Our Blog

This is where we share our studio notes and thoughts from behind the scenes here at Creative Sandbox Solutions™ HQ. We’re all about process here, and we’re transparent about ours, so you can learn from both our wins and our mistakes.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy — drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you.

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Mar 10, 2019 11:09AM


Last day of the Friends of Calligraphy retreat. Last sheet of roll paper. I visually captured episode 370 of @freakonomicsradio, How to Fail Like a Pro. Integrating a bit of sign writer’s script and casual script from @corpgraffitiart’s How to Letter Like a Sign Painter ecourse. (So much easier to do s-l-o-w-l-y than at speed!! 😜 But taking the topic of the podcast episode as inspiration, I’m failing forward! 😊)
.
.
.
#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarker

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Mar 08, 2019 09:48PM


I’ve been enjoying making visual notes of this series on creativity on @freakonomicsradio. This chart is from episode 369, A Good Idea Is Not Enough. My favorite takeaway: David Galinson’s (sp?) two life cycles of creativity. Conceptualists have new ideas, and have their greatest ideas YOUNG (think Picasso, who made 400 preparatory drawings before doing his famous Nude Descending a Staircase, underneath which you would be able to find layer upon layer of preparatory sketches and paintings). Experimentalists, on the other hand, never reach their goal, build up to great ideas, and have their greatest ideas when they’re older (think Cezanne, who made hundreds of paintings of the same subject, each of which was totally spontaneous. 🖍
Where Conceptualists know exactly what they want to create, Experimentalists want to discover the creation in the process of creating it.
🖍
If you know me AT ALL, it doesn’t take much of a guess to figure out which type I am! 😅
🖍
We live in a culture that celebrates Conceptualists. Youth. Product. Aiming for said product and hitting the bullseye. All of these are highly valued. But some of us thrive when we get to nurture our spontaneity and hang out in process, not product. Not to mention the fact that youth is fleeting for all of us! 🖍
Thank you, David Galinson, for holding up these two ways of being as equally valid. .
.
.
#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers #pigmamicron #moleskine

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Feb 03, 2019 11:59AM


Well, the tilted scaffold was not exactly the look I was going for… 😂 and the title lettering makes me cringe. But I got more imagery into this chart, which makes me really happy! 😊
🖍
This 5th and final visual note from Creative Sandbox Retreat is from @goodlifeproject podcast. It’s a great episode, highly recommended if you want to get important stuff that requires persistent effort done. 🖍
Every chart I do is an opportunity to learn—what worked well? What could use improvement? I’m pleased I included more imagery here, and that I got all 8 Ps in without running out of space, or having a huge amount of space left over—👊. Title lettering and banner could use a LOT of improvement! And overall it feels rather messy… but bit by bit I’m climbing this mountain! Onward, ho!
.
.
#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Jan 16, 2019 08:53AM


Practicing icons. Or as @loosetoothcom calls them in her fabulous book, The Idea Shapers, “postage stamps.” A small image that communicates a big idea. This can be super challenging with abstract concepts! Quick: how would you draw “commitment”? Or “engagement”? Or “unity”?
🖍
These are the types of things I’m working on coming up with my own visual vocabulary for, so I actually have an icon in my metaphorical pocket, at the ready, should the need arise. When I’m at a loss for how to start, Google image search is a great jumping off point! From there I can develop my own icon/postage stamp. And the real key, as @evalottchen says, is to draw it over and over and over—at least 50 times before you really “own” it. (Plus you have to *keep* drawing it, or trust me, you’ll forget how! 😂)
.
.
.
#visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #visualnotes #graphicrecording #sketchnotes #sketchnote #sketchnoting #sketchnotearmy #graphicrecorder #visualshownotes #originalart #visualthinking #neulandmarkers

A Culture of Appreciation Case Study: Facilitator Development Award 2018

A Culture of Appreciation Case Study: Facilitator Development Award 2018

A few months ago I got an unexpected — and very personal — lesson in the culture of appreciation. Imagine my surprise when, at the 4th Annual Strategic Play® UnConference for LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitators and trainers in Whistler last October, I was presented with an award!

The evening before the UnConference officially started, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® trainers Rosa Mon and Anibal Viegas had been presented awards in a private ceremony just for Strategic Play® trainers

Then, the morning of the first day of the UnConference, co-host andLEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Master Trainer Jacqueline Lloyd-Smith completely caught me off guard when she announced that there was a third award, yet to be presented, and played the video below. (more…)

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Dec 11, 2018 9:18AM

Visual Notes / Graphic Facilitation / Graphic Recording / Sketchnotes from a webinar by Michael Bungay Stanier titled "How to Say No (When You Can't Say No)" from thecoachinghabit.com/videos

More sketchnotes from the video series from Michael Bungay Stanier’s webinars over at thecoachinghabit.com/videos. It’s easy to say no to family and strangers, but what about everyone in between? This is where Bungay Stanier’s Strategy Question (“If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?”) comes in handy, along with learning to respectfully decline, and a repertoire of ways to “say yes more slowly.”

Making visual notes / sketchnotes of these videos is a fun way to practice my graphic facilitation / graphic recording skills, but on a smaller scale. On a graphic facilitation / graphic recording job, I typically use 4′ x 8′ sheets of paper, and very large markers, whereas these quick sketchnotes are done in a small notebook, with fine point markers!

If you haven’t ever used visual notes / graphic facilitation in a meeting or event, you haven’t experienced the power of live-drawn visuals to engage people. Not only do people retain seven times the information when it’s presented visually, but seeing their words drawn by hand on the spot is nothing short of magical to your team. 

Contact me to discuss how to bring more magic to your next meeting. (more…)

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Dec 10, 2018 11:24AM

Sketchnote / graphic recording / visual note of a short webinar by Michael Bungay Stanier, entitled "Rapid-Fire Strategic Thinking, Planning, Doing," with a link to a worksheet to download from boxofcrayons.biz/vspt

More sketchnotes from the video series from Michael Bungay Stanier’s webinars over at thecoachinghabit.com/videos. There’s a great worksheet with this video—so simple, but I’m such a visual person, the visual layout of four columns somehow makes the concept easier for me to wrap my head around. (You can see a little thumbnail sketch of the worksheet in the lower right hand side of my sketchnote.)

These videos are such a great way to warm up my sketchnoting in the morning! These are the same skills I bring to my graphic facilitation / graphic recording jobs, but on a smaller scale. Studies show that people retain only 10% of information that’s presented as text only, but when the same information is presented visually — as when captured live by a graphic facilitator — people retain 70%. That’s seven times the retention! 

Graphic facilitation / graphic recording makes for any meeting more memorable and engaging, too. Contact me to discuss how to bring more life to your next project. (more…)

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Dec 9, 2018 10:03AM

Sketchnote / Visual Note / Graphic Recording of Michael Bungay Stanier's webinar, "Increase Your Impact Learning How to Help," from The Coaching Habit book.

More sketchnotes from the video series from Michael Bungay Stanier’s webinars over at thecoachinghabit.com/videos. This one revolves around the Lazy Question from Bungay Stanier’s book, The Coaching Habit (aff link, or click here for a non-aff link), “How can I help?”

Edgar Schein posits three types of consulting roles: Expert, “Doctor,” and “Process.” Each has its pos and cons, but Process consulting has the most advantages, and benefits from a mindset of humble inquiry.

In other words, more curiosity, and less “advice monster.” (more…)

Visual Notes from Melissa’s Studio: Dec 8, 2018 11:24AM


Sketchnotes from another video from boxofcrayons.com, diving into one of the concepts from The Coaching Habit, by Michael Bungay Stanier. I’m so enjoying sketchnoting these little webinars! Sketchnoting is my favorite way to reinforce my understanding of a concept. It’s so much more fun than just taking notes, and I remember the concepts about a jillion times better. 😊
.
.
.
#visualnotes #visualcommunication #visualshownotes #sketchnotes #sketchnotesketchnotearmy #visualfacilitation #graphicfacilitation #graphicrecorder #visualrecording #originalart #neulandmarkers #pigmamicron

Let's Talk!

Area of Interest

7 + 2 =

Stay in the Know

Stay in the know with fresh articles and resources on building a thriving culture of creativity & innovation.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Stay in the Know

Stay in the know with fresh articles and resources on building a thriving culture of creativity & innovation.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit