produce their best work and to create a book that has impact and influence. Kelly has been behind some of the best sellers you’ll have come across in book shops right across Australia. And Ellie? Well, in my mind, she is one of the most talented designers I have been lucky to work with. You can see her blog post on Georgia’s book here. But don’t stop there – do spend some more time exploring her website. There is definitely magic in her approach and expertise. www.ellieschroeder.comFeedback FlowHere’s what Georgia had to say about my illustration work for her business book:

“Guy Downes, you are one legendary illustrator! It’s always such a ride working with you when you’re capturing the visuals for workshops, but this book took it to the next level.” Georgia Murch, Feedback & Cultural Change Expert,

Raising health and safety awareness among business leaders using an illustrated story map

Leaders Visual FrameSoji Learning & Change work with hundreds of business leaders across Australia every year by delivering unique learning and change programs. A while back they got a brief to help one of their clients refresh a safety learning program for leaders. The brief was to improve workshop engagement and creating a stronger connection to the importance of safety in the organisation. As part of the design they built an innovative exercise that combined visuals and storytelling.

The group activity used a eye-catching yet simple illustrated map of a country community typical to where the organisation operates. Each group was then asked to use the visual as a prompt for discussion and story sharing. They talked about the system impact of accidents and injuries and the negative effect injuries can have on a community over time. This in turn led the teams to have conversations during the workshop about their work, health & safety responsibilities and the positive actions they could take forward.

Who drew the map of the country town? Yes, you guessed it. It was a wonderful brief as I was allowed to imagine what this bustling, cosy country town would look like. Knowing that this simple illustration could help play a part in getting employees home safely every night certainly made the whole process even more meaningful. A small drawing with a big heart. Now that’s work I love. For more information on Soji Learning & Change, please visit:

Adding drawing goodness to Savage Greatness!

Savage Sell

Photo Source: Vanessa Raath

Since early 2016 I have been incredibly lucky to provide business illustrations to two industry gurus. They are Greg Savage and Chris Savage. And every year when they hit the road on their ‘Savage Speaker Series’ in the main cities across Australia, New Zealand, UK and South Africa, it’s been my hand drawn illustrations that pop up on their presentation slides. I work hard to provide simple yet eye-catching, relevant and memorable little cartoons to support the blend of recruitment and professional services lessons, learnings and insights they provide on the big screen and from the stage.
Savage SELL

Photo Source: Greg Savage

So far, thousands (and I mean thousands) of business leaders, managers and employees have packed out auditoriums to grab the ‘gold’ that Greg and Chris have been sharing across their first three speaker series. To date, the speaker series have been:

Savage Growth – Powering Profits in Disrupted Times: ‘New competition, client and candidate expectations, technology, delivery channels, financial models. Yet conditions are perfect to differentiate, pull ahead of the market and explode profit growth’.

Savage S.P.R.I.N.T – The Six Pillars of the Future Fit Recruiter: ‘100 proven tips, tools and tactics to drive billings’.

Savage SELL: ‘Machines will do hackwork, process and drudgery. You, the human, must be brilliant at what machines cannot do! And machines can’t sell. To drive sales success in this ‘new world’ of recruitment… you must learn to Savage SELL!’

Savage SELL

Photo Source: Ali Moroane

Each speaker series format is a fast-paced 4-5 hour intensive yet fun workshop. Each workshop is made up of fresh content, providing a proven blueprint on every facet of leading-edge sales and business.

If you don’t know about Greg or Chris, start today, right now, this minute. I highly recommend you follow them across their extremely active social media platforms, websites and blogs. Tap into the timeless business craft and learnings that they so regularly, generously and openly share with their community.

In the meantime, if you can’t wait and you’re eager to read a bit more, here’s a quick overview with two short biographies. And yes, as you may have guessed already, Greg and Chris are brothers!

Greg Savage is a leader of the global recruitment industry, with a career spanning thirty-five years, and is a regular keynote speaker at staffing conferences around the world. After decades starting, running, building and improving great recruitment businesses, Greg now provides board advisory, consulting and keynote speaking services to organisations across the world, focusing on growth, expansion and profitability. Web site:

Chris Savage is one of Asia Pacific’s pre-eminent public relations, digital, marketing and professional services industry leaders. What drives Chris is helping leaders and businesses accelerate growth. Over 25 years in roles ranging from Managing Director to CEO to COO to Chairman, Chris has built and grown successful businesses and global brands. As a leader, Chris thrives on helping others achieve their potential – to be the very best they can be. He is also an accomplished keynote speaker and speaks at major conferences across the world. Web site:

Here’s what Chris and Greg said about my work:

“Guy’s drawings added huge power to the engagement with our audiences, and helped us tell our stories and messages with clarity and impact. Guy is quick to understand what’s required, and produces his work with professionalism and excellence. He’s a class act and I highly recommend him.”Chris Savage

“The main job of a public speaker is to get the message across with powerful words, usually with stories and insights based on experience. But the audio-visual component plays a key, often under-rated role. The verbal message can be strongly reinforced, even brought to life, by a powerful image. This is why we engaged Guy to illustrate our last three international speaking events… and the feedback we got proved we made a wise decision. The illustrations are often quirky, but always on point… not that dissimilar to how Chris and I hope to make our presentations overall. Guy is a talent… but also a delight to work with, and one of our staunchest allies”.Greg Savage

Savage Series Selfie

Photo Source: Greg Savage

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.




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:
Ripples - book illustrated by Guy Downes

Drawing out key ideas and insights at #ItsuptoYOUth

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.

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

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

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:
Thanks to Gary and Robbo for inviting me on the show.

Graphic recording at the C&K Annual Conference

Graphic Recording

Graphic recording at large scale conferences is always rewarding as the content I get to graphic record and capture visually can be varied and fascinating. I recently worked at the The Creche & Kindergarten Association (C&K) Early Education and Care Annual Conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. C&K is Queensland’s largest provider of early childhood education. The conference was filled with interesting internal and external speakers, including the MC and keynote, Alison Hill. You can see a detail of the graphic recording poster I created from Alison’s keynote presentation called ‘Leading the future’. Alison is a psychologist and expert in organisational motivation and strategy.

Graphic Recording

Conference Venue

Alison Hill Keynote

Graphic Recording Boards

IPAA shares the story about Federation reform

Federation reform can be complicated. In the lead up to the 2015 IPAA National Conference, I worked with the IPAA team to create a 2 minute video scribe animation to help people get informed about this fast evolving area as well as raise awareness about the event. The Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) is the nationwide professional association for those involved in public administration.

Speaking of my work, Jo Rose, Director Digital at IPAA NSW Division, said: “Guy has a unique ability to comprehend and represent complex issues in a simple and accessible manner. He was a pleasure to deal with through all stages of production of our video. I highly recommend using his services.”

Ogilvy PR Australia – ‘In Good Company’

Working closely with the Ogilvy PR CEO and a member of the internal communications team, I developed this Journey Map which was used to bring clarity to the agency vision, strategy and approach for 2009 and beyond. To bring the story to life and drive engagement, a cycle team was selected as the metaphor and all the key elements of the story and strategy were represented as icons and images in the picture. The Journey Map was hand drawn to give an organic storybook ‘look and feel’. The end product was used extensively in internal presentations, team huddles and meetings as well as desk-side posters to share the company story in a memorable, fresh and creative way.

Journey Maps

Western Health – Patient Safety

Using my Sketch Speak visual communication approach, we worked with Western Health to create a series of development materials that aim to develop awareness around various aspects of patient safety. The team developed this Journey Map to help explore the system dynamics that surround patient hand over and the ISBAR framework for effective communication. The tool is aimed at health care professionals working in acute health care environments.

Journey Maps

Milestones National Group – Vision Story

Milestones National Group was embarking on a substantial business expansion and they were looking for a way to align their team and clarify their future vision. Kicking-off the process with a Journey Mapping workshop, we worked with the whole senior team to create a Journey Map that explores elements of the organisational history, the current culture and the team’s vision for the future. The Journey Map, created using my Sketch Speak visual communication approach, has been used extensively as a communication and storytelling tool in the staff on-boarding process as well as with internal and external key stakeholders.

