Hatching Free Range Ideas

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Graphic Facilitation — I’m so EXCITED!!!

In drawings, Friend's doing cool stuff that you can share, How we learn and think, Visual Thinking on October 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I just signed up for a 6 month graphic facilitation course on line through Alphachimp Studios.

If you too are  interested, there are a few seats left. You can find out more at: http://thatcreativespace.com/play

I don’t have a picture yet for the new course which begins next month, but here’s my visual introduction from a short, fun course that I took with them that merely got my feet wet. It was $250 and was worth that, but not more.

This next course is a full blown graphic facilitation course online. At first thought, it seemed expensive, especially if if weren’t 1/2 off as an introductory course. Half off is $2000.

However, here’s my reasoning for why it’s worth $2000:

  1. There are two online modules per month for 6 months. Estimated working time per week is 60-90 minutes. That means that it’s 36 hours of learning time, or $55/hour, the cost of an in-state tuition college class.
  2. The content is coming for experts in the graphic facilitation industry.
  3. They’re willing to share ALL of their knowledge, not only about graphic facilitation skills but the total practice, all the way down to pricing. Pricing anything has always been a struggle for me.
  4. It’s equivalent to the cost of a conference.
  5. It’s tax deductible as a business expense.
  6. It’s a framework for forced practice.
I’m hoping that it’s much more interactive than the fun course and that it contains MUCH more technical information, which it appears to have. So few of these courses, Sketchnoting and others have how to stuff. They seem to attract people with plenty of drawing how to who are looking for a way to apply their drawing skills to a new medium/methodology. I don’t have that kind of drawing skill, although I’m working on it.
I toyed with the idea of spending this kind of money and time on drawing rather than this specific application, however, they said seats were running out and before I knew it, my fingers had entered my PayPal information. Does the autofill in Google Chrome make purchases speed faster than thought for you too?

I’ll be sharing what I learn through this blog, which for a while seems to have become All Sketchnotes All the Time. Or mostly sketchnotes most of the time, anyway.

What do you think? Does graphic facilitation interest you? Want to know more?


Honor and expectations about the way the world works

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm

This is about the stories we tell ourselves. I’m puzzling over honor because I”m wading through the results of what I thought was doing the right thing. It’s not my first time to the puzzle.

I read many fables as a child that described an immediate balance in the world — The Ant and the Grasshopper; Cinderella, the good daughter who someday her prince did come. . . So as an adult, I expect reciprocity for honorable action. I know, “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Great quote from Dr. King. It might be that sort of vision only comes in a combination of unwavering expectations of good in human nature and faith. Maybe those two things are the same and not a combination at all.

We know that we’re supposed to be good. We tell ourselves that we do the right things — even if they don’t benefit us — even if sometimes they cause us harm.

In 2009, Eric and I decided to help a  young family out. They had made some bad decisions but they seemed like good people who deserved another chance. We were happy to be the ones to provide that chance (direct benefit — feeling like we were good people). We entered into a 2-year, $130,000 partnership where we carry 97% of the load.

I dearly want to believe that each individual has a similar idea of and motivation toward honor but that’s not true. Giving up that belief is a great cost, one that I’m not willing to give up easily for the rest of the world.

Are there those of you out there reading this who know me who are saying, “She can’t believe others are drawn to honor; she doesn’t like that many people.” It’s true that my perception of missing honor will knock someone off my list quicker than anything else. I’m done. I don’t understand the rules in the game that you play without a moral compass so I won’t play.

In this case, the results of my belief have not been so good. The stories that the couple is telling us, that they must tell themselves come from a place we can’t see. The stories are manipulations, having less to do with what is and more to do with getting a decision that benefits them. Mutual benefit has never really been on the table even when I feel that we keep putting it back there (at a loss). We obviously weren’t believable. Sigh.

Their stories include righteous needs with no contribution to the problem. I expect that they consider their words are honorable words.

To us, the stories are blatantly untrue. I’m very puzzled as to how these two perspectives can be reconciled. How can you look at something and tell yourself that it’s something else? However, I’m not outside of that same fault line. I don’t think you are either.

Can honor mean focusing on family benefits first and foremost? I understand paying attention to an inner circle first; but when that happens (I said if but then realized that it always happens at some point), it’s wrong to tell ourselves a fable that makes our actions honorable.

We need to acknowledge that we do what we do for selfish reasons and not try to polish off the smoot. And we need to carry a little shame as the cost. Maybe that’s what people mean when they say, “It is what it is.”

If you don’t know me and while you’re reading this you think, “What an idiot to get in to a deal without more leverage! I think I’ll see if I can arrange a partnership too,” I’m all tapped out for now. Maybe you can catch me later, if you appear to me to be in need and a good person. And maybe you can’t. It depends on what I’m willing to give up. Optimism or cash.

How about the rest of you? What would you choose?

Circus mini-saga

In Big Fun!, Make something on October 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Do you know mini-sagas? They’re 50-word stories that have a full plot. I forgot about them until last night, when we watched the PBS documentary, Circus.

Here’s one of my first:


The circus train paroled me early. When the clowns found me, they claimed me as family, trading my prison stripes for a red-nosed disguise. My small, canon-perfect body shot across the crowd two nights in a row.


