Category: Media

Interview: sharing my favorite resources with Michelle Walker

Recently, Michelle Walker, a creativity coach and visual practitioner in Australia, interviewed me as part of her Spotlight Series. Michelle has a thriving visual practice, and I also learned that she is a fantastic interviewer – we could have talked for hours! In this audio interview, I share my thoughts on my practice, what feeds my creativity, and some of my favorite resources for graphic facilitators.

Interview audio link:

Happily, Michelle and I will reconnect at this year’s International Forum of Visual Practitioners Conference in Washington, DC – hope to see you there.

PS If you liked this interview, you might also enjoy Lynn Cazaly’s interview here. 

sam bradd graphic facilitator interview spotlight series by michelle walker
Some of my favorite resources for visual practitioners.
sam bradd

Interview: my unexpected career path

sam bradd ubc interview graphic facilitationI admit, being a graphic facilitator was an unexpected career path. And I’ve never been happier.

I’m often asked if I retrained at art school, but instead, I pursued a graduate degree in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia. I was thrilled to be interviewed recently and offer career advice to new grads.

Read the interview here, and my favourite parts are below.

I want every grad to succeed, and “You’ll figure it out” is never helpful career advice. Now, when I talk to students (be they undergrad or graduate), my career advice is about how to be valued by your colleagues and team.

Be useful, do good work, and stay true to your values – this will help you find career happiness.


“If I was a new grad, don’t stress about where you’ll work. Put the effort into how you’ll work, instead. This is about understanding your personal strengths: do you prefer team-based projects, or more autonomy, for example? Understanding what are the factors that help you be authentic at work will help you find a rewarding career in perhaps an unlikely setting, and might help you say yes to something you hadn’t considered.”

I use my degree every day. “What I love about this career is that I’m learning something new every day – it’s an amazing way to continue my lifelong education. Graphic facilitation brings together two important parts of my life: working with groups and visual thinking, and it’s led to a creative, rewarding career.CEDOXltUIAAveqQ

“When people find out I draw professionally, people are always surprised I didn’t go to art school. Instead, doing a graduate degree in Educational Studies helped me engage in the inner work that makes me a better educator and facilitator.

“My degree was an opportunity to examine my role in reconciliation, social justice, and cultural safety, for example, which is crucial to my cross-cultural work.”

Basically, any chance you get to learn things, anywhere, take the opportunity.

You can read the full interview here:

Thanks to UBC and the Educational Studies department for a transformational learning experience, and good luck to all the grads of 2016!

Interview: Drawing Clarity at Tech Leadership Conference

Communitech’s signature event is the Tech Leadership Conference, and it delivered on its promise to be inspirational and thought-provoking. Afterwards, Communitech interviewed fellow graphic recorder Liisa Sorsa and I about our backgrounds and how we use visuals to help companies succeed:

“The two have a passion for art and for human relations. Their careers sprung from the realization that graphic recording is as much about understanding people as it is about sketching.”

eamwork! Liisa Sorsa, Erica Bota, Disa Kauk and I created these during the TLC. We made a gallery in a large hallway, then displayed the graphics in the reception area (here)
Teamwork! Graphic recording tech leadership with Liisa Sorsa, Disa Kauk and Erica Bota. These were displayed in a gallery/ hallway during the event, then moved to the reception (here).

I took away that inspiration and leadership can come from anywhere: a quiet walk, prototyping something messy, and it definitely can can follow an unusual path.

My path into graphic recording certainly wasn’t a straight line, and you can read the interview here:

Thanks Communitech for a fantastic event.

Interview: Health Empowerment from Knowledge Transfer

Graphic recording helped with knowledge transfer at a recent women’s heart health event with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

The VCHRI interviewed the presenters and me and wrote up a great blog post. Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed and feature graphic recording as a knowledge transfer tool in health care.

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live graphic recording at Your Heart, Your Health women’s health event

Graphic recording in health care connects researchers and dense academic information with patients and communities. The visuals help patients engage with the information – and supports patients in making better health decisions.

Here’s a selection from the article:

“Your Heart Your Health graphic facilitator Sam Bradd had a similar responsibility. Despite the significance of the research itself, and the impact of personal stories, the challenge remained around how to keep the information and conversation alive after the event was over. Bradd met the challenge by creating a high-level visual summary of the event with built-in citations. Essentially, he put the talk into pictures. […]


“No one likes to be talked ‘at’ about their health,” says Bradd. “As a patient, I want information about my health care so I can make the best decisions. Knowledge translation is a tool for ensuring patient voices inform researchers, and that good research gets into the hands of people that need it. Any publicly funded research should be accessible to the public, and KT tools – like graphic recording – help with dissemination.”

Read the full article here at


Sam graphic recording in action

Feature interview about visual thinking on Wacom blog

One of the top questions I get asked about graphic recording is “how did you get into this?”

The team at Wacom was curious, too. They wanted to know more about my passion for helping groups solve problems with drawing. It’s so awesome to be interviewed by the people who make my favourite tablet!

Hop over here for the feature interview about visual thinking on the Wacom blog:

It’s always about having the right tools for the job.

Excerpt: “To understand Sam Bradd and the magic he conjures as a graphic recorder, we first have to talk about that staple of the modern workplace — the meeting. (I know. And sorry.)

If you just flinched as a PTSD–fueled wave of meeting memories washed over you – the tedium, the boredom, the sense of precious time squandered as nothing useful happens – don’t worry, you’re in good company. Recent studies show that meetings not only do a number on workplace morale and productivity, they can temporarily lower the collective IQs of all involved.

The Meeting Antidote

Now the good news — Bradd has an antidote for all that.”

PS Check out the Bamboo blog here:


Graphic recording about signs in Richmond

The City of Richmond, BC began a community dialogue about signage and cultural harmony, and graphic recording was part of the design.

Link to the graphic recording image directly here:

In situations where people are passionate, I’ve seen graphic recording help. The process supports people during the session. People feel heard. These visuals are an immediate way to acknowledge that people are coming from different places. It’s also a place for reflection. The poster became an interactive area where people could congregate after the event to talk with each other and reflect on what happened. And afterwards, the visuals document the different perspectives.

Importantly, in this dialogue process, we weren’t there to decide on next steps. Instead, the workshop structure led skillfully by Joanna Ashworth helped share views and collect information about next possible actions.

The Richmond Review was on hand to cover the event, and the images were featured in the story.

The City of Richmond has information here:

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IMG_0183-0.JPG as featured in the Richmond Review