Latest Work


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:

What would make your world better?

Using our Sketch Speak approach, we recently created a short and engaging video scribe animation to help Gallagher Benefit Services share their unique Gallagher Better Works story.

The hand drawn video scribe animation helps their key audiences understand how Gallagher partners with businesses and individuals to design and deliver career, financial, physical and emotional wellbeing solutions with real outcomes. The video scribe animation is being used in meetings, workshops, presentations and conferences to raise understanding and spark richer conversations about wellbeing and the Gallagher Better Works offering.

Our Sketch Speak service can also include working closely with clients to help them develop the story that forms the foundation of the animation. For Gallagher, this involved running a creative, fun and rigorous half day Story Mapping Workshop that helped the team explore, crystallise and find alignment on an engaging and relevant story structure for the final video scribe animation script.

Sketch Speak Workshop

We use our Sketch Speak approach with all types of businesses across a wide range of sectors. In short, Sketch Speak helps people get from A to B quicker. We use visuals to drive deeper understanding of the things that matter most to our clients. We believe that pictures play a vital role in business communication and no more so than in situations related to people, performance and change. To find out more, please 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,