Journey Map

Doing Good by Doing Good

It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to work with Peter Baines recently to illustrate his latest book, Doing Good by Doing Good (published by Wiley).

Just like his powerful ‘stop you in your tracks’ speeches and presentations (which I have had the luck to graphic record on several occasions), Peter’s book had a wealth of compelling stories, ideas and insights which made it a joy to illustrate.

Peter Baines in-store with his new book

Peter Baines in-store with his new book

What’s the book about? Doing Good by Doing Good looks at how an organisation’s corporate social responsibility program can both improve the lives of the community and grow a bottom line. It offers a proven plan for implementing an effective strategy that can help organisations transform the communities they work with, while also bringing innovation and growth to their business. Filled with illustrative case studies from organisations around the globe, it shows how these companies have increased morale and engagement, improved brand awareness, engaged new customers and delivered strong economic returns. For more information and to see some of my illustrations from the book go to:



To find out more about Peter and the amazing work he does in leadership, CSR and charity, go to:

Capturing the Future of Leadership

FOL2014_Peter Baines

Peter Baines, founder, Hands Across the Water, speaking on leadership and shared value

Mastering successful leadership is a massive ongoing focus and learning journey for many people and organisations. I recently graphic recorded some great leadership insights shared by a selection of senior business leaders and savvy thinkers at The Future of Leadership in Brisbane. This was an engaging full day with over 400 attendees designed to help the audience stay one step ahead and look at what’s next in leadership. I graphic recorded speeches by Darren Hill, Peter Baines, Will Dayble and Jen Jackson. There are a couple of my graphic recording posters here but you can also view and download the full set on Alison Hill’s website (who was the MC on the day). 100% of all funds raised from the day went to a great cause: Hands Across the Water.

FOL2014_Darren Hill

Darren Hill, business strategist and behavioural scientist, discusses leadership trends

FOL2014_my boards in the venue

Before kick-off: my graphic recording area at the Brisbane Convention Centre

FOL2014_crowds and posters

FOL2014 conference attendees look at my posters and take pictures

Graphic recording powerful stories at ‘A Day of Inspiration 2014’

Paul de Gelder - Navy Diver

Paul de Gelder – Navy Diver: graphic recording poster

I’ve been involved as the graphic recorder at the Tour De Cure’s Day of Inspiration “Secrets of Achievement” for three years now and the event and the speakers seem to get better and better. With inspirational speeches from some of Australia’s best speakers, the one day event helps raise much needed money, awareness and support in the fight against cancer. I graphic recorded absolutely ‘knock out’ speeches from the likes of Paul de Gelder (Navy diver/shark attack survivor), Dr Charlie Teo (world famous neurosurgeon) and Cosentino (the grand illusionist) among others.

Here are some of my graphic recording posters (which were all about 4ft x 3ft in size and covered speeches that lasted 20-30 minutes). To see more detail, they can also be downloaded in full at the Day of Inspiration website – just go to the Mind Map sections at the bottom left of the main page.

Dr Charlie Teo - Neurosurgeon

Dr Charlie Teo: graphic recording poster

Cosentino - Grand Illusionist

New NUW video scribe animation with sound and animation FX

Following on from the first video scribe animation two years ago, I recently created a new video scribe animation for the National Union of Workers (NUW). The video scribe animation continued the NUW “Jobs You Can Count On” campaign and storyline on a topical issue in Australia: job security and the casualisation of the workforce. However, the new video scribe animation was created with several new dynamics. Firstly, the animation was developed as one whole story made up of three key sections, which could be edited in post production so each section could also be a ‘stand alone’ video scribe animation. Using a sketch book style approach with ‘page turns’ helped achieve this. Plus, this latest video scribe animation included props, sound tracks, sound effects and animation effects. The audio features the voice overs of Tim Kennedy, Victorian Branch Secretary, NUW and an NUW employee. If you watch it, make sure you watch it on full screen and turn your device volume up for full effect.

Here is one of the video scribe animation sections edited as a stand alone and individual story:

Unpacking Place & Pedagogy…with pen and paper

Graphic recording using illustration, colour and words to capture key ideas.

Graphic recording using illustration, colour and words to capture key ideas.

Here’s some of my graphic recording work from an event at The Institute of Early Childhood at Macquarie University, titled: “Unpacking Place, Pedagogy and Documentation”. Led by Semann & Slatery and the institute, the event unpacked ideas around the educational experience of Reggio Emilia in Australian and international contexts and to build on known understandings and challenge assumptions. My graphic recording poster above captures five different presentations and the subtle colouring and shading per section (e.g. purple, green, blue, pink and orange) helps group the graphic recording content.

It was fantastic to graphic record presentations by thought leaders in this space such as Janet Robertson, Dr Stefania Giamminuti, Kirsty Liljegren, Anthony Semann, Associate Professor Karen Martin and Associate Professor Alma Fleet among others.

Unpacking_viewing the graphic recording posters

Delegates taking snaps of my work as it evolves on their smart phones and devices.

Day of Inspiration 2014

Tour De Cure’s Day of Inspiration “Secrets of Achievement”


Guy has been involved as the graphic recorder at the Tour De Cure’s Day of Inspiration “Secrets of Achievement” for three years now and the event and the speakers seem to get better and better. With inspirational speeches from some of Australia’s best speakers, the one day event helps raise much needed money, awareness and support in the fight against cancer. Guy graphic recorded absolutely ‘knock out’ speeches from the likes of Paul de Gelder (Navy diver/shark attack survivor), Dr Charlie Teo (world famous neurosurgeon) and Cosentino (the grand illusionist) among others.

The graphic recording posters which were all about 4ft x 3ft in size and covered speeches that lasted 20-30 minutes. To see more detail, they can also be downloaded in full at the Day of Inspiration website – just go to the Mind Map sections at the bottom left of the main page.

Painting a story for Calrossy Pre-school

Stories come in all shapes and sizes. I recently painted a large-scale educational mural for Calrossy Pre-school in Tamworth, NSW, which is one feature in a fantastic new ‘discovery’ garden where the children can explore, play and interact with and learn about nature. With the story of a sailing boat race in Sydney Harbour as the core thread through the middle of the painting, the bright and eye-catching mural plays out stories below and above the surface of the ocean. The level of detail was intentional to draw the viewer’s eye into the many underlying messages and ‘stories within the story’ to help spark interest, learning, imagination and, above all, little moments of joy.

Graphic recording at StopKeepStart 2014

Datarati StopKeepStart 2014 – Visual Scribe Artist Timelapse video from TEN ALPHAS on Vimeo.

Graphic recording at the Museum of Contemporary Art overlooking Sydney Harbour is a great way to start the day. And graphic recording a marketing event with a unique twist and stand out format made it even more interesting.

Marketing automation company, Datarati, invited over 80 clients for a workshop breakfast to discuss what they were going to Stop, Keep and Start doing in 2014 around four pillars of marketing. The findings were then presented for an hour to the room and to a live webcast audience.

My role was to graphic record the findings presentation and panel discussion. It was fast paced, reflected in my ‘insight loaded’ graphic recording poster. Here’s a time lapse video of me graphic recording during the event. The video of the findings and my final graphic recording poster can be seen at Thanks to production company Ten Alphas for inviting me to graphic record the session.

AFR BOSS Roundtable: The secrets of innovation

My illustration kicks off the AFR BOSS article

My illustration kicks off the AFR BOSS article

Today’s AFR BOSS features my graphic recording and follow-up illustration work from a recent fantastic roundtable discussion and subsequent article on “The Secrets of Innovation”. Speakers included thought leaders from ARUP, Jumptank, Aegis, SBS, Cap Gemini, UTS, Australian Design Centre and GE. My role included being the graphic recorder (or ‘visual note-taker’) on the day and you can see a photo of me within the article in action capturing the essence of the discussion in pictures on a large poster. I listened intently to the discussion and drew ‘live’ the big ideas, issues, opportunities and broad themes that were being covered in the discussion – the result being a 2.5m x 1m poster, which acts as a creative visual record and group memory tool to spark further thinking, ideas and conversation beyond the roundtable. I then worked with the editor of AFR BOSS, Joanne Gray, to distil the best points from my graphic recording poster into an illustration for inclusion in the article. The roundtable took place at the wonderful Object Gallery in Sydney.

