playthink brains girrard colorsI facilitate workshops in drawing for meaning,  visual thinking and the basics of graphic recording, and sketchnoting.

To schedule a workshop for your group, contact Patricia. Or call 416.799.6750.

Visual Thinking through Live Sketching 101

Sometimes words are not enough to fully engage in the important conversations of our lives. Learn simple techniques to communicate and co-create meaning with others. Together we will practice using hand-drawn visual icons and metaphors to create simple visual notes and wall-sized charts to map and discover meaning with others.

workshop playthink

During this hands-on workshop you will practice

  • Mixing words and images
  • Building a toolkit of visual metaphors and icons
  • Connecting ideas and show relationships
  • Creating visual hierarchies
  • Discovering that you already have the skills to draw

Can’t draw at all? Already an expert? No problem. All levels welcome.



from Visual Thinking 101, at Trade School, a part of the Toronto Design Offsite, January 2013 at the Centre for Social Innovation



Sketchnote of my Visual Learning Workshop drawn by Sacha Chua


 Visual Thinkers Toronto

visual thinkers geoff james

Are you curious about visual thinking? Want to join others who make sense of the world using drawings, diagrams, photos and other images? Got something in the works that you want to try out with a community of interested visual thinkers? Join us!   Learn more about Visual Thinkers Toronto here.


Resources for Visual Thinking and Live Sketching

On the Web

Full Circle Wiki curated by Nancy White  Nearly comprehensive collection of visual thinking resources.

Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Rich overview of methods at

The Noun Project Source for Icons. “The Noun Project is a platform empowering the community to build a global visual language that everyone can understand.”- Great for practice and building a visual vocabulary.

Sketchnote Army sketchnotearmy.comSketchnote Army is dedicated to finding and showcasing sketchnotes and sketchnoters from around the world, from events, conferences, workshops or wherever sketchnotes are captured or created. The brainchild of Mike Rohde, Sketchnote Army has existed since November 2009.”

Mind map inspiration – beautiful, inspiring, funny Mind Maps.

Best tools and practices for concept mapping – Kaneb Center, University of Notre Dame


Blah Blah Blah – Dan Roam. New York. Penguin. –Solving Problems with stick figures. Highly recommended.

The Sketchnote Handbook, The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note Taking- Mike Rohde, Peachpit Press.

Picture This, Lynda Barry, Montreal, Drawn and Quarterly.

How to Mind Map: The Thinking Tool that Will Change Your Life – T. Buzan, UK: HarperCollins

Make a World, Ed Emberly’s Drawing Book – Ed Emberly- NY Little,Brown and Company

The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential – T. Buzan & B. Buzan, Plume

The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide  B. Agerbeck, Chicago:

Visual Meetings. David Sibbet. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud’s TED talk.

Sketcho Frenzy -Charming videos on how to use sketