All you need to know before you start
Hello and welcome to the Graphic Change Academy. It's not long now until the start of the Be a Visual Facilitator course.
This course is for everyone who has ever wanted to work more visually, present more creatively or tap into the benefits of working differently in their day to day life. I'm really excited to have you on board and to share my knowledge and experience with you.
Led by me, Cara Holland, you will soon begin a series of guided learning exercises which will teach you all of the methods, tips and tricks you need to get started as a visual thinker and communicator.
Access to our online classroom will give you plenty of opportunity to share your work with me and get support and feedback.
Although you already have had most of this information in one form or another, I wanted to let you have all the key information you need before you start, in one place.
The course takes place over 5 weeks.
The lessons are posted all together on day 1. Creative exercises, real life examples and insider knowledge will inspire you to uncap your marker pens and get creating. I will guide you through the sessions, sharing my knowledge and experience along the way.
The course will run from Monday April 16th (9am GMT) - Friday April 21st (5pm GMT).
This is an online course. Lessons are posted in the online 'classroom' and you can access the lessons at any time after they are unlocked. I will send you a password for the 'classroom' so you don't have to be on-line at a set time of day. You can access the content 24hrs a day, on your computer, tablet or smart phone, so it should fit into the busiest of schedules.
The course is not formally assessed or accredited. This means you can learn and develop your skills at a pace that suits you, putting as much time and energy into the lessons as you choose. Some people will choose to dedicate time each day, and some people will set aside more time once a week. The choice is yours.
It's hard to say exactly how long the lessons will take you. We've included suggested timings in the course, but these really are just suggestions.
Some lessons are more intense than others, some contain more content than others, and some require extra thinking time. For some lessons you might choose to spend some extra time practising, it's easily possible to spend a couple of hours on some of the exercises. For others you might feel like you 'got it' straight away and feel ready to move on really quickly. Take the timings as a suggestion, but don't be surprised if you find yourself spending longer on some lessons and less time on others.
You learn as an individual, and everyone learns at a different pace. Don't feel you have to keep pace with someone who is posting up their work really quickly. Some of you will be working full time or managing a complex home life while trying to fit in the lessons. Some of you will be between commitments, work for yourself or easily be able to dedicate time every day. Whatever your situation there should be plenty of time over the five weeks to get through all the lessons.
You will need access to a computer, tablet or phone with internet access to be able to view the lessons. The exercises can be completed with pen and paper.
You will need a sketchbook or drawing pad. An ideal size is A3 with plain pages. Mine costs about £4 at my local art shop. The paper doesn't need to be good quality, in fact you will use quite a few pages, so I recommend you don't by an expensive pad. Do make sure the paper is thick enough that it won't bleed through easily.
You will also need a smaller notebook or sketchbook that can become your own visual dictionary. A5 is a good size as it will fit in your pocket or bag easily. As you complete exercises and create images that you are happy with, add them to your visual dictionary to use as a valuable resource once the course is over.
During the course I will mainly be using a black thick felt tip. I would recommend though that you use BLACK or another dark colour as it shows up clearer than a pencil or some of the bright or pastel colour pens available. I would also have some coloured pens on hand for some of the exercises. Brush tip pens and marker pens can be good for adding shading. You only need a small number of colours.
Although it's not compulsory, you will get the most out of the course if you share your work in our private Facebook community group. The group is a private space only for people in your class. It is somewhere to receive support and constructive feedback on your work. I'll be regularly popping in to see your progress, and to give you individual feedback.
If you're not on facebook it's easy to join and use, but might take a bit of getting used to, so do join up now to give yourself time to familiarise yourself.
Just before the course starts I will send you the details of our private class group page and you will be able to join us there. I keep the groups small so that I can give you all lots of attention, so don't be shy and lurk in the background, get involved, support each other and share LOTS of pictures of your work for me to see.
During the course use your smart phone to snap the work in your sketchpad and share it in the Facebook group. Post your image under the appropriate lesson header with a comment. If you don't have a smart phone you can use a camera and upload your photos onto your computer and share with the group that way.
Do try and photograph your work in good light so that I can see the image clearly, and also take the photo the right way up! It's really hard to 'read' a picture that is upside down.
In some exercises you will draw lots of images on one page. It can be useful to number the images so that when I give you feedback I can refer to "image 3" rather than "the image over on the right about half way down the page".
At the end of the course you will be able to get a certificate of completion if you have shared evidence of your work from at least 14 of the lessons. Some of the lessons don't require you to draw anything. You can evidence these lessons by leaving a comment instead of a picture.
The course is undoubtedly a big commitment, both in time and in money. Let's face it we all have busy lives, with work, family and friends to juggle. But, and it's a big BUT, we also want to continue to learn, to improve our practice and become the very best we can be. I hope this course will help you get all the benefits of being a visual worker whatever field of work you're in.
In the time between now and the start of your course you can find me on twitter @graphicchange where I share examples of my work and other things that inspire me. You can also follow and like our facebook page www.facebook.com/graphicchange
If you have some questions that haven't been covered here, then you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do email me please put BAVF + your FULL NAME, in the subject line so that I can spot your email and reply.
See you in class soon!