Exploring my vision for my work

My vision for AEDM 2011

Two years ago I participated in an online project called Art Every Day Month. I started creating the artwork for Exploring New Options. At the time, my company VisualsSpeak only used my photography to spark insights and conversations, and the tools were all printed sets of images. I had a sense that I could get deeper insights and more emotion if I added artwork to the tools.

I continued to paint for this  project in 2010 while testing the processes and image combinations. We decided to develop an online tool, which was a whole other level of development and learning. This year the online tool, the ImageCenter became available, and so far I have developed six decks of images for use in the web tool:

  • Exploring Health
  • Exploring Money
  • Exploring My Options
  • Exploring New Options
  • Exploring Passion
  • Exploring Relationships

I have some ideas for this year, but I haven’t settled on anything specific. I decided to look to our process for ideas.

Using the ImageCenter for inspiration

Recently, we created a free self guided process on our online tool to help people get a vision for their work. I used it to create the image above (with the words added afterwards for this post.) I worked quickly to get beyond my thinking mind, to see what else I could uncover about what is important to me.

First impressions

It was fairly easy to say what the images meant, and to make the list next to the images. Some of it is obvious, like making tools for the journey. I was surprised to see the mask and invisible image. Haven’t I gotten over that yet? Or will that always be part of my story as an artist? Maybe this is calling for me to redefine it off and find a new way to relate to my work.

I was surprised to see the images of the tools showing up as the only photographs,even though my newest work incorporate the paintings. I have the sense this image will continue to offer me insights over time. I can feel tension in my heart as I look it over, always a sign it has more to say.

What am I curious about?

Reflecting more on what I created leaves me with these questions to explore next:

  • How can I deepen my feeling of authenticity and visibility as an artist?
  • How can I deepen the sense of the journey in the tools I create?
  • How does the pathway between what is today and what we desire form?
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Exploring vision for AEDM 2011

AEDMvision

My vision for AEDM 2011

Two years ago was my first Art Every Day Month where I started creating the artwork for a project called Exploring New Options. At the time, my company VisualsSpeak only used my photography to spark insights and conversations, and the tools were all printed sets of images. I had a sense that I could get deeper insights and more emotion if I added artwork to the tools.

I continued to paint for the project in 2010 while testing the processes and image combinations. We decided to develop an online tool, which was a whole other level of development. This year the online tool, the ImageCenter became available, and so far I have developed six decks of images for use in the web tool:

  • Exploring Health
  • Exploring Money
  • Exploring My Options
  • Exploring New Options
  • Exploring Passion
  • Exploring Relationships

What is my vision for this month?

I spend most of my time just doing the day to day operations that need to get done to keep the business operating. I struggle to make time to create, although at this point it is a daily practice for the most part. Just not always the kind of art I want to be making, often it’s what needs to get done.  I’ve been mulling over various things I could do for the month, but nothing has seemed totally right yet.

I can use my own tools, imagine that?

Recently, we created a free self guided process on our online tool to help people get a vision for their work. I used it to create the image above (with the words added afterwards for this post.) I worked quickly to get beyond my thinking mind, to see what else I could uncover about what is important to me.

First impressions

It was fairly easy to say what the images meant, and to make the list next to the images. Some of it is obvious, like making tools for the journey. I was surprised to see the mask and invisible image. Haven’t I gotten over that yet? Or will that always be part of my story as an artist? Maybe this is calling for me to redefine it off and find a new way to relate to my work.

I was surprised to see the images of the tools showing up as the only photographs,even though my newest work incorporate the paintings. I have the sense this image will continue to offer me insights over time. I can feel tension in my heart as I look it over, always a sign it has more to say.

What am I curious about?

Reflecting more on what I created leaves me with these questions to explore next:

  • How can I deepen my feeling of authenticity and visibility as an artist?
  • How can I deepen the sense of the journey in the tools I create?
  • How does the pathway between what is today and what we desire form?

Want to try out the visioning process for yourself?

If you’d like to explore the vision for your work for free on our ImageCenter, you can sign up below. Or get more information about it here.

 

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Getting clear about what you offer

Cate

Cate Brubaker is an intercultural consultant who was looking to get clear about a new service to offer to her clients. She had been struggling with creating an offer for people who travel and come home and struggle to reintegrate it into home life.

What am I offering?

There were three things she hoped to get out of her session.

  1. How to express what she has to offer
  2. What people will get out of working with her
  3. Why they would want to

Creating an image

I asked Cate to select images in response to the question:

What are you offering to your people?