AFR BOSS_illustration close up_Guy Downes

A close up of my illustration in AFR BOSS today

AFR BOSS panel_graphic recording poster_Guy Downes

My graphic recording poster (2.5m x 1m) capturing the essence of the discussion at the event.

AFR BOSS_detail_Guy Downes

The middle photo shows me graphic recording just to the side of the panel discussion

The Object Gallery_panel table and graphic recording poster

The venue beforehand with my graphic recording poster on the back wall

AFR BOSS Innovation Roundtable_web_Guy Downes

The AFR BOSS website with a small icon of my illustration to draw attention to the article

The Future of Leadership 2014

Mastering Successful Leadership

One of the graphic recording posters from the CEO Summit 2014

One of the graphic recording posters from the CEO Summit 2014

Mastering successful leadership is a massive ongoing focus and learning journey for many people and organisations. Guy recently graphic recorded some great leadership insights shared by a selection of senior business leaders and savvy thinkers at The Future of Leadership in Brisbane.

This was an engaging full day with over 400 attendees designed to help the audience stay one step ahead and look at what’s next in leadership. Guy graphic recorded speeches by Darren Hill, Peter Baines, Will Dayble and Jen Jackson.

You can view and download the full set on Alison Hill’s website (who was the MC on the day). 100% of all funds raised from the day went to a great cause: Hands Across the Water.

Graphic recording the ‘secrets of achievement’ at DOI 2013

Graphic recording poster of Pat Farmer's speech

Graphic recording poster of Pat Farmer’s speech

Once again, I had the privilege of graphic recording the inspirational speeches from some of Australia’s most inspirational speakers at this year’s Day of Inspiration “Secrets of Achievement” – a stand out event raising much needed money, awareness and support in the fight against cancer. Here are some of my graphic recording posters (which were all about 4ft x 3ft in size and covered speeches that lasted 20-30 minutes). To see more detail, they can also be downloaded in full at the Day of Inspiration website – just go to the Mind Map sections at the bottom of the main page.

Graphic recording poster of Dale Elliott's speech.

Graphic recording poster of Dale Elliott’s speech.

Joint graphic recording poster for Petrea King & Dr Charlie Teo's speeches.

Joint graphic recording poster for Petrea King & Dr Charlie Teo’s speeches.

Graphic recording of Tom Potter's speech.

Graphic recording of Tom Potter’s speech.

The DOI 2013 venue with my graphic recording boards in the background.

The DOI 2013 venue with my graphic recording boards in the background.


Datarati StopKeepStart 2014 – Visual Scribe Artist Timelapse video from TEN ALPHAS on Vimeo.

Datarati StopKeepStart 2014 - Discussion, ideas and insights - Graphic recording poster

Datarati StopKeepStart 2014 – Discussion, ideas and insights – Graphic recording poster

Graphic recording at the Museum of Contemporary Art overlooking Sydney Harbour is a great way to start the day. And graphic recording a marketing event with a unique twist and stand out format made it even more interesting.

Marketing automation company, Datarati, invited over 80 clients for a workshop breakfast to discuss what they were going to Stop, Keep and Start doing in 2014 around four pillars of marketing. The findings were then presented for an hour to the room and to a live webcast audience.

Guy’s role was to graphic record the findings presentation and panel discussion. It was fast paced, reflected in the ‘insight loaded’ graphic recording poster. The video of the findings and my final graphic recording poster can be seen at Thanks to production company Ten Alphas for inviting me to graphic record the session.

HP Software Forum

Insight 2014

The graphic recording poster from the HP Software Canberra Forum plenary.

The graphic recording poster from the HP Software Canberra Forum plenary.

Guy graphic recorded three HP Software Forums called “Insight 2014”. Held in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, the HP events provided the latest information for HP Software customers. As the graphic recorder, Guy’s role was to visually capture the key points and themes from the main presentation on “Connected Intelligence: the New Style of IT”.

The posters were shared on the HP Software online forum so that attendees had a visual and engaging memory tool from the event that could trigger memories, help them remember key insights but also spark new thinking. The photo below is of the venue room with Guy’s graphic recording work station in the left hand corner.

The turnaround of McDonald’s Australia: Peter Bush

Peter Bush: visual notes – page 1

These are my visual notes drawn during a presentation by Peter Bush, formerly CEO of McDonald’s Australia, at the Tamworth Business Chamber lunch in aid of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Peter’s presentation was riveting – full of business ideas, lessons learnt and top tips. Peter talked about his experience in turning around McDonald’s Australia and how he and his team helped propel McDonald’s Australia to be the best performing McDonald’s business globally for five consecutive years. The aim of my visual notes is to help remind me of some of the golden nuggets of advice Peter shared so that in 2 hours, 2 days, 2 months or 2 years time I can think back and remember the “essence” of what he said. Call it my own visual memory tool.

Peter Bush: visual notes – page 2

Peter Bush: visual notes – page 3

Peter Bush: visual notes – page 4

Peter Bush: visual notes – page 5

Making wine simple

Holding the highest wine qualification, John Downes is one of only 300 Masters of Wine in the world. With 20 years experience as a wine entertainer, broadcaster and journalist, this short video scribe animation I created tells you more about his mission to make wine simple and easy to enjoy. Yes, if you haven’t guessed it or made the connection yet, this was a Father & Son video scribing production! Lots of fun to create.

The Holy Trinity of public relations: illustrations

Illustraton: strategic alliances

I recently contributed two illustrations to Craig Pearce Strategic Communication’s latest white paper titled: The Holy Trinity of public relations: thought leadership, 3rd party credibiilty, strategic alliances.

Illustration: thought leadership

Left and right brain

Here are two of my illustrations of the left and right side of the brain that were featured on the front and back covers of a Retained Neonatal Reflexes (RNR) booklet by Susan Walker and Keith Keen. RNR is a revolutionary approach to treating children with learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

A double shot of ideas and insights

Visual notes #1: Peter Irvine

There’s nothing better than starting the day listening to an inspirational speaker. Today at Tamworth’s Chamber of Commerce business breakfast briefing Peter Irvine, the co-founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffee, provided a double shot of business ideas, energy, insights and advice. As with all good presenters, Peter captivated the audience with real-life stories and experiences. Truly a case of re-living his experiences, not re-telling them. Making a connection, not shovelling out content to the audience. Here are my rough visual notes drawn furiously while listening intently and trying to scoff down the great breakfast at the All Seasons hotel.

Visual notes #2: Peter Irvine

Visual notes #3: Peter Irvine

Graphic recording A Day of Inspiration

My graphic recording poster of the Q&A with Paul Roos & Susie Maroney

I had the privilege last week of being the graphic recorder atA Day of Inspiration, which is billed as one of Australia’s most inspiring corporate events. All my graphic recording posters of each key note speaker can be downloaded here for free. There are nine graphic recording posters in total.

A Day of Inspiration brings together some great keynote speakers who take the stage for a full day to share amazing stories about life, business,  achievements, courage and determination. The day raises vital money, awareness and support in the fight against cancer (all proceeds go to the Tour de Cure – a cycling foundation committed to finding a cure for cancer).

It was great to use my graphic recording skills to support such a great cause and draw speeches ‘live’ by the likes of Peter Fitzsimons, Drew Ginn, Susie Maroney, Philip Hesketh, Petrea King, Gerry Ryan, Leo Sayer, Paul Roos and others.  Thanks to Gary Bertwistle and his team for a great day and for getting me involved.

