Announcing the Visual Facilitation Field Guide

I’m pleased to announce that I have a chapter in a forthcoming book on visual practice!

The book is The Visual Facilitation Field Guide, and my chapter is called The Growing Edge for Visual Practitioners.

Watch my quick video below to hear all about it!

Why this new book?

The Field Guide is intended for visual practitioners to use as a sourcebook of ideas and inspiration, but it’s also intended for non-practitioners to get a sense of the depth and breadth of the field and understand why and how to partner with a visual practitioner. Over 50 co-authors, all visual practitioners or facilitators who partner with them, are contributing chapters about their own experiences and methods.

Over 50 co-authors from around the globe are contributing to this Field Guide.

The Field Guide is co-edited by Jeroen Blijsie of The Visual Connection (the Netherlands), Tim Hamons of Art of Awakening (Singapore), and Rachel Smith (the US). The book’s design is provided by Visuality (Belgium).

Book content

It includes sections on visual language and drawing, visual facilitation basics, roles, listening, dialogue, templates, meetings–including large-scale meetings–both face-to-face and virtual, team performance, storytelling, working off the paper and beyond the meeting, and intersections with other fields. There’s also a section of stories using visuals in action and a section about the future of the field.

My chapter is about the future of the field and how we as practitioners can build and grow our visual thinking practices in several key ways. It addresses the stumbling blocks many new and new-to-the-field graphic facilitators have in talking about the work we do and the value that we bring. This content comes from my experience of coaching visual practitioners around the globe in how to build a flourishing visual business.

Help us by pre-ordering your own copy – at a *discount*

The book is being self-published and will be available mid-year (2018). To cover the costs, we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign!

The campaign opens on April 24, 12.00 PM CET, when you’ll be able to pre-order the book at a deep early bird discount. Or you can pledge a higher amount for other rewards, like a one-on-one coaching session with David Sibbet (The Grove) or Brandy Agerbeck!

I’ll be posting updates on the Curious Minds Co. facebook page, and twitter feed as the campaign gets closer. Stay tuned!

Spotlight on the gifted + bubbly Heather Leavitt Martinez

Spotlight on the gifted + bubbly Heather Leavitt Martinez

with Heather Leavitt Martinez

Hear about Heather’s background as a printmaker and fine artist, how that lead to a desire to develop a ‘visual vocabulary’ that served others in their work and the power that comes from co-creating visuals with the group she works with.

Heather has great insights into how to stand out and brand yourself as a visual practitioner, how a key question at a meetup group spurred her pursuit of mastery in lettering and the key things to focus on to deliver great results for your clients.

To check out Heather’s website – click here.






I hope you enjoyed this Spotlight Session.

If you enjoyed hearing about this visual work, make sure you have a copy of my 12 Great Icons book to BOOST YOUR VISUAL THINKING… (Click on the image below)…






Here are some other articles that may interest you…

Spotlight interview with the talented Sam Bradd

What’s in a Graphic Recorder’s Tool Bag?

How to draw – a simple map of Australia + globe














Spotlight on the talented Sam Bradd

Spotlight on the talented Sam Bradd

spotlight_icon_SamBradd copy

with Sam Bradd

Hear about Sam’s background in education and working in not-for-profit organisations, how drawing was originally a ‘side project’ until he found himself working ‘unexpectedly’ as a graphic facilitator (recorder). Sam has great insights into how to stay centered and present in our role when we are supporting groups doing difficult work.

To check out Sam’s website – click here and to have a look at Sam’s graphic work like the ones below – click here.


In Sam’s interview, he mentioned several people who have inspired him with their work and resources that he has found useful. Here’s the people and links to their websites and also a link to the IFVP 2016 Conference in Washington DC, USA.

 brandy GraphicDesign_guildbook MichelleWinkle

Brandy Agerbeck

The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide

Graphic Design
Guild Handbook

Michelle Winkel,
Maxine Borowsky Junge

Graphic Facilitation &
Art Therapy

visual sensemaking Leading-as-sacred-practice_ed IVFP

Visual Sensemaking

collaborative project

Leading as
Sacred Practice

Gisela Wendling, David Sibbet,

Alan Briskin and Holger Scholz

Learn. Grow. Connect. Inspire.

