Hatching Free Range Ideas

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Glorious data

In Africa stories, Story, Visual Thinking on November 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm

If you haven’t seen Hans Rosling’s 2003 TED talk on data visualization, you’re missing a treat. He animates the data to debunk several myths about the world economy. The concept resonates with the graphic facilitation stuff that I’m learning. I just don’t know where it fits yet.

What do you think? What did you learn that you didn’t know before?


Today, we draw

In Big Fun!, drawings, Images, Visual Thinking on November 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

The next assignment was to draw how we would care for ourselves and post it near our desks. I always re-imagine my assignments ’cause they are for MY learning, not the instructors, just like I did when I asked my economics prof if I could answer a different question than the one he asked ’cause we had already covered that point. I wrote a haiku about real estate supply and demand. Well, someone had to.

So here is a drawing showing facilitation challenges and actions that I can take to address, compensate for or just redirect my attention away from.

I’m learning to draw big with these BIG Copic markers. I think what I need from them are light colors to use as washes. The ones that I love are these big brush markers — much more easy for me to control. What kinds of tools do you use in the moment on paper that work for you? I’m searching.

Journey Map

In drawings, Images, Sketchnoting, Uncategorized, Visual Thinking on November 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Our first assignment in my graphic facilitation course was to create and upload a video introduction. We could use anything we wanted and so far people had.

I started with a drawing and I thought I’d share it here. I’ll do the next one on paper. I have a 200 foot role of 4 foot wide paper and a bunch of OUTSTANDINGLY GORGEOUS big fat markers coming. Can’t wait to see what happens.

My favorite part is the kid with wildly flapping arms as I tried to fly. Ran into the fence when lift off fell a little short.

Do you have flying scars?

How Pictures Work

In ART!, Books, design, drawings, Sketchnoting, Visual Thinking on November 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I just read a wonderful book titled Picture This: How pictures work written by Molly Bang. In it Bang, an award winning children’s book artist, explores color, shape, size and proximity to find the emotions hidden within the picture frame. She invites you into the experiment while she moves and changes simple solid color cutouts. Together you discover the following principles on how pictures work:

  1. Smooth flat horizontal shapes give us a sense of stability and calm.
  2. Vertical shapes are exciting and active.
  3. Diagonal shapes imply motion or tension.
  4. The upper half of a picture is a place of freedom, happiness and triumph
  5. The center of the page is the center of attention
  6. White backgrounds feel safer than dark backgrounds
  7. Pointy shapes are scary; rounded shapes are comforting. [And I thought I came up with this myself when I finally drew the right wolf for my 3 Little Pigs sketchnote.]
  8. The larger an object the stronger it feels
  9. We associate shapes with the same color more strongly than shapes with the same shape
  10. Contrast enables us to see
Just ’cause I’ve written the points down here doesn’t mean you’ve gotten it all. There are many nuances that she covers that aren’t included in the points above. It’s a brilliant book that covers a complex subject deeply. . . in 96 pages. And that’s the beauty of a children’s book illustrator. She can tell a complicated story simply, preserving all the story’ complexity.

What I want to do when I grow up. . .

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I had the great fortune to listen to a bunch of Dad’s students last week, as they talked about the impact he had on their lives. The stories were funny and touching and it became obvious to me that, just like Mom’s family of art folks who were multi-generational and widely different, Dad had a similar family. Often these families of affinity are kept separate from natural families.

The most powerful statement that I heard was, “He rescued me from mediocrity.” Yeah! How’s that for a life goal!!!

I also had to think about my change the world goal for my first graphic facilitation course assignment. I’m thinking that what I want to do is to remove the blinders that allow our thinking to follow a path we already know.

What’s your change the world goal?

A customer relationship requires trust

In customers on November 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I had an experience yesterday that doesn’t come along that often. However, I find that Amazon and Costco consistently apply this logic. I wonder if it has anything to do with paying to be a customer/member.

Here’s the story:

I sent a birthday present from Amazon to a friend. UPS said they left it on her doorstep, however it wasn’t HER doorstep at all. It was someone else’s doorstep. UPS  defines customer service as speed. It also helps them with their bottom line of their drivers deliver as quickly as possible. Our UPS driver tosses our boxes out at the top of our driveway. I wonder if another bottom line value is to protect the trucks from the wear and tear of bumpy roads, although when I see UPS drivers drive, I think about other ways their trucks could be protected too.

I couldn’t find any way to tell UPS that they had delivered the package to the wrong location. All you can do is spend money with them in their totally automated world. You can’t ask them to correct an error, at least not any way that I could find. You need a local UPS number and those aren’t readily available. I don’t feel like a UPS customer; I feel like a UPS victim.

So, I contact Amazon through their automated system, which now has a chat function so you can actually speak to a person. That’s a big plus, since for many years all they had was an automated response. Depending on whether your problem was a common one or not, it worked. If you experienced anything slightly out of the norm, you got back totally weird messages.

On the Amazon site, I selected the lost package option and got a response saying someone would contact me within 12 hours to resolve. !2 hours, not 24. Nice.

Within the hour I got two messages, one that my friend had located the package on a distant neighbor’s doorstep and snagged it. The second was  a message that Amazon had shipped a new package at no charge to me. I went to cancel the order immediately however it was already on its way out of their warehouse and couldn’t be cancelled. The next option was that the receiver could refuse the package. That will only work if UPS delivers the package to the correct address.

I think we got it straightened out because the birthday girl found the local UPS number and called them and told her story. We’ll see.

The BIG point here is that Amazon trusted my word as a customer. That means a lot to me. I trust them to get orders to me (or anyone else I choose) in 2 days. They trust me to be truthful about our relationship. Because of the trust we have a relationship. Because we have a relationship, I will do business with Amazon even when I find another supplier with an equivalent product.

When I have an issue with anything that I buy from Costco, I happily return it and they honor the return.

For both of these retailers, I pay to be a customer member. How does that change things? I think the trust keeps me paying for membership. But it’s a funny idea to pay for trust.

Had anything like this happen to you?