My graphic recording poster of speeches by Leo Sayer and Drew Ginn

My graphic recording poster of Petrea King's speech

My graphic recording boards & work zone in the background

The Day of Inspiration venue: Doltone House


“My Time, Our Place”


Working closely with the team at Network of Community Activities, Guy created this bright, energetic and activity filled poster for the National Out of School Hours Services Association (NOSHSA). The My Time, Our Place – Framework for School Age Care in Australia will ensure that children in school age care will have opportunities to engage in leisure and play-based experiences which are responsive to the needs, interests, and choices of the children attending the service and contribute fully to their ongoing development.

Network of Community Activities is committed to helping promote quality community based services for school aged children, including children with disabilities.

Learning the Alphabet of the Human Heart

I’ve mentioned Matthew Johnstone before and it was great to have him back speaking at Tamworth City Library last week about his book: The Alphabet of the Human Heart. This page shows the visual notes I sketched while he was talking. You can tell when a speaker makes a connection with the audience – while talking, I looked around to see people (unaware to themselves) nodding, ‘hmmming’ in agreement or simply zoned in on what was being said. Matthew was definitely working his storytelling magic, helped by his pictures.

This book is beautifully illustrated by Matthew and was co-written with his long time friend, James Kerr. The book is described as: ‘A handbook for the happy, and a bible for the broken hearted, The Alphabet of the Human Heart is an enchanting and enriching journey through the upside and the downside of what it means to be human – our hopes and fears, our strengths and our weaknesses, our highs and our lows. It is an A to Zen of how we feel’.

Cartoons for Canon ‘Change or be left behind’ research


Canon Business Imaging Australia recently released a research report titled: ‘Change or be left behind’. According to Canon, ‘change is something that the majority of Australian businesses strive for yet find difficult to achieve’. The research examined Australian businesses’ approach and attitude towards change in the workplace. I contributed seven cartoons to the report which depicted light-hearted scenarios highlighting the qualities that were needed to help drive change (as identified in the research). If you’re interested in downloading the report and viewing all my cartoons, please visit:



Change or be left behind: the report front cover

Welcome to Mosworth

Welcome to Mosworth – this is one of my favourite illustrations that I created last year for a Microsoft Online Services booklet. The picture is full of colour, activity and things to look at.  The story booklet (called: “Mr Fix I.T. – the everyday hero for small business”) highlighted how computing can be simple for small to medium sized businesses with Microsoft Online Services. You can read the full case study here.

Kellogg turns to Twitter

As reported in mUmBRELLA, “Kellogg is looking for an agency to handle its public relations, and is using Twitter to aid its search in what the brand believes is the first time the medium has been used for this purpose”. A great idea that sparked my latest cartoon.

Cartooning for a global PR report

Back in March, I contributed three cartoons to a PR thought leadership report co-ordinated by Craig Pearce and titled: Public relations 2011: issues, insights and ideas. My cartoons supported three of the articles that discussed PR education, PR and CSR and Facebook/social media:

My cartoon for: PR education – getting the theory-practice balance right, by Professor Jim Macnamara, Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney

My cartoon for: PR is second rate CSR, by Craig Pearce, an award winning strategic public relations professional (and noted PR blogger)

My cartoon for: Messiah or just socially inept, by Dwight Whitney, Founder, Trinity Communications

The report is a very good read for PR and communication professionals as it features articles by eleven industry leaders from all over the globe and is available free for email subscribers from Craig Pearce’s blog, Public relations and managing reputation. Content in the report will help enhance PR professionals’ practical ability and strategic knowledge, expand their knowledge of the discipline’s power and provide them with ideas and assertions. Thanks to Craig for getting me involved.

Drawing the steepest water slide at sea

The water slide photo board at the media launch

If you want to send your pulse racing, Carnival Cruise Lines has the answer: the steepest water slide at sea. Commissioned by Pulse Communications, I was asked to draw an artist impression of the slide for the recent media launch of Carnival Spirit, Carnival Cruise Lines’ first ship to be based outside the US. Carnival Spirit will be based in Sydney from October 2012 and she will be “Aussified” to create a new and unique cruise product. One of the biggest additions will be two new water firsts for the Australian market, a thrill slide and a splash park.

My job was to draw the slide and splashpark with spaces where people could pop their heads through for a quick photo opportunity during the media launch event at Luna Park. My final illustration was blown up in size and mounted for the event by Signwave.

My final illustration of the steepest water slide at sea

Drawing out ideas: graphic recording

Me, graphic recording during an organisation workshop

One of the important ingredients with graphic recording is listening intently to the meeting or workshop conversation and capturing the conversation using the words of the participants (as opposed to my own). I recently posted a story showing some of the icons I draw and scatter within my posters as I build on the key words, issues or ideas I hear. Here are some more.

Don't be afraid of selling

Look internally and externally


Setting boundaries

Look at the advantages/benefits

Time to reflect during a workshop coffee break

Case study: zooming in on creative ideas for Intel Asia Pacific

Developed ‘blue print’ illustrations to inspire an Intel Atom netbook photo shoot – final photos offered to consumer media in Asia Pacific during holiday season build-up

A final photo inspired by one of my concept illustrations


  • The build up to the holiday season at the end of the year is an important sales period for consumer electronics (such as netbooks) across Asia Pacific. With the arrival of the iPad, the consumer hardware market had become even more competitive and ‘noisy’.


  • The success of netbooks has been due to the fact they are small, light, portable, innovative and fun. Although the consumer hardware market had become more competitive, nothing has really changed with netbooks themselves, except from the fact that they have got better and better. So, in the run up to the holiday season, there was an opportunity to remind people why they fell in love with netbooks in the first place and shine the light back on their many benefits.


  • In order to showcase the breadth of choice available to netbook consumers during the Christmas/holiday season buying period, Intel set out to commission photography that would show the Atom netbook range in an innovative, creative and shopper-friendly way in time for consumer buying guides across the Asia Pacific region.  The final photos would also be used to pitch to consumer and technology publications.

My role:

  • Following a creative briefing session with Howorth, a business to business, consumer technology and enterprise technology public relations agency in Sydney, I was tasked with developing  a series of creative concepts that Intel could use across Asia Pacific as the foundation for their photo shoot and photography.
  • A key requirement in the creative process was to highlight the small form factors, breadth of range and innovative netbook designs made possible by the Intel Atom processor.


  • My creative idea was to use the netbook form factors e.g. its angles, shape (when open and shut) and its size, to replace, create or enhance items or situations that can be found or occur in the build up to the holiday season. In doing so, and using a simple illustration style, this would remind or introduce people to the great form factors netbooks have (e.g. small, breadth of range, flexibility, fun or simplicity etc)
  • The aim was that the final photos would mirror the simplicity and minimalism of the concept illustrations as well as build on them by placing them in aspirational and modern settings.

Original concept: open netbooks create a Christmas tree

Campaign results:

  • The photos were distributed to Intel’s PR agencies throughout the Asia Pacific region for use when liaising with consumer buying guides and relevant media publications.
  • Photos were made available to agencies in Australia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines and Singapore.

Original concept: a thin netbook vs bags full of heavy school books

Final photo supplied to PR agencies across Asia Pacific

“Guy’s fresh thinking created some great ideas.  His illustrations formed the platform for some really innovative and consumer-friendly product photography that we used across the Asia Pacific region”.

Paul Thompson, Account Manager, Howorth

Original concept: profiling the small netbook form factor

Final photo: a small netbook fits neatly into a stocking

Media coverage example:

Photo appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald's online Digihub section

*Disclosure: I used to work at Howorth before launching my own visual communication practice.

Pictures spark conversation and fresh thinking in business planning

One of the real advantages of graphic recording (or drawing meeting conversations as they happen on large posters) is that participants have the opportunity to stand back and see what they have been talking about. It allows businesses and organisations to see how their ideas have evolved and the direction their conversations are going in. It’s a colourful and creative record of their group discussion (which, if not captured, may have otherwise been lost forever) and shows them ‘the bigger picture’.

A photo of me capturing the conversation at a leadership workshop

From my experience, I have found no matter what industry sector the business is in people respond to pictures. I think drawings and pictures strike an innate chord within us – we learn to speak with images first and then move onto letters and words. As we get older, we may put less emphasis on pictures but deep down I believe the connection always exists.

