Video: How to draw a symbol for icebreaker

Video: How to draw a symbol for icebreaker

Are you ready to break the ice?

When facilitating or training I often use a form of icebreaker to ease people into learning.

And whilst mention of term icebreaker can at times invite a rolling of the eyes, any occasion where I experimented with no icebreaker felt strained and uncomfortable.

And hey, icebreakers don’t have to be lengthy. There’s a lot to be said for a short ‘n’ sweet exercise.

In today’s video we look at how to draw a symbol for icebreaker.

Click on the image below to take you to the video.

Top Tip: Draw this image on a flipchart in advance of a session and then invite the group to share their ideas for icebreakers using post it notes. Vote for the favourite. You’ll have much more buy in when people are involved in the creation of the exercise.



Video: How to draw a car for your parking sheet

Video: How to draw a car for your parking sheet

Do you use Parking Sheets in your work?

They are a great way to invite a pause when delivering a session and the content discussed is either:
a. not linked to the session topic
b. in too much detail to allow a proper discussion given the constraints of the agenda

You can use a Parking Sheet to ‘park’ the topic and return to it later.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to flex your visual thinking muscles by drawing a car! No Parking Sheet is complete without a customary car icon.

Now you too can quickly and easily recreate the style and presence of a VW Beetle. Click on the image below for your step by step video tutorial >>

All the best,

How to build confidence in your drawing Part 2

In Part 1 of series this blog posts, I shared some tips around how to build confidence in your drawing, concluding with the importance of focusing on the process and not the outcome.

Because this is such an important topic – lack of confidence stops people over and over again – we’re continuing with the theme this week.

I always say drawing is 50% skill and 50% mindset. Therefore it’s important to work on both to ensure success.

  • Resist the urge to edit as you go along. I know what it’s like. You start drawing a dog and before you know it looks like a hamster horse hybrid. Continue with the hamster horse hybrid until it’s a finished drawing. It’s at that point we can assess our drawing, analyse what went right and what went wrong and start again from fresh. Otherwise you can get yourself caught up in constant correction mode, not a helpful place to be.
  • Quieten your inner critic. Recognise when it makes an appearance. Even better draw your critic! Get your worries out of your head and on to the page.
  • Use pen and paper. Switch off the phone. Give yourself 5 minutes of non tech time. Drawing on a tablet can lead to constant corrections and distractions (notifications, emails, life). Watch out for this.
  • Share your drawings. One way to both quieten the inner critic and boost your confidence is to share your drawings. Resist the temptation to wait until you’re 100% happy with them. Be proud of where you are in your drawing journey today.
  • Enjoy the process. If you’re not enjoying it, stop. Do something else. You can always come back to it later.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful.

All the best,

How to build confidence in your drawing Part 1

How to build confidence in your drawing Part 1

Feeling a bit wobbly when it comes to putting pen to paper? You’re not alone. If we don’t flex our visual thinking muscles on a regular basis we can easily lose confidence in drawing simple images.

Perhaps you’ve been on a course or bought a book, all fired up with enthusiasm, but then life got in the way and you’ve since lost your drawing mojo.

Here are some tips to help build your confidence:

  • Draw something every single day. An apple, a sun, a tree, anything at all. Just draw.
  • Always use your favourite marker or pen, don’t just grab the nearest drawing implement within reach. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy marker, just something you love.
  • Start small and break it down. Take one simple image and ask yourself, ‘What’s the first line I see?’ Copy that line down, and then the next, and the next.
  • Slow down. As my lettering mentor Heather Martinez says, ‘Form, then rhythm’. Take your time getting to know the shape, the construct of the image, the order in which you like to draw the lines. Once you’re comfortable with that, then speed up.

Emotionally disconnect from the outcome. Lean in to the process, the process of learning and discovery. This is a key component of the growth mindset which is closely connected to visual thinking.

I hope these tips encourage you to pick up the pen this week and reconnect you with your passion for all things creative.

All the best,

[Video] How to draw an icon for peace/meditation/reflection

[Video] How to draw an icon for peace/meditation/reflection

And here we are once more…

Another day, another major change, another opportunity to pause and feel grateful for a sense of community that goes beyond what we can experience in a physical sense.

And today I use this opportunity to share with you my YouTube video which I hope you enjoy.

On the theme of pausing and reflecting here is an icon I use an awful lot.

How might an icon for peace/meditation/reflection help you and your work right now?

Click on the image below to be taken to the YouTube video where you can follow along with me.

Stay well, stay positive.


Top tips for sketchnoting

Top tips for sketchnoting

So you’ve seen some sketchnoting online, bought a book on it or just thought to yourself, ‘How cool. I wish I could do that’.

I’m here to say ‘Of course you can do that!’ and here’s how…

With sketchnoting you listen, think and draw in real time. It may seem overwhelming but if you think about it most of us listen, think and write at the same time when we’re on the phone for example, or tuning in to a webinar, so sketchnoting is simply mixing up some of those words with images along the way.

Step 1: Choose your source material – will you listen in to a TED talk? Take sketchnotes at your next meeting? Create a visual map of the phone conversation you’re about to have with your colleague?

Step 2. Decide on a layout. This will help to add structure and flow to your final piece. Here are a couple to choose from:


Step 3. Decide on your colour palette. What colour will your lettering be? And your icons? What about highlighting?Sketchnoting is cool

Step 4: As someone once said to me, ‘Emer: Just decide and do’. The fourth step is the most crucial and the one where are most likely to slip up. Prep is great. I’m all for spending time on prep. That time is wasted however if we don’t just get on and do what we intended to. Make a committment to yourself and your learning.

Step 5: Reflect. What worked? What didn’t? What have you learned? and finally….

Step HeckYoureAmazing: Congratulate yourself for a job well done. Regardless of the output, you did it, and that puts you in the top 2% of people who take action from their learning.


P.S. Itching to practice your drawing in a supportive environment? Excited about carving out time for YOU to ignite creativity. Join me for the next open course and book now for Secrets of Simple Graphics April 24th 2020. Places are going fast!