Working together, pt. 2

A while ago I wrote about collaborating with other graphic recorders, but I couldn’t post the pictures because it was a corporate event, yaddah yaddah yaddah.

Anyway, I recently had the pleasure to work with another team of extraordinarily talented graphic recorders: Gabriele Heinzel, Magdalena Wiegner, Sven Kröger, and Anne Lehmann.

Each of us visualized a workshop at the German Federal Government’s CSR Award, which is “ is awarded to exemplary and innovative companies that systematically and continuously integrate social, environmental and economic sustainability into their business operations.”

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Why I Won’t Be Replaced by a Robot

Nowadays, everyone’s afraid of being replaced by a robot. But I figure as a graphic recorder my job is fairly safe, and here’s why: There’s no innovation without imagination. I participate in a lot of innovation processes, at companies like BMW, Bayer, and BASF, and what I’ve come to realize is that people need pictures to understand what the future might hold for them. Images spur the imagination, and make the road to the future seem more feasible.

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The Grants4Apps program at Bayer is a case in point. From the start, they worked with graphic recorders, initially with my esteemed colleague and mentor Marie Jacobi, whom you can see above, working on a chart for Grants4Apps, and then, more recently, with me.

My job at the Grants4Apps launch event was to put into images the ideas that the five start-up teams had developed, and thus enable people to see the potential of their proposed products. At the same time, it was important to show how this would fit into Bayer’s corporate architecture, and into Berlin’s vibrant startup scene.

If you look closely, you might spot a robot in the picture below, but mostly it celebrates the deeply human ability to keep inventing and re-inventing ourselves. So as long as there is a need for innovation, there will be a need for imagination. Fortunately, that’s one thing robots are particularly bad at.

Bayer Grants4Apps

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Getting visual

A while ago, Scott Torrance asked me whether it would be okay to include a few of my drawings in an e-book he was putting together.  He sent me a draft version, and lo and behold, it featured the work of some people I admire greatly (plus some people I had never heard of who are also amazing). So of course I said yes.

Little did I know the book, which was eventually published under the title 143 Visuals would make such a splash. First published on gumroad.com, it was then featured on slidehare.net (where it’s been viewed more than 13,000 times, at the time of this writing), and then made its way to iTunes, where it’s still available for free.

In case you’re interested, you can also read a short interview with Scott Torrance on Mike Rohde’s blog Sketchnote Army.

Looking forward to the sequel, 144 Visuals!

143 visuals

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Media and development

Last year, I did the graphic recording at the Forum Media and Development (Forum Medien und Entwicklung, FoME) conference in Berlin. You can find the images on my Flickr page. Now, the FoME website has been relaunched, with my graphic recordings featured prominently on the landing page. I think it looks great!

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 4.47.53 PM

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Groundbreaking Journalism

Earlier this year, I did the graphic recording of the Groundbreaking Journalism conference, organized by iRights Lab and Vodafone Foundation Germany. You can find the images on my Flickr page. The organizers also created a nice booklet about the conference, with my illustrations: 2014-07-24 13.41.46-1
If you want to take a look at the brochure, it’s now also available as a pdf.

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The illustration sprint

You may be familiar with the design sprint, or the book sprint, or the software development sprint, but have you heard of the illustration sprint? I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t, because I just made it up.

The reason for this neologism is that I was recently contacted by the author of a book about startups in Germany, and he wanted a lot of illustrations done quickly. His idea was to sit down for a day and create as many illustrations for the book as possible.

I immediately liked the idea, but realized that the sprint required careful planning. For one thing, the style of the illustrations had to be determined beforehand. Fortunately, my collaborator really liked my sketchnotes about a talk by Mercedes Bunz.

Mercedes Bunz: Copy & Paste (3)

 

After we had established a date, we sat down together at my kitchen table, and started drawing. Surprisingly, only a few images went into the bin, while 36 drawings were considered good enough to be reproduced in the book. Considering that we worked for eight hours straight, that is an average of 13 minutes per drawing!

Here are some of the results:
Illustration sprint

 

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The visionary kiosk

Recently, I was asked to harvest some ideas for the future of a cultural centre in Berlin, Acud. While planning the event with the organizers, we came up with the idea of setting up a ‘visionary kiosk’ (Visionenkiosk). It consisted of four wooden panels connected by hinges, which roughly resembles the shape of the building in which Acud is situated. I immediately liked the idea very much.

Acud macht neu

A few weeks later, the kiosk was set up in Acud’s courtyard, and despite intermittent rain, a few dozen people came to talk to me, and I painted their ideas on the kiosk’s walls. It was especially popular with the kids who requested things like “a lion”, “an elephant” and “a ninja with flaming swords. Here’s a shot taken by one of the organizers, which shows me surrounded by a bunch of children:

VisionenkioskNeedless to say, I had a great time!

Flickr set

More images from the event

 

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0.5 seconds of fame

In June I did an amazing graphic recording gig for Oracle in Madrid. It was my biggest graphic recording gig yet, with a crowd of 800 people watching what I did on stage. Fortunately, I was supported by a fantastic live band,
Rockaoke (aka The Applications), who kept everyone happy with their musical interludes.

I also had a videographer who kept his camera on what I was drawing. However, only 0.5 seconds of this material made it into the final two-and-a-half minute clip about the event. Here’s my half second of fame in an animated gif …

Graphic Recording for Oracle in Madrid

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