IFVP Conference 2016, Washington DC.


I hope you enjoyed this Spotlight Session.

If you enjoyed hearing about Sam’s graphic recording work, here are some other articles that may interest you…

Spotlight interview with the wonderful Lynne Cazaly

What’s in a Graphic Recorder’s Tool Bag?

When nostalgia looks soooo goood

How to draw – a simple map of Australia + globe


Working alongside the talented cartoonist, Andrew Fyfe

Working alongside the talented cartoonist, Andrew Fyfe

I sometimes get asked if I do ‘cartooning’. welcome

On the surface, I get that what we do as visual recorders can LOOK like cartooning and certainly some of our global tribe are super-skilled in this area…

(I am thinking back to the loving / longing envy I felt when I looked on Jørn Nielsen‘s charts the first time I met him in Hawaii… the man had just done a session capture and his large chart was entirely black ink – ah, but the power of his people and drawing. I came to learn Jørn has drawn all his working life including many years with Walt Disney Company! *sigh* down, my loving / longing heart for that level of drawing skill.)…

But I digress, back to the question of cartooning… my answer is always a resounding ‘nope’. It’s a field that is a specialty all on its own and an area that I continue to try to improve my skills in but would never raise my hand to say I had ‘arrived’.

So, imagine the joy when I got to work alongside Andrew Fyfe recently, one of Australia’s best known and loved cartoonists.

I had been asked to visually record two workshops for a big infrastructure project that is redesigning a metropolitan public transport network. My client advised that the organising team was also engaging a cartoonist, Andrew.

Andrew has had a career spanning two+ decades. I don’t want to show his age (or mine) but I remember him from a very popular Saturday night family show ‘Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday’ with Daryl Somers. With a camera trained over his shoulder, Andrew punched out rapid-fire drawings and caricatures of guests, presenters and his jokes as they came up. I was always fascinated (and a little terrified) at what I imagined was the pressure he was under to perform. He was part of the ‘Hey, Hey’ team for 14 years!

Andrew’s drawing skills are outstanding – he has mastered such a level of practice that he remains in constant demand for live corporate events, as well as gift caricatures and white board animation.

Duelling markers - Michelle Walker & Andrew Fyfe


At this event last month, what interested me greatly at the end of the day was the vastly different outputs. And how those two outputs were complimentary not at all a duplicate of the content, as one might fear.

Andrew made 25+ flipchart drawings – each with their own focus and story. They were like the Polaroids of the day.

I captured the discussions and key points on a 5m+ chart. It was like the panoramic photograph – through time and space – of the day’s conversations.

Together, they provided a rich and engaging picture of the event that has all the positive hallmarks of our crafts – a key point of interest, inspiration and delight for participants during the event; and a tangible memory anchor to take back to the workplace helping the teams to reap the benefits of the day in a more lasting way.

The humor that came through Andrew’s caricatures and cartoons added to the participant experience. Andrew had people constantly laughing with his witty drawing insights of the project and the presenters…

and you know what they say about laughter…

it makes us more relaxed and receptive and adds to morale.

I also believe the visual aspects of both our roles was a catalyst for participants to ‘give themselves permission’ to play and be creative during the sessions.


Play, trust and creativity are three surefire ways to success. – Deena Ebbert, FISH! Philosophy Leader1


So, when you are organising your next event or being engaged to capture a forum, consider the added value that including a cartoonist might have.

And for all the graphic recorders, let’s keep up our drawing skills!


*** Stay tuned, Andrew has agreed to come into the Spotlight – his interview will be available early next year. ***


1 If you have never heard of FISH! Philosophy – go to the FISH! Philosophy webpage and read more. Who knew playing and throwing fish around at a fish market could lead to a worldwide program to help organisations and schools improve energy and morale in their workplaces???!


