In Oct 2015, Relationships Australia Tas employed me as a “visual mapper”, to illustrate in realtime the core themes and ideas that emerged from their annual 2-Day conference of 150 employees from around the state. I stood at the back of the room, listening, observing, interpreting & translating into symbolic images & key words. At the end of each day, participants used the visual map to reflect on their conference experience and reinforce their understanding of the conference themes.
It was great to be part of such a strong gathering of people sharing the common aim of helping other people – social well-being, communication, social education. I had done some live “visual mapping” at a 2-hr Death Café event earlier in the year, but having two whole days onsite allowed me time to really immerse myself in the process & develop the ideas in my drawings a bit more thoroughly.
The conference theme was “One Team”, looking at ways of unifying the diverse skills of everyone within the organization, from admin to management.
Guest speakers were Saroo Brierley, with his remarkable story about reuniting with his lost family in India, and Alisa Camplin with her motivational experience of winning gold at the Winter Olympics against all odds. Both described two very different ways of setting oneself a seemingly impossible goal, and seeing it to completion.
This job was a rich & challenging experience, both personally & creatively – not only did I need to sharpen my creative thinking skills on the fly to make my drawings concise & communicative, I felt I was able to draw deeply on many other personal skills and insights. My own lived experiences of mental illness, relationships and family breakdown, emotional communication and psychological transformation, all gave me a better understanding of the context & enabled a more authentic creative process.