This is what she created

You can watch a half hour video of the session and listen to the conversation about her image. I recorded my view as the facilitator, so you can see what it looks like when you are doing a session with a client over the phone.

What happened as a result of the session?

The next day, Cate was able to write a sales page for her new offer in a couple of hours. She sent this lovely testimonial

Christine recently led me through a session using the new ImageCenter because I wanted to offer a new service but was struggling to articulate it enough to write a concise sale page. In less than 45 minutes I had a much better understanding of the “heart” of my new service. Listening to the recording of my session then helped me identify key words that had come up in our discussion. Within an hour I’d written the bulk of my sales page (it typically takes much, much longer than that). Spending 45 minutes with VisualsSpeak (and Christine) not only brought me increased clarity, it saved me valuable time. I’m officially in love with the Image Center.

She wrote a fabulous page on her website for  Exploring Travel Stories

Permission to use this story

Whenever I do an Insight Session, it is with the understanding that whatever is said is confidential. Cate gave me permission to write about her story, otherwise I would not have been able to share it. Thanks, Cate!

Do you have a place that needs some clarity?

I offer Insight Sessions to help you get clear about where ever it is you are feeling stuck. The brain processes visuals differently, so its a great way to get unstuck about the places where you can’t seem to get clear.

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What kind of experience do you want them to have as your customer?

FirstFrame

glbheadergraphic

This is part of a series of posts showing how I am working through the worksheets on the Good Little Biz™ site.

Dreaming Worksheet

Good Little Biz has a series of worksheets, the first one is about Dreaming. I started by writing the answer to the question, what experience do I want them to have as my customer.

Feel cared for, appreciated for their knowledge, expertise, and participation.

Next I quickly selected images from the VisualsSpeak ImageSet in response to the question, and assembled them on a piece of blue background paper. I photographed it,  then recorded myself describing the images in the screencast below.

What do the words tell us?

From the words describing the image, I get

  • independent individuals being celebrated for who they are
  • feel creativity is welcome and celebrated
  • feel a part of what we have created
  • room for many kinds of people
  • feel part of a network of resources
  • all coming together to share ways of doing similar things
  • color, creativity, expansion
  • part of a bigger whole
  • different applications coming together to help each other see how beautiful difference can be

What do I see?

The central image is about being part of a larger whole. Having other similar parts creating something larger. Overall there is a spiral pattern, starting with the images representing individuals encountering art, then becoming part of a larger network or community. Belonging seems to be an important element. As a creative, there have been so many times I haven’t felt appreciated for my gifts, so inviting and including others is something I want to figure out how to do effectively for others.

Join me?

Anyone interesting in working through the worksheets with me? No pressure, informal. I started a group on the Good Little Biz site called Creative Good Little Biz. Email me christine (at)  visualsspeak . com or Dm me on twitter, or just join the group after you register for GoodLittleBiz if you are interested.

Subscribe to this blog in a reader

Subscribe by Email

follow me on twitter @cmartell

Posts about the Dreaming Worksheet

a. What would you really LOVE to be doing?

b. Who would you LOVE to be working with?

c. Who do you most want to benefit from your work?

d. What kind of benefits do you want them to enjoy?

e. What kind of experience do you want them to have as your customer?

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What kind of benefits do you want them to enjoy?

FirstFrame3

glbheadergraphic

This is part of a series of posts showing how I am working through the worksheets on the Good Little Biz™ site.

Dreaming Worksheet

Good Little Biz has a series of worksheets, the first one is about Dreaming. I started by writing the answer to the question, what kind of benefits do I want customers to enjoy?

Better communication, deeper connections, deeper insights, fun

Next I quickly selected images from the VisualsSpeak ImageSet in response to the question, and assembled them on a piece of blue background paper. I photographed it,  then recorded myself describing the images in the screencast below.

What do the words tell us?

From the words describing the image, I get

  • ability to reach their goals, they have the ability to reach their desired outcome
  • ability to reach new heights with structures to support them
  • engage the creative processes that work for them
  • get new skills to align with the people and organization in their lives
  • creativity and color in life
  • gain skills to work with differences
  • see alternative ways to engage
  • see they are capable of engaging in multiple ways
  • exciting lifelong learning
  • curiosity
  • skills to bridge cultures
  • moving forward in common goals
  • small group will affect a huge number of people

What do I see here?

The central image has a number of elements in it. Being able to engage conflict effectively was part of it but also the ability to see that what may appear to be an advantage may not be. There is something about leveling the playing field by building the capacity of the one who might be perceived as the underdog.

When it comes down to it, I am really driven to provide tools and processes that help people get along better. Or know themselves better, but really so they can intersect with others more effectively. Seems important since we walk through these lives of ours with other people. There is also something about fostering a sense of belonging. I know there is a particular kind of energy in the room when people are working with images. There is a sense of discovery and curiosity about self and one another.

Join me?

Anyone interesting in working through the worksheets with me? No pressure, informal. I started a group on the Good Little Biz site called Creative Good Little Biz. Email me christine (at)  visualsspeak . com or Dm me on twitter, or just join the group after you register for GoodLittleBiz if you are interested.

Subscribe to this blog in a reader

Subscribe by Email

follow me on twitter @cmartell

Posts about the Dreaming Worksheet

a. What would you really LOVE to be doing?

b. Who would you LOVE to be working with?

c. Who do you most want to benefit from your work?

d. What kind of benefits do you want them to enjoy?

e. What kind of experience do you want them to have as your customer?

Share

Who do you most want to benefit from your work?

FirstFrame4

glbheadergraphic

This is part of a series of posts showing how I am working through the worksheets on the Good Little Biz™ site.

Dreaming Worksheet

Good Little Biz has a series of worksheets, the first one is about Dreaming.I started by writing the answer to the question, who do I most want to benefit from my work?

The professionals who use the tools and their clients

Next I quickly selected images from the VisualsSpeak ImageSet in response to the question, and assembled them on a piece of blue background paper. I photographed it,  then recorded myself describing the images in the screencast below.

What do the words tell us?

From the words describing the image, I get

  • working directly with diverse independent professionals
  • collaborating and creating tools
  • professionals provide link to bigger group by working with them as clients and colleagues
    • kids
    • different races, ethnicity, regions
    • corporate people feeling out of place
    • people unhappy in their jobs
    • people interested in personal development
    • relationships and families
    • having fun
    • working with challenges in gentler more playful ways

What do I see?

As long as we assemble the images quickly without thinking too much, there can be additional clues in the visual language. The center often holds something important, and the center of this image is about the linkage. This photograph was also in the center in the question about what I love to do. Perhaps even more significant this time, since this question specifically asked about who, and still the central answer is its about providing links. The specific who isn’t as important.

I want to help my colleagues get better results for their clients. I can reach more people indirectly, more people can benefit from the visual tools if I work in collaboration with others. Use visual tools to help deepen the interactions they are already having.

Visual tools are fun. Most people find it delightful to look through the images and find things to speak their stories. There is so much hard in the world right now. Any little piece of joy that can be interjected seems really important to me.

Join me?

Anyone interesting in working through the worksheets with me? No pressure, informal. I started a group on the Good Little Biz site called Creative Good Little Biz. Email me christine (at)  visualsspeak . com or Dm me on twitter, or just join the group after you register for GoodLittleBiz if you are interested.

Subscribe to this blog in a reader

Subscribe by Email

follow me on twitter @cmartell

Posts about the Dreaming Worksheet

Here are the posts about the first section of the Dreaming worksheet:

a. What would you really LOVE to be doing?

b. Who would you LOVE to be working with?

c. Who do you most want to benefit from your work?

d. What kind of benefits do you want them to enjoy?

e. What kind of experience do you want them to have as your customer?

Share

Who would I love to be working with?

FirstFrame2

glbheadergraphic

This is part of a series of posts showing how I am working through the worksheets on the Good Little Biz™ site.

Dreaming Worksheet

This is the second question on the Dreaming worksheet. I started by writing my answer to the question, who would I LOVE to be working with?

Very smart creative highly skilled people who work with other people to make the world a better place. People who are collaborative and can recognize the gifts of one another. People who believe in the collective and who possess the skills to work with creative tension. People who are intensely curious and meet difference with it.

Next I quickly selected images from the VisualsSpeak ImageSet in response to the question, and assembled them on a piece of blue background paper. I photographed it,  then recorded myself describing the images in the screencast below.

What do the words tell us?

From the words describing the image, I get

  • people who are independent, doing their own thing, but still willing to play
  • people willing to walk a different path
  • people who are willing to engage with dynamism
  • people who have the skills to be in conflict and work with it
  • people who are diverse in many ways
  • people who are working with their challenges
  • people who are fully collaborative while maintaining independence
  • people at varying distances contributing elements to a synergistic whole
  • people willing to engage over the long haul
  • people wanting to make a big impact

What does this show me?