I leave in muffled darkness, eardrums shattered, sneaking away in oversized shoes.

You have one to share?

Full O’ Roosters

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

A great description of someone who is way too cool for their own good, huh?

Here’s my full o roosters.

My niece’s community hosted her wedding this past weekend. The community that I’m talking about is a group of family and friends who demonstrated the depths of their love for her through the gift of a weekend that was devoted 100%  to her happiness.

The wedding took a year to plan (as it should have) and a full weekend to pull off.  I’d say that people worked tirelessly but I know that’s not the truth. We were exhausted but it didn’t stop the work. Maybe that’s what that phrase means anyway.

If ever a marriage began wrapped in love, this one did. With the support I saw from her community, that marriage is held on pillars of stone and steel and love.  It’s a debt that only big love over a lifetime can begin to pay back.

Congratulations to Clint and Erica! Big Love Forever!!!

Places for sketchnoting inspiration

In drawings, Sketchnoting, Uncategorized, Visual Thinking on October 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I thought in this post I’d share some of the places that I find inspiration. This is me, right before I get new glasses.

Plus, I’m waiting to receive my sketchbook for the World Sketchbook Tour 2012. I feel as if I might have put myself in the path of a bus with this kind of commitment but I think that might start me running again, you know? But how will I ever give it up!!!!?

So, a first link. They Draw and cook. Who wouldn’t want to look at lovely drawings of FOOD!!!

When I need to think about new fonts, I am inspired by Carolyn Sewell’s lovely and funny hand-drawn text postcards.

David Sibbet’s sketchnotes on an ipad showed me a new way to order and organize my page. Straight rectangles! Who’d a thunk it?

Mike Rodhe’s collection of Sketchnotes from many sources give me many ideas for how to doodle fancy my notes.

Dave Gray, the man who unleashed it for me and his own sketchbook. If you haven’t yet seen a copy of Marks & Meaning, you must!

Need new symbols? Try Ed Emberley. I just got the Halloween book and now I can’t wait to hear a lecture that allows me to add a skeleton or two to my sketchnotes.

I find that I am more inspired by simple drawings than the more complex ones. Maybe that’s ’cause I can’t even pretend to hijack the complex ones.

The second economy, a neural backbone for the first economy

In How we learn and think on October 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I just read a really readable, cogent article sent to my through McKinsey’s e-newsletter and written by W. Brian Arthur, who is described in the article as:

a visiting researcher with the Intelligent Systems Lab at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and an external professor
at the Santa Fe Institute. He is an economist and technology thinker and a pioneer in the science of complexity.

I say BIG BRAIN. The paper is incredibly readable and quite fascinating. It provides both a believable pessimism on the overall jobs market while providing an optimistic perspective on the economy.


Twenty years ago, if you went into an airport you would walk up to a counter and present paper tickets to a human being. That person would register you on a computer, notify the flight you’d arrived, and check your luggage in. All this was done by humans.

Today, you walk into an airport and look for a machine. You put in a frequent-flier card or credit card, and it takes just three or four seconds to get back a boarding pass, receipt, and luggage tag. What interests me is what happens in those three or four seconds.

The moment the card goes in, you are starting a huge conversation conducted entirely among machines. Once your name is recognized, computers are checking your flight status with the airlines, your past travel history, your name with the TSA  (and possibly also with the National Security Agency). They are checking your seat choice, your frequent-flier status, and your access to lounges.

This unseen, underground conversation is happening among multiple servers talking to other servers, talking to satellites that are talking to computers (possibly in London, where you’re going), and checking with passport control, with foreign immigration, with ongoing connecting flights. And to make sure the aircraft’s weight distribution is fine, the machines are also starting to adjust the passenger count and seating according to whether the fuselage is loaded more heavily at the front or back.

His point is that this second economy is made up of the bits and bytes of information that are collected, related and shared about practically everything — soon to be everything that doesn’t require human judgement. People who are responsible for business processes had better watch their backs (or their fronts or futures or something). And that is where many of the jobs have disappeared, permanently.

The other point is that this neural underpinning of the first economy will be responsible for the productivity improvements that will drive the growth of GDP. The basic problem is that if jobs are the ticket to prosperity and there are fewer jobs, fewer people will have tickets to this new prosperity.

This was a very short book report but you have to read the book to find out how it ends.

Ah, Design!!!!

In design, Friend's doing cool stuff that you can share, I NEED THAT! on October 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hello, my name is Kate and I’m a design junkie. I want one of these!!!

I lifted this image from look, touch, feel. It says a lot about their design thinking. I’m hoping that they’re so grateful that I’m spreading the word about their design brilliance that they consider this fair use.

When I’m ready, I’m going to talk to them about my web site. When oh when will I be ready??? I met their creative direction at VizThink 2007 and have been looking for a way to work with him ever since. Check them out. Do you need design work?

A great intro to Sketchnoting

In drawings, Make something, Sketchnoting, Uncategorized, Visual Thinking on October 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I have looked at a post on Sketchnoting on this blog before, and today when I looked I found a new post with a great deal more info. If you’re interested in getting started with Sketchnoting there are some great ideas here. Plus, it’s very visually appealing.

The author suggests this TED talk as a great introductory exercise. I did it. Here’s the result. I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.