I first learnt about graphic facilitation when I did a course on Person Centred Planning back in 2002. The trainers had enormous pieces of paper on the wall and they were really working those markers.
‘Wow’, I thought, ‘That looks…terrifying!’
I loved art as a child and always kept my drawings small and neat. I would only reveal them to my teachers and classmates when they were ‘finished’.
The thought of standing up by a wall and drawing BIG as other people looked on filled me with dread.
Some years later when Kate asked me to co-deliver a course on Person Centred Planning with her I said ‘Absolutely. But there’s no way I’m doing the drawing bit!’
I’m happy to say I overcame my fear of drawing big and now embrace it at every opportunity.
In fact I recently created a ‘studio’ in my flat, where one wall in my living room is covered in enormous paper for the sheer pleasure of drawing big when the mood takes me (i.e. every day).
So what are the benefits of drawing BIG? Why do I love it so much? Here are my top three reasons:
1. It works as a very powerful visioning tool. Have you ever written out your goals on a piece of paper, put the piece of paper in a drawer and never took it out again? When you draw your vision BIG it becomes more real. I see this often with my own visions, and also when I am doing visioning work with coaching clients or groups. It really does feel different when visions are drawn big, and particularly if they are left up on the wall as a constant reminder.
2. Drawing big also helps us to think big. With all that space our mind starts to expand, to find new solutions to problems, to be creative.
3. It’s ‘not allowed’. I don’t know about you but when I was growing up I wasn’t allowed to draw on the walls. Drawing on walls was a ‘bad thing’! It’s perhaps for that reason that drawing (on paper) on the walls feels incredibly liberating.
And did I mention it’s tremendous fun?
Give it a go yourself. Don’t wait until you have the ‘right’ size wall or the ‘right’ paper. A piece of flip chart on the back of a door is a good start.
To your success,