When I choose my graphic recording markers*, I use three guiding ideas: clarity, readability, and expressiveness. I can’t imagine doing this job without Neuland markers, and I’m pleased to be an ambassador. When the boxes come it’s as good as Christmas for me!
*do other countries say pens? Here in Canada, we tend to say markers.
Neuland markers are non-toxic, come in brilliant colours, and most important to me – they are refillable. I might cover a full room with ideas during one day – we draw a lot in this work – and it’s a green choice.
Here’s how I choose my markers:
The first is Clarity. I choose Big Ones to draw oversized headings that get to the heart of the concept, and to clearly link ideas together. I want my pens to draw text and images that help make information clear and understandable.
The second is Readability. It’s important that participants can read what I’m writing. In my practice, I might be drawing and facilitating at the same time, or I could be listening intently and drawing. I like the No. 1 markers because the nibs keep my writing consistent. I like to use black, and then highlight key words in a bright colour.
Finally, Expressiveness is what makes each practitioner unique! I use the brush tips for a softer, artistic quality in my lettering, and often to draw an “anchor” image as a feature on the page. One of the things new practitioners always ask me is “how do you know what to draw?” You have to develop your visual vocabulary, and keep practicing! Start with the Bikablo books to build your visual vocabulary, and a big stack of paper. There’s an old cartoonist joke that to get better you take a stack of paper as tall as you, and you draw something on each page: By the time you’ve drawn on each page, you’ll see an improvement. For visual practitioners, practice is key – it strengthens muscle memory and helps us respond quickly and confidently in the moment.
The rest of my kit for graphic facilitation includes chalks, tapes, photo cards, chimes (you never know – I worked with a facilitator who had laryngitis once and they came in handy!) at least two erasers, avery labels, and other pens.
You can check out the Neuland catalogue here – including facilitation tools, books, and workshop supplies.