How many of you have been to a conference or keynote speech and noticed an artist at the front of the room, furiously doodling away and trying to capture the essence of the talk in real-time?

That process is called graphic recording and it is a commercial artform that, according to Heather Willems, helps organizations “communicate their ideas clearly with visuals, making their words powerful, shareable and infinitely more memorable.”

Willems and Nora Herting, both of whom have backgrounds in photography, founded graphic recording agency ImageThink in 2009. They are what you might call quick-draw artists.

In a recent interview in Forbes magazine, Willems discusses the appeal of her craft.

“Like a picture, we capture the moment in an image that creates a visual story of the event. Like photos, the drawing can live on its own, sharing the experience—and oen times emotion—of the event with its viewers.”

Graphic recordings make your ideas easier to grasp and remember along the same lines as infographics, memes, animated GIFs and cinemagraphs. Willems recommends using a newspaper as the model for your information hierarchy. Start with an eye-catching headline, add in bullet points to highlight key content and feature lots of pictures.

Here’s an example of her work.

ImageThink Graphic Recording

Want to learn more about multimedia storytelling? Download the free ebook. 

Heather Willems is artist, photographer, visual storyteller and founder of the graphic recording agency ImageThink. Find her on Twitter @ImageThink.

About Martin Waxman

Waxman is a social media, content marketing and communications strategist. He conducts social media training and workshops and teaches digital strategy at University of Toronto. He is President of Martin Waxman Communications and one of the hosts of the Inside PR podcast. Waxman is a member of the South by Southwest Interactive Advisory Board and serves as chair-elect of PRSA Counselors Academy. Find him on Twitter @martinwaxman

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