Mona Ebdrup is a visual practitioner, graduated Kaospilot from Switzerland and now self employed with graphic facilitation project (Visual Confidence) and process leadership/consulting.
She is passionate about creating meaning for herself and others with pen & paper in her hands. In this interview she explains us how she started as a visual thinker, which her workflow is and why visual thinking is so useful in education nowadays.
We can see the full transcription of her interview below:
The art of documenting ideas visually
I am Graphic Facilitator meaning that I am putting ideas, thoughts, conversations, meetings, conferences, workshops…into images combining words with images that emerge in a group.
I had an art teacher when I was 14 years old that said that my way of drawing wasn’t artistic enough so that I should use my creativity, but what I was actually doing was to document what was happening around me.
So I realized that what I was actually doing was extremely valuable in many many contexts because the world is getting more and more complex and we need people who can make sense out of a lot of information and put it into place.
Specially in education is really underestimated how much you think visually, how much information you perceive visually.
The workflow: it’s all about listening and intuition
This week I work for a conference here so I have been standing on the side listening at what is happening in the group. They have conversations and then I have a roll of paper on the wall where I am trying to synthesise and make sense out of the conversation.
It depends a bit on the context. This week I have worked very much with bold large strokes. I am not necessarily seeing where the strokes are taking me. I start off with a long stroke and I can turn out in many different shapes. I’ve done enough five or six of these sizes (murals) this week and all of them have a different shape of the stroke.
Then afterwards when I hear stuff that feels, that there’s a sense of resonance in the room like it can be a bodily thing that I feel that this felt really important for the group then I would look at how do I put that into the bigger picture.
So the first one is more intuition based like, what is the energy in the room, then I put onto the paper and then I would start to listen more for concepts, ideas, thoughts that are placed.
It’s quite amazing to see how your own intuition and work with the marker can really have a lot of resonance with a group of people who has been part of a process while I’m standing on the side.
An increasingly demanded skill
I do a lot of teaching on it. That’s actually what I primarily want to do with it, so I have been teaching kids, University students, CEO’s, art teachers so a wide range of people are actually demanding to get trainings on this because they see that it’s a skill that we need in order for us to be able to navigate complexity in the future.