This is an area where I know more about what I want, and the images reinforced what I knew and offered some deepening to my understanding. I like pioneers, adventurers, those who are seekers. Exactly what they are doing isn’t so important to me, I’m  more interested in them being passionate and wiling to share. Willing to engage, with constructive ways to agree and disagree.

I’m better when I have other people to bounce ideas off. To get input, to check realities. I like creative engagement, but also people who think really differently from me who open my mind to other possibilities.

Other posts from the Dreaming worksheet

Here are the posts about the first section of the Dreaming worksheet:

a. What would you really LOVE to be doing?

b. Who would you LOVE to be working with?

c. Who do you most want to benefit from your work?

d. What kind of benefits do you want them to enjoy?

e. What kind of experience do you want them to have as your customer?

Join me?

Are you interested in working through the worksheets with me? No pressure, informal. I started a group on the Good Little Biz site called Creative Good Little Biz. Email me christine (at)  visualsspeak . com or Dm me on twitter, or just join the group after you register for GoodLittleBiz if you are interested.

Subscribe to this blog in a reader

Subscribe by Email

follow me on twitter @cmartell

Share

What would I love to do?

FirstFrame1

glbheadergraphic

This is part of a series of posts showing how I am working through the worksheets on the Good Little Biz™ site.

Dreaming Worksheet

Good Little Biz has a series of worksheets, the first one is about Dreaming.  I started out writing my answer to the question, what would I LOVE to do? I said:

Collaborating with other creative professionals from a variety of disciplines to create more effective engagements by adding visuals to their toolbox. I want to use my visual/artistic skills to create more effective experiences for people who want to work together better.

Next I quickly selected images from the VisualsSpeak ImageSet in response to the question, and assembled them on a piece of blue background paper. I photographed it,  then recorded myself describing the images in the screencast below.

What do the words tell us?

From the words describing the image, I get

  • using art and technology to solve other peoples problems which link them to more ways to serve
  • underlying container holding diverse elements
  • training people to use visual communication tools
  • finding diverse people who are interested in similar things
  • work in the center of a web, sending tools out into a network of people
  • web has structure that is adaptable to change
  • holding the high level vision and being on the lookout for people who are part of the tribe
  • organized details, created by people who are attracted to the vision

Hints in the visual language

As long as I assemble the images quickly without thinking too much, there can be additional clues in the visual language. The first thing I look at is what did I put in the center, since that is often where we put things that are important. The center of this one is all about structure. If I was to summarize it, I would say it is about:

organizing the pieces that link the vision to people using art and technology to create a large whole.

This makes some sense to me. I think of VisualsSpeak as being a system to deepen dialogue. Its not a random group of images, it’s a group of carefully selected, intentionally constructed photographs designed to spark different ways of communicating and thinking. What drives me is creating things other people can use to do their jobs better. In order for that to happen there needs to be a scalable delivery system underneath the work.

Even the art and technology which I am so passionate about, and are at the center of my day to day life, are means to an end.

Creating structures versus creating tools

This is helping me see there is something about creating the structure that is more important than I have been realizing. Do I want to create a publishing system? Not in the traditional sense, but a way to be able to send creative tools out in to the world. My whole life I have been surrounded by people who do really powerful work, but their impact has been limited by not having vehicles to get the work to the people who could utilize it.

We each hold a piece of the puzzle. I could create a system others can engage in, that offers a way to link content creators with those who can use it. I’ve known I want to create a web, but I’ve been thinking about it more as what is in the background. What this is showing me  is the system and the way the parts link together is the core design challenge, not just something that sits in a support role. This is a shift in focus from tools that support conversations, to systems that support spreading the work.

Other posts in the Dreaming Worksheet series

a. What would you really LOVE to be doing?

b. Who would you LOVE to be working with?

c. Who do you most want to benefit from your work?

d. What kind of benefits do you want them to enjoy?

e. What kind of experience do you want them to have as your customer?

Join me?

Are you interested in working through the worksheets with me? No pressure, informal. I started a group on the Good Little Biz site called Creative Good Little Biz. Email me christine (at)  visualsspeak . com or Dm me on twitter, or just join the group after you register for GoodLittleBiz if you are interested.

Subscribe to this blog in a reader

Subscribe by Email

follow me on twitter @cmartell

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