November 14,2019

Dear Diary,

Today was the delivery of the 5-year strategic plan for a client’s transition goals. And I should be pleased because my team completed the project and the report was turned in. Jack and I presented the proposal to the client, we went through the whole report, and the client liked it. But still … it felt a little unfinished? I think content-wise our plan was incredibly strong, but at the same time, it also feels at times like that didn’t really shine.

Sometimes (actually often) I feel that we, in the office, don’t strive to make achieve the best result. And that we ‘settle’ for a report, which is really uninspiring! Because what we created is promising, but you don’t actually notice it, and the lukewarm response from the client also reinforces that feeling, because it was a little underwhelmed. I asked Jack about it, but then I got the response, “But that’s how we always deliver it.”

Sigh…. it feels like a dull gray fog is hanging over the office.

December 11

Christmas is early this year! We were in conversation with a new client, and were introduced to the external party we will be working with. They are going to take care of the communications part of the project. Jack and I had scheduled a meeting with the external party, and we began by telling each other our initial ideas.

We had already put some points on paper, but that company had brought some “talking points,” social media images, and playful illustrations that they had created on similar projects in the past. And I suddenly felt like that gray dull fog that had been hanging in front of my eyes for the past few projects dissolved!

And when I looked at Jack, and I saw enthusiasm rising in him too! Suddenly it was as if I knew what I was missing, and in my head, the idea of these “praatplaten” was flirting with our concepts for the strategic report. I am incredibly looking forward to working with this visual party and I hope I can get a little taste of their knowledge and creativity!

January 1

Alright, a little cliché, but I have set some good intentions for the new year. I think that where I am now, in terms of drawing and creativity, I still have a lot to learn. But I just feel so strongly that this is the path I need to follow.

Intention 1: Immerse myself in Visual Thinking. This resolution has already started well, in fact I treated myself at Christmas to some creative and visual books to see what is possible in terms of using visuals myself in business contexts.

Resolution 2: From now on, I will include at least one visual in every report I deliver to reinforce the content of the report.

Intention 3: Learn how to start developing strong illustrations and “praatplaten” myself.

Januari 11

I have started working on my list of resolutions, I have taken a training course for Business Drawing as soon as I could and am practicing adding some small illustrations to all the documents I deliver to make the document more powerful. I also notice that I am blowing away the gray fog in front of my colleagues’ eyes. The enthusiasm I notice from my team and from my clients only motivates me, even more, to get stronger at this visual work! I get a lot of compliments on my illustrations. I practice a lot, and every day I try to draw for at least half an hour.

Because I still feel a little insecure about my drawing skills, I will continue to make mostly small illustrations for now, but I hope that one day I will be able to develop  “praatplaten”. The external communications company has given me an awful lot of tips and tricks on how to create these illustrations properly so that I can easily share them in presentations and online. And I have some training on the agenda to create killer illustrations all the way from scratch to the finish line!

April 28

Dear diary, it’s been a while since I last spoke with you. I’ve been so busy with not only taking visual communication and drawing courses, but I’m also working on standardizing the development of “praatplaten” and illustrations within the company! It’s still a bit on the rough side, but we started creating a visual guide for ourselves for creating illustrations and “praatplaten”  for our projects.

After I delivered my first project with accompanying “praatplaat” and illustrations, the client was so impressed! They immediately asked us for a follow-up project and, as a result, the other teams got on board as well.

Work suddenly became wonderful and inspiring!  That gray fog has cleared and made room for a creative rainbow! Work is suddenly so much more creative, inspiring, and motivating: I fell in love with my work all over again!


A Visual Designer

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By Georgette Pars