Graphic Recording & Illustration | Q&A
I want to answer a few questions that were repeatedly asked during the last few years as a Graphic Recorder.
How much does a Graphic Recording cost?
Graphic Recording consists fundamently of two components: illustration and facilitation. The one component - illustration - means that pictures are being matched with words. So if someone during a talk or discussion says 'key' the picture of a key will be created on the Graphic Recording board. This type of recorder looks for keywords and illustrates them live on the analog or digital medium of choice. If you add facilitation to the equation things tend to get more complicated. The Graphic Recorder has to listen actively now and has to translate the content into metaphors that are emotionally associated with the conversation. This kind of mindset and work has many similarities with the role of a facilitator and is therefore paid with similarly high rates. The mere live illustration with a fixed 'vocabulary' can be booked for way lower rates already. Graphic Recorders usually already choose the one or the other category while developing a style and get booked accordingly.
Can you learn Graphic Recording?
When it comes to learning Graphic Recording we face a dilemma: on the one hand there are clear demands and expectations from the clients on the other hand it is crucial to have an artistic approach to ensure quality drawings and enable facilitation. In this sense it cannot be learned conventionally. You can do learning by doing to a great extend but the artistic foundation has to be developed independently. Nevertheless it is possible to inspire oneself through coaching, workshops or honest feedback.
How do you become a Graphic Recorder?
The answer to this question is kind of obvious: through doing it. There are various ways to get there: either through sketchnotes that grow into full recordings or a long process of exercise and development or even through chance and improvisation. Every Graphic Recording is a new challenge and a chance to learn something new.
Can my team learn some skills from Graphic Recording to profit from it?
When I talked about the cost of Graphic Recording I divided it in illustration and facilitation. To learn facilitation is a long process mostly based on personal experience and growth. For an existing team it wouldn't even be advisable to learn facilitation since this role is usually taken by an outside opinion for a reason. But when it comes to live illustration there are a lot of advantages to gain for a team in terms of clarity of communication. That's why many Graphic Recorders offer workshops to present efficient and powerfull visual tools.