The icons I draw and scatter within my posters build on the key words, issues or ideas I hear while listening intently to the conversation in the room. And when people reflect on the posters, the icons or images seem to reignite this connection to pictures – and in doing so, they help spark conversations, kick-start more thinking or allow people to understand or share a key point within the context of their business.

The start of one of my posters from a business strategy workshop

I like to think of the icons I draw as little ‘doorways’ that allow people to step into new areas or as little ‘bridges’ that enable participants to meet half way and find common ground without getting stuck on words or corporate language. Here are a few of examples from recent business and leadership workshops. I hope you enjoy them.

Leading change

Motivating our employees

Dream like you were a kid again

Entrepreneurs never sleep

Building trust

Business can be challenging and tough

Acknowledge achievement

Business congestion

The fish bowl effect at work

Somethings aren't an overnight process

What big themes jump out at you?

Sharpen your story

 And finally, here’s a good photo of participants at a business leadership planning workshop reviewing their ideas and ‘standing back to see the bigger picture’ of how their strategic discussion had evolved.

Partipicants review, reflect on and discuss the graphic recording posters

Microsoft Australia

Mr Fix I.T. (the everyday hero for small business)


Guy illustrated a light hearted storybook about how SMBs could take advantage of Microsoft Online Services.

Set in the fictional town of Mosworth, the simple storybook recounted the story of Mr Fix I.T., the town’s friendly and in-demand computer expert, who helped a cross section of the town’s SMB owners with answers to their computing problems using Microsoft Online Services. Guy’s illustrations showed the characters ‘before’ (think: worried, stressed, overloaded) and ‘after’ (think: happy, productive, organised) Mr Fix I.T. had implemented Microsoft’s solution. Microsoft Australia printed over 3,000 colour copies of the A5 booklet, which were distributed to SMB customers and partners.

Case study: Mr Fix I.T. – the everyday hero for small business

Cartoon storybook highlights how computing can be simple for small to medium sized businesses with Microsoft Online Services

A collection of the printed cartoon storybooks


  • Australia’s small to medium sized business (SMBs) owners are busy people. So, finding the time to understand, select and get the best from their computing technology can be difficult.  However, it’s their IT that can make one of the greatest positive impacts to their business.


  • The challenge lay in finding a quick, entertaining yet simple and educational way to shine the light on the benefits and advantages cloud computing (also known as Internet based computing or online services) can bring to SMBs.


  • In today’s society, where people appear to be overloaded with information and seemingly with less time than ever before, storytelling with engaging imagery can be an important communication tool. 


  • Working closely with Howorth, a business to business, consumer technology and enterprise technology public relations agency in Sydney, I recently helped illustrate a creative, fun and educational storybook that underscored how SMBs could take advantage of Microsoft Online Services (Howorth’s client).
  • Set in the fictional town of Mosworth, the simple-to-read illustrated storybook recounted the story of Mr Fix I.T., the town’s friendly and in-demand computer expert, who helped a cross section of the town’s SMB owners with simple, cost-effective and no-fuss answers to their computing problems using Microsoft Online Services.
  • My illustrations showed the characters ‘before’ (think: worried, stressed, overloaded) and ‘after’ (think: happy, productive, organised) Mr Fix I.T. had implemented Microsoft Online Services for their businesses.
  • The booklet was balanced with the creative illustrated story as well as product information on the Microsoft Online Services suite, customer testimonials and a free 30 day opt-in trial for readers.

Campaign results:

  • Microsoft Australia printed over 3,000 colour copies of the A5 Mr Fix I.T. storybook, which were distributed to SMB customers, partners and media.

The booklet front cover illustration: Mr Fix I.T. with the story characters

Project responsibilities:

My role involved:

  • Working closely with the Howorth team to brainstorm and develop ideas that could be converted into a storybook highlighting the benefits of Microsoft Online Services;
  • Helping provide feedback and ideas on the storybook script developed by Howorth; and
  • Bringing-to-life the story and characters through hand-drawn illustrations using Black & White ink and traditional colour pencils.

The busy and in-demand Mr Fix I.T.

“Guy is a talented illustrator and he has really helped us bring to life the benefits Microsoft Online Services delivers to SMB customers. He has been great to work with, plus he really ‘gets’ complex technology and business issues and knows how to humanise them”.

Marie-Claire Suter, Senior Account Director, Howorth

The bustling town of Mosworth

Kelly, the accountant, before discovering Microsoft Online Services

Cool, calm and collected: Kelly after finding Microsoft Online Services

Steve, the textile manufacturer. A happy man thanks to Microsoft Online Services.

The booklets with a few open pages

Netbook, smartphone, notepad, coffee and Mr Fix I.T.

*Disclosure: I used to work at Howorth before launching my own visual communication practice.

If you believe in fairies…

…you will no doubt know that fairies like to do a ‘dance’ when a thunderstorm has passed, the puddles dry up and the sunshine re-appears from behind the clouds.

The Fairy Dance

This is my latest illustration forLondon Mums magazine. It’s great to be given a kid’s story to illustrate and let the imagination open up. And here is my illustration in the next issue:

Anittel uses visual communication to share its company story

  • Anittel uses graphic recording to draw out business ideas
  • Shares its vision with key stakeholders using a company ‘Journey Map’


I’ve recently been working with Anittel, a national IT and Telecommunications company, using visual communication to help them create a common language and catalyst for both internal and external business communication.

Following a period of expansion and acquisitions, which brought together new team members, skills and cultures, Anittel’s CEO, Ilkka Tales, and senior management team were keen to visualise their collective thinking to help identify key opportunities, focus areas and ideas that could drive the business forward.

The work:

As a visual communication consultant, I was brought in to work on two specific phases.

  • Phase one – graphic recording: firstly, to graphic record a senior leadership workshop where the new company leaders gathered to discuss ideas and thinking around the company priorities, opportunities and challenges.

My graphic recording posters in the background of the leadership team workshop

  • Phase two – Journey Map creation: secondly, to use the most important ideas from the graphic recording content as the foundation for developing a Journey Map, which uses a themed picture (full of visual language, metaphors and images) to highlight the direction, priorities, values and vision of the company in a quick, engaging and compelling manner.

The Anittel Journey Map in full colour

An express train and journey theme was chosen as the creative concept for Anittel’s map. Key elements along the track and dotted throughout the landscape acted as visual metaphors for the most important elements that must be acted upon and remembered if the company is to achieve its objectives.

The Journey Map was coloured in phases, moving from B&W to full colour in stages, to help focus the map’s ‘story teller’ on key initiatives and in their order of importance.  The coloured phasing also helped to ‘build’ the company story as the Journey Map was explained and re-told.

The Anittel Journey Map in simple black & white: the point where the storytelling starts

The first phase of colour appears on the Journey Map and sparks the story and picture into life

The second phase of colour appears and shifts focus to the next key company initiative

The story continues as the picture begins to fill with more colour and the story moves to a new section

The Journey Map picture and story continues to unfold, helping the viewer/audience get a visual snapshot of the organisation's priorities

The Journey Map's visual language helps to build a common communication platform for engagement, understanding and sharing the company vision

The Journey Map act as a daily reminder of the company vision and how to get there in a creative, easy-to-understand and engaging manner

The results:

How Anittel used the graphic recording posters:

  • The posters were on display at a Board Meeting to build a better understanding among Board members of the senior team’s views on the company, key initiatives, issues and opportunities.
  • The posters were digitally photographed and included in a Powerpoint presentation so that the ideas and discussion captured at the senior leadership workshop could ‘live on’ in the business well after the event.

Graphic recording helps capture conversations as they happen so people can stand back and 'see what they mean' as well as the discussion 'bigger picture'

How Anittel has been using the company Journey Map:

  • The senior leadership team presented the Journey Maps to their teams nationally and shared the ‘story within the picture’ to introduce a common platform on the business’s main objectives, challenges, priorities and how they would navigate its future journey.
  • All employees have been given the Journey Map either as a screen saver or as a desk-side poster to act as a daily reminder of the company vision and how to travel towards success.
  • The senior leadership team has regularly used the Journey Map in meetings with external stakeholders to share the ‘big picture’ of Anittel’s vision in a quick, engaging and creative way.

“Guy has really helped us develop a common communication platform that lets us share our company story with all types of people. The Journey Map has been fantastic for employees to picture our approach and journey ahead.  We also use the Map when talking to key external stakeholders, such as partners, investors, suppliers, to introduce them to the ‘who, what, how and why’ behind the company. The project has been invaluable for us as a communications tool for staff and customers.”
 Ilkka Tales, CEO, Anittel

What type of digital media consumer are you?

Working with the Edelman Technology PR team in London, I recently illustrated what the types of people using (and not using) digital media may look like. My three fictional cartoon characters accompanied a survey press release by HP PSG on digital media evolution and usage in the UK.

The HP survey revealed that while Brits ‘are not in the Dark Ages when it comes to the progression from physical to digital ownership of media, they’re far from being Space Age’. For example:

  • While 86% of the population access some form of digital media, 68% still prefer photographs to be physical rather than digital, 64% for music, 75% for films and a massive 95% for books.

My illustration brief was to ‘bring to life’ three possible digital media personalities based on generalised typologies:

  • A ‘Future Head’ (approximately 16-30 years old) who is the key embracer of change, always choosing digital over physical ownership. Basically, ‘gadget-mad’.

A Future Head: crazy about technology

  • A ‘Rolling Stone’ (roughly 30 to 50 years old) who rolls with the best of both worlds. They are technology literate but not obsessed and will adopt a technology only if they see a clear benefit (and usually after the ‘early adopters’).

A Rolling Stone: leading a busy life - no time to be too tech obsessed!

  • A  ‘Suspicious mind’ (probably 50 years old and over) who are the most resistant to technological change and still love, consume and own media in traditional formats.

A suspicious mind: nothing digital please!

It was a great project to illustrate and working across the time zones between Australia and the UK worked out really well – when the UK was sleeping, I was working on the brief.

Edelman is a big and trusted name in PR. They’re the world’s largest, independent PR company with over 3,200 people in 52 offices worldwide. In addition to being one of the leading PR firms, they are well known for sharing insights and reports, in particular The Edelman Trust Barometer. The Edelman Trust Barometer tracks trust in major institutions across Business, Government, Media and NGOs; in industry sectors; and the credibility of sources of information. The Edelman UK tech team also have a blog worth checking out if you’re interested in snacking on regular tech insights and opinions.

Stepping into the ‘Innersphere’

Graphic recording for ING and experience dna Live Events

Start of Day 1: two graphic recording posters (3m x1m) are in position


  • Graphic recording at an intimate two-day closed door event, titled ‘Innersphere’ – an ongoing programme of CEO-level retreats created solely for ING’s executives and key distributors across Australia
  • Event experience created by experience dna – designers and deliverers of effective and transforming communications in the live event space
  • CEO-level, senior government and high profile business and media guest speakers attended the event
  • Event held at Hotel Realm and Old Parliament House, Canberra
  • As the graphic recorder, I produced 11 large creative posters (each 3m X 1m) of all presentations and panel sessions, drawing them ‘live’ as the speakers were presenting

The main room on Day 1: immacutely designed and created by experience dna at Hotel Realm

Two high-impact days.  Two impressive venues.  11 influential speakers.  High-level topics covering financial, political, business and life matters.  Over 20 senior financial services executives attending.

These are just a few of the key ingredients that created the setting for ING’s compelling and engaging ‘Innersphere’ – a top to bottom design delivery of an ongoing programme of CEO-level retreats seamlessly created by ING and experience dna.

Innersphere’s creates opportunities for ING senior management to build alignment and relationships with ING’s key client base and vice versa.

Drawing the conversation 'live': poster #1 is complete and filled with ideas, topics and questions from the first presentation

As the event’s ‘live’ graphic recorder, my role over the two days was to:

  • visually capture all the presentations and panel sessions onto large posters using a mixture of hand-drawn pictures, words and images
  • draw a creative record of the conversations and key themes that would capture imagination during the retreat and ‘live on’ after the event.

Why else was I there?

  • to inject a level of creativity, colour and innovation during the proceedings;
  • to reflect the event’s objective of doing things differently; and
  • to work with experience dna and ING to create template posters on the day that could be used to capture critical information generated from discussions and team workshops.

Colour, images, words: a shot of one of my graphic recording posters from Day 2 at Old Parliament House

The presentations, Q&A’s and panel sessions involved ING executives, former politicians, financial executives, treasury officials, CEOs and media guest speakers.

Speakers included senior executives from ING, Bernard Salt (KPMG), Nigel Marsh (CEO, Y&R Brands and author of ‘Fat, Forty and Fired’), Bernie Ripoll (Ripoll Report), John Brogden and Terry Bell (Business Health Check) among others.

As the graphic recorder, I produced 11 large creative posters (each 3m X 1m) of all presentations and panel sessions, drawing them ‘live’ as the speakers were presenting.

Commenting on my work and involvement, Roger Dowling, Managing Director, and Ian MacIntosh, Creative Director, experience dna Live Events, said: “ING Innersphere is a CEO-level, intimate and bespoke event and one of the key objectives behind the two day gathering is to do things differently. Experience DNA brought Guy on board to help achieve exactly this. By using his graphic recording, art and communication skills, Guy ‘drew’ the conversation, ideas, challenges and opportunities as they were being discussed onto large scale and panoramic-style posters. Guy has the unique ability of being able to distil and humanise complex topics into creative and eye-catching posters (without losing any of the core messages). Guy’s work has also delivered ING a memorable creative record of the event that they can reference for future purposes”.

Coffee break at Old Parliament House: my posters create a backdrop to the conversation during coffee and throughout the presentations, Q&A and panel sessions

Here are some snap shots of the posters and one template I created for a workshop session:

The ING logo: quickly and colourfully sketched at the top of each poster

An icon example from one of my posters to symbolise 'alignment'

Examples of icons, images, words and colour

A template poster used by teams in a workshop to identify industry hot topics

The view on departure from ING Innersphere

‘Story Time’: illustrations for London Mums magazine

Stories are an essential ingredient in children’s lives as they provide vital entertainment, learning skills and stimulation – plus they help them to understand the world around them.

I recently illustrated a children’s story for the London Mums magazine ‘Story Time’ column. The aim of the story was to:

  • help strike a connection between words, sound, image and feeling and;
  • combine these senses and to help make music more accessible to children.

The writer invited children and their carers to read a story about a group of animals in the African savannah alongside a piece of selected classical music (Vivaldi’s Four Seasons).  They were invited to read the story first, then listen to the music and see if they could fit both together in their own way, adding to the story as they went based on what they were reading, the illustrations they were looking at and the music they could hear.

My role was to select two key moments and illustrate them to help bring the story to life and in doing so hopefully spark ideas and imagination as the child and carer were reading together. I illustrated these pictures using pencil, ink and colour.

London Mums magazine is the official publication of London Mums, the only free and independent peer support group for mums based in London (UK). The support group has over 10,000 full active members (as at May 2010) with members helping each other through the joys and challenges women face with raising their children. The magazine is complimented by its website:

The magazine’s reach is large. 30,000 copies are delivered to antenatal / postnatal clinics and hospitals, local libraries, edutainment and leisure centres, nurseries and schools, family friendly shops and businesses across London.

The content is produced by London Mums Ltd and its editorial team focuses on topics and issues of interest to mums and mumpreneurs based in London. It features real mums’ testimonials, high profile family experts and celebrity mums.

Recent celebrities that have been interviewed for the publication include some high profile names, such as :

  • Amanda Hamilton, the UK’S most popular television “mum-presenter”, successful mumpreneur and writer,  best known for co-hosting BBC food and lifestyle programme “Something for the Weekend”
  • Jacquie Beltrao, Sky News presenter
  • Emma Forbes, former presenter of BBC children’s show ‘Live & Kicking’, broadcaster, a true London Mum and Mumpreneur
  • Some interviews are here.

Having lived in a big city with kids, I know that resources like London Mums are vital for Mums, parents, carers and children. It’s a good, relevant, interesting and colourful magazine – one that you can read at length over a coffee or dip into quickly at any time to get some top tips or useful ideas.

The view from Gate 59

Airports are a great place for thinking time. It’s also the perfect opportunity to sketch as there are so many things to look at and watch: people, faces, cafes, planes, machinery, movement and energy. I drew this last night while waiting for my flight. Sat at Gate 59 at Sydney’s Domestic T2, this is what was on view – the ground staff were loading up a Jetstar flight as dusk approached and menacing stormed clouds hovered over head in the distance. As I sketched people stopped to watch for a moment or stole a quick glance and then moved on – everyone hurriedly trying to get home on a rainy, wintery night.

Presenting business ideas with a picture, not PowerPoint

Drawing business ideas using words, images and colour can help make the process of communication clearer, quicker and more visible to a key audience. This can be useful in business settings when it’s important to sell an idea or proposal in a fresh yet compelling manner — and grab attention (and maintain it) all in the same strike.

I recently did some work with a leading public affairs specialist using exactly this method. Their team were giving a critical presentation to the senior management group of a large services company and they wanted to steer away from the usual approach of text-heavy PowerPoint or Word proposals.

You’ll note that exact names and content in this post have been replaced by ‘Lorum ipsum dolor’ to maintain confidentiality – but the underlying point is clear. Pictures help capture people’s imagination, engage conversation and help draw attention to a business story.

Some other areas for consideration:

  • The presentation and the proposed business strategy within it became clearer and ‘to the point’ by using a bespoke picture. The senior management team could see ‘the bigger picture’ with all the content on one sheet of paper, as opposed to multiple slides;
  • The picture also allowed the team to engage and interact with the key decision makers in conversation around the table, as opposed to losing them in PowerPoint slides where ‘we talk, you listen’;
  • The drawing followed a tight brief and was executed by hand and carried a visual ‘river’ metaphor that was relevant to the audience and presentation theme; and
  • Each member of the senior management team was given a copy to refer to during the conversation, to take away as a ‘leave behind’ or to circulate with colleagues (in both hard copy and digital format) so that the content could ‘live on’ beyond the initial meeting.

Detailed grabs of the final image:

Sparkling Christmas Wishes – from Your Body Works!

Sparkling Christmas Wishes!

Sparkling Christmas Wishes!

Here’s the 2009 Christmas card I recently created and illustrated for Your Body Works – a successful and growing specialised Applied Kinesiology Chiropratic healthcare and Allied Health Clinic in Brisbane. 

This card has been sent to all their clients, suppliers and people who have had any type of interaction with the clinic over the past year — that’s quite a few people! My idea and purpose with this illustration was to add lots of slap-in-the-face bright colours to make it really memorable and fun to look at. Plus to include ‘Bod’, the clinic’s happy and flexible brand character, decorating the Christmas tree!

The final off the press & looking hot!

The final off the press & looking hot!

Engineers make it so!

'Make it so I lose fat while washing the dishes'

'Make it so I lose fat while washing the dishes'

I recently completed a series of 11 original cartoons for the Engineers Australia ‘Make it so’ campaign. My illustrations were based on the notion that engineers and engineering teams ‘make it so’ by listening to what people want and communities need and turn these wishes into reality.

The cartoons supported a media relations outreach campaign to consumer journalists who were asked to dream up what they would like to be ‘made so’.

I brought each journalist’s idea to life in a cartoon which was then sent to them as a follow up after their interviews by the agency running the campaign, Pulse Communications. Media involved ranged from magazines such as Madison, Better Homes & Gardens, K-Zone  to Girlfriend.

'Make it so my lazy kids are flipped out of bed when I press a button'

'Make it so my lazy kids are flipped out of bed when I press a button'

From late February 2010, in a world first competition, Australians will be called upon to visit a dedicated website to share their dream, wish or idea and one lucky person will have it ‘made so’.

The unique competition is a part of a new public awareness campaign by Engineers Australia’s that aims to lift the curtain on what engineers actually do, by involving everyday Australians in the world of engineering in a fun and entertaining way.

'Make it so our precious Great Barrier Reef doesn't disappear'

'Make it so our precious Great Barrier Reef doesn't disappear'

From bridges to Blackberrys, drinking water to the Water Cube and plastic knees to petrol-free cars – engineers ‘make it so.’

'Make it so a remote control does my homework for me when I press a button'

'Make it so a remote control does my homework for me when I press a button'

'Make it so I can teleport from my wardrobe to the shops and back again at any time'

'Make it so I can teleport from my wardrobe to the shops and back again at any time'

Cartoons instead of words: Lion Nathan internal presentation

Marketeers in a meeting

Marketeers in a meeting

Working with Impact Employee Communications earlier this year, I was commissioned to help turn the content of a ‘word-heavy’ powerpoint presentation (that a Lion Nathan senior executive was giving to a large internal audience) into cartoon strip-style illustrations. The objective was to help the senior executive present the data as a story in a compelling yet clean and simple way – allowing them to move away from powerpoints slides overloaded with data and information. You can see the illustration style I used reflects this brief –  it’s very minimalist using clean black and white line drawings. Here are a few more illustration frames to give you a sense of what I did:

Brainstorm in session

Brainstorm in session

Market research

Market research

Informatica D.I. Patrol: saving CIOs drowning in data!

In search of the data driven enterprise

In search of the data driven enterprise

About six months ago while at Howorth (an Ogilvy PR company), I was thrown a dream and ‘carte blanche’ illustration brief by Luca Penati and his Ogilvy PR Tech Practice team in San Francisco. I was given the opportunity to humanise and ‘bring to life’ the business benefits of Informatica’s data integration software and approach in a cartoon strip. The cartoon strip was used in the new business meeting and Ogilvy PR were successful in winning the Informatica PR business. I’d like to think my cartoon strip was one ingredient in delivering a fresh approach to telling an important technology and business story.

My idea was to illustrate the key issues around data integration – by illustrating a CIO working late at night on an impossible deadline and drowning in data. Enter stage left: The Informatica D.I. (data integration) Patrol! A highly skilled, high impact unit that swoop in to help any CIO that they pick up on their ‘D.I. disaster’ radar who is drowning in data. By swooping in to help the CIO deploy Informatica’s platform and solutions the Patrol blast away the data integration disaster and transform the business into a data-driven enterprise!

It was a lot of fun (thank you Luca and team) and I really enjoy this type of brief : translating a complex and important business technology issue into a fun, light-hearted and easy-to-read cartoon. Here are some frames to give you a flavour:

It's late on a sweltering night in Data City...

It's late on a sweltering night in Data City...

Don't panic Jim!

Don't panic Jim!

Stand back Jim - this won't take long!

Stand back Jim - this won't take long!

Logo design for 9-12s Kids Activities Programming

9-12s activities do matter

9-12s activities do matter

Activities for kids really do matter and can make such a positive impact. Kids benefit on so many levels such as: exercise, friendships, new skills, building self-esteem and confidence and having fun – the list goes on.

I recently created this logo design for ‘The 9 – 12’s Project’ – an initiative to enhance activities programming for 9 – 12’s in the Metro South West Sydney Region. This area encompasses the Local Government Areas of Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee. A key goal is to improve access to activities that promote positive development for children aged 9 – 12.

I gave some deep thought to the design and content of my illustrations which I used to convert into the final logo.

The seven stepping stones represent the seven local government areas mentioned above that will act as the foundation for this initiative. The two kids are stepping on the stones as they make their way from the start to their destination and each stride stretches them to make new progress – similar to the effect that the activities programme will have on participating kids. I tried to add movement and momentum in the illustration as the kids jumped from stone to stone.