How to mix colours for a custom palette

How to mix colours for a custom palette

Have you ever wanted just a slightly redder shade of orange? or a greener shade of blue?

Watch my new Coffee Break Tips video and find out how easy it is to mix custom colours for your graphic facilitation and recording work…


If you found this video useful, you might also enjoy:

What’s in a Graphic Recorder’s tool bag

How to Draw a Simple map of Australia + the Globe

How to Draw a Guy with a Flip-top Head


The delight of art words…

The delight of art words…

I recently saw a lovely piece of word art – you know where the word itself is illustrated with its own meaning…

Inspired, I thought I’d have a little adventure with that idea. Here’s my wee story.


I have been feeling like life has been reallyIMG_6601 (2)

Not that I’ve been feeling in a IMG_6604 (2) … far from it!


Life has been really exciting.

I just feel like I’m lacking IMG_6603 (2)


All my technology – my computer, my connections are all running so IMG_6589 (2)

And that’s been a great  IMG_6596 (2)for what’s going on, on the inside.



So it’s time to get back to IMG_6588 (2)

Get some IMG_6598 (2) and a renewed IMG_6603 (2)


So, inspired, we are heading off to the Kimberleys for the next couple of months.


A chance to make some IMG_6599 (2)

And get some IMG_6600  and perspective on life!


Hope you enjoyed my wee word art story. Would love to see your word art – email me with your best to and I’ll post here when I return in September.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:
When nostalgia looks soooo good
6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Kick Start Your Visual Thinking


Becoming a wanderer…

Becoming a wanderer…

It’s time to step away from the screen…

Time away from the busy-ness and the business…

Time to think…

Time to not think…

Time to power down.

Time to breathe in deeply

and exhale slowly…

Time to remember my mum, Bryony and my dad, Neil
who both left this earth in recent seasons to find their next adventure.

As we get ready to leave, I find I love the meeting point of wandering and the ritual of life passages. I have this yearning to step out of my blessed, comfortable day-to-day world and see what else is there… waiting for me… to reach beyond me…

Say yes. Whatever it is, say yes with your whole heart & simple as it sounds, that’s all the excuse life needs to grab you by the hands & start to dance.       — Brian Andreas

So, that’s what I’m doing. Today, I close the office and we pack up our truck and head off – north and a long, (4,800+kms long) way west.

My dream is to get a thong tan (no, my dear international, non-Aussie friends… that’s NOT a g-string but flip flops in your lexicon).

To spend the next three months kicking the dirt, eating out of a camping pot, seeing vast red-brown landscapes.

Witness a part of this planet I have never had the chance to sit and observe before. It’s in the far north west of this big country… the Kimberley region.

Just the writing of this gets me excited.

As I pack my pastels and pens… my journal… my camera with its new macro lens… I find this gorgeous quote from Rainer Marie Rilke:

You must give birth

to your images

they are the future within you

wanting to be born.

Fear not the strangeness that you feel

The future has to enter us

long before it happens.

My soul yearns for space. The space of remoteness. To ponder the small things, the new things, the starry nights, the taste of dust and heat.

To have a day that has a new rhythm – its focus on exploring, cooking, sharing stories, pondering maps, fossicking for images, making marks in my journal, having cups of tea from the camp cooker.

While this trip has been 9 years in the planning, now it’s here, there was the sense that it was great timing and bad timing all at the same time!

[I love the duality that resides in me at the moment. It’s a sense of my snake skin coming loose and ready to shed.]

I know that so many new parts of my life and business are at the ‘bursting through the soil / soul’ phase – which is DAMN exciting.

But there is also a strong pull for quiet. To not be on call, pouring my love and energy into the world.

Time to pour that energy into me, my husband, my gentle creative life.