If my illustration and short overview has peaked your interest, for more information, please go to:

Helping Ogilvy PR Central team to think visually

OPR Central team: brainstorm output...before

Ogilvy PR Central team: brainstorm output posters...before

The success of many communication businesses is also due to the critical people that work behind the scenes. External clients may never see them — but a successful business can’t do without them. For me, this encapsulates the Ogilvy PR Central team in Sydney, which looks after financial strategy, finance, accounts, HR and talent. (disclaimer: I worked at Ogilvy PR for 6 years).

I recently helped the Ogilvy PR Central team, led by Emma Cartwright, to convert key ideas captured from an internal brainstorm on being ‘a trusted advsior’ into a visual poster and framework that the team could see and use everyday in their office.

Ogilvy PR Central team: brainstorm poster template...after

Ogilvy PR Central team: brainstorm poster template...after

The aim was to create a poster to help the team ‘live and breathe’ the outcomes from that brainstorm on a daily basis – as well as creating something more visually compelling than messy old sheets of butchers paper. The final poster was full of visual metaphors and acted as a framework so the team could populate it with ideas and thoughts on a daily basis using post-it notes.

Here’s what Emma said:

“One of the key goals in my department is for each of us to be a “trusted advisor” to our clients – Guy helped to bring this to life for us, turning a bunch of words on some messy documents into a colourful wall poster that captures the spirit of what it takes to be a trusted advisor, and is used every day to celebrate examples of success.  He listened so carefully to what it meant to me before translating this into an impactful visual that has pride of place on our wall, with the flexibility to evolve the content over time.  Thank you!”

Emma Cartwright, Director, Talent & Finance, Ogilvy PR Australia

Ogilvy PR Central team: poster detail

Ogilvy PR Central team: poster detail

Ogilvy PR Central team: poster on the wall

Ogilvy PR Central team: poster on the wall

Paddington town house — in the midday sun

Paddington town house, Sydney

Paddington town house, Sydney

So often I admire these style of houses as I drive or walk past. The ornate balcony iron work, the solid and re-assuring architecture and wonderful windows that sometimes reveal a glimpse of a hidden interior as you stroll past, day or night. I was priviledged to be commissioned privately to draw this beautiful house in Paddington for a personal gift – it gave me the chance to study the architecture in detail and bring it to life on my white art paper using light and shade to accentuate the strong midday Aussie sunshine.  My client loved the illustration and said it made a great gift.

Premiere Global Services: cartoons for APAC fax campaign

PGS fax campaign: message in a bottle

PGS fax campaign: message in a bottle

Working with the Premiere Global Services marketing team based out of Singapore, I was commissioned to illustrate a series of cartoons to demonstrate to marketeers in Singapore and Malaysia that email marketing and conferencing are one of the most cost effective mediums available in a downturn.

My aim for each illustration was to take at light-hearted and fun look at situations where people were using outdated methods to reach key audiences – the ‘message in a bottle’ is particular personal favourite. My cartoons were used in a fax campaign to key marketing targets across Singapore and Malaysia.

PGS web conferencing: it's so much easier...

PGS web conferencing: it's so much easier...

PGS conferencing: invest in new technology...

‘Straight to the core’: Intel processor launch cartoons

Intel comic strip #1

Intel comic strip #1

To see my full size cartoons on the Intel website, click here.

Last year, I illustrated three cartoon strips for the launch of Intel’s Core i7 Processor – a mighty fast processor that delivered an incredible breakthrough in PC performance. Working with the team at Howorth, I illustrated the light-hearted scripts showing two mates, Ken and Michael, in real-life scenarios which demonstrated the benefits of the technology. Click on the link provided at the top to take a look at the illustrations and story lines in detail.

Intel cartoon strip #2

Intel comic strip #2

In terms of ROI, my cartoons provided a fun way to inform and educate media and consumers of the end-user benefits. The cartoons were used in three markets (EMEA, APAC and US) during the launch.

In detail: frame #1 from comic strip #1

In detail: frame #1 from comic strip #1

Intel comic strip #3

Intel comic strip #3

In detail: frame #7 in comic strip #2

In detail: frame #7 in comic strip #2

Premiere Global Services infographic: drive your business to success

PGS Campaign Accelerator infographic

PGS Campaign Accelerator infographic

Thanks to an introduction from Ogilvy PR Singapore, I was introduced to their fantastic Premiere Global Services (PGS) local team. PGS had recently introduced The InBox Series as a one-stop resource website where Marketers can subscribe and receive monthly white papers on Email Marketing. Using their own Campaign Accelerator Email Solution, electronic direct mail (eDM) campaigns were ran to promote the series and website, alongside other mediums for a multi-channel marketing approach.

I was tasked by the PGS Singapore marketing team, led by Jasmine Lim, to work closely with them to create an infographic that would illustrate the benefits of how the Campaign Accelerator Email Solution helped to promote the series and website. PGS will be using the infographic for internal and external marketing purposes.

Using the word ‘accelerator’ as a starting point, I developed an infographic design based on a Grand Prix theme that could house the textual information PGS wanted to include. I also worked closely with the design team at Impact Employee Communications to include the digitized text on top of my tailor-made and hand drawn illustration.

Detail of image:

Your Body Works: bringing the brand logo to life

Your Body Works: body all twisted?

Your Body Works: body all twisted?

Your Body Works is a specialised Applied Kinesiology Chiropractic and Allied Health Clinic in Brisbane. Their highly personalised and patient-centric approach means that a person’s healthcare is tailored to the individual requirements of their body.

I was commissioned by Susan Walker, the founder of the business and a highly skilled AK practitioner, to help personalise their logo and bring it to life as a ‘brand character’ in illustrated scenarios, that could double up as marketing collateral and also be used in correspondence with patients. My illustrations have been used for direct marketing, patient reminders as well as welcome letters when people first the clinic.

Susan has further exciting plans for the Your Body Works character I created (affectionately known as  ‘Bod’) and I recently completed a Christmas card illustration for her clinic. Susan has also used the character outdoors on the outside of her building – exciting stuff.

Welcome to Your Body Works: post card

Welcome to Your Body Works: post card

B&W illustration: Shere village church

Shere village church, England

Shere village church, England

This B&W pencil illustration was a private commission and shows the view from the centre of the village towards the church, which is a very popular spot for weddings as the setting is so idyllic and typically English.

Ogilvy PR Australia: 2009 journey map

Ogilvy PR: "In Good Company"

Ogilvy PR: "In Good Company"

In early 2009, I was given the great opportunity to sit down with John Studdert, managing director, Ogilvy PR Australia, and Daniela Filer, an Associate Director from Impact Employee Communications (an Ogilvy PR Worldwide company), to chat about how we could bring to life John’s idea to visualise his 2009 company kick-off presentation along with his strategy and vision over the next year.

I went away and started brainstorming, sketching and meeting regularly with John and Dani. The illustration you see above is the final result and it was used internally across the company and with clients to share the company’s future path for 2009.
The main theme I came up with was  a ‘Tour De France style cycling race’ and every element of the illustration has a meaning to help tell the Ogilvy PR Australia company story, challenges, opportunities and vision. It received a very positive response and has helped to clearly communicate the company vision at a glance and in a fresh way.

Ogilvy PR Journey map: desk art and comms tool

Ogilvy PR Journey map: desk art and comms tool

In addition, interestingly, the illustration and journey map started to appear independently and unprompted on people’s desks. The illustration started to evolve on its own, which was very exciting. Staff started to print out colour copies as daily reminders of who Ogilvy is, what the company is aiming for and where it is going. In short, it has become a simple but powerful internal communication tool that tells the company story.

Ogilvy PR Journey Map: a daily reminder of our vision

Ogilvy PR Journey Map: a daily reminder of the company vision

 Detail of Journey Map:


B&W illustration: Beautiful Sydney harbour

Wedding invite. Priceless view.

Wedding invite. Priceless view.

Sydney is simply blessed with thousands of beautiful harbour views. This B&W ink line illustration was a private commission and it was used on the front of a wedding invite. The illustration shows the view from where the wedding reception was held.