When I told others of this plan to take 4 months away… so many said ‘that’s great, I’m so jealous’, ‘how fantastic you’ve made that happen’…

Unsurprisingly, a few, who don’t know me well or who have fears I don’t, remarked ‘how can you leave your business?’ ‘who will run your business?’ ‘how will you pay your bills?’

Frankly, all good questions. But the big answer was given to me by my friend and mentor, Mary, who said ‘people will want what you have when you reemerge’. I know this trip will be one of a life time and unceremoniously shift me into a new me.

We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we don’t get them from our laptops. –John Cleese.

There is lots of details I can share about how to put your business on semi-auto-pilot. But the main thing is to think it can be done.

and if you, YOUR SOUL needs to be out-of-office for a period, you need to honour that!

I have gathered some fun materials so you won’t miss my leaving.

Blessings to you…





Michelle xxx

Spotlight with the inspiring Lynn Carruthers

Spotlight with the inspiring Lynn Carruthers




with Lynn Carruthers

Hear about Lynn’s work with the Smithsonian – that gem of the global community – and the Hawaiian Community Foundation and learn her big and practical lessons for doing the Graphic Recording role in service of others.

To check our Lynn’s website – click here and to have a look at Lynn’s graphic work like this one below – click here.


In Lynn’s interview, she mentioned several people who inspired her with their work.

Here’s the people and links to their websites and also a link to the IFVP 2015 Conference in Austin TX.

David Sibbet MichelleBoosStone rocketpics IVFP

David Sibbet

The Grove Consultants International

Michelle Boos-Stone

Five Elements Consulting Group

runs the Graphic Recording Business Bootcamp

Manuela Bernard’s

Rocketpics app

Saddle up! AustinTX 2015 Conference

Bring your Boots!  Bring your Markers!

Hope you enjoyed this Spotlight Session.

If you enjoyed hearing about Lynn’s graphic recording work, here are some other articles that may interest you…

What’s in a Graphic Recorder’s Tool Bag?

When nostalgia looks soooo goood

How to draw – a simple map of Australia + globe



Spotlight with the wonderful Lynne Cazaly

Spotlight with the wonderful Lynne Cazaly

spotlight_iconLynne Headshot







with Lynne Cazaly


To visit Lynne Cazaly at her website and find out more about the work she is doing and see all the goodies she has to offer, click here.

Visual Mojo cover Create Change Book Cover v 2


If you enjoyed this interview, here are a couple of articles you might also enjoy…

4 Killer Titles for your Visual Resources Library  (this includes my review of Lynne’s ‘Visual Mojo’ book)

Visual note-taking with Inkflow

Tips on drawing ‘…but I can’t draw!’


When nostalgia looks soooo good

When nostalgia looks soooo good

I know the saying ‘an oldie but a goodie’ is a BIG cliche.

But while I was graphic recording at a couple of events last week, I noticed how this ‘cliche’ applies to icon drawing.

There are some things in this world I think just look GOOD the old fashion style. And so their icons are some I (almost) always draw the old way.

Why? you may ask…

Well, I think there’s a mix of reasons –

  • the audience EASILY RECOGNISES the object, even though designs have been through upgrades and changes
  • the old version can be more interesting / VISUALLY APPEALING and
  • they can be just EASIER to draw ON THE RUN!

So I thought I’d share them with you. Check out my suitcase, alarm clock, phone and light globe.

An old suitcase complete with travel stickers.
alarm clock old 2
The old fashion alarm clock with tapper and bells.


telephone old 2
This was the phone I grew up with – it was orange and had the finger dials that required effort to spin.
light bulb old 2
The old incandescent globe.

Are there any icons where you prefer ‘the old fashioned’ designs? I would love to hear…

If you found this useful, you might like to read:

How to draw a map of Australia and the world

6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Kick Start Your Visual Thinking

5 Critical Beliefs that boost Creative Thinking

Tips on drawing… ‘But I Can’t Draw!’

Interested in learning more? These courses may be of interest to you…

Essentials of Visual Thinking eCourse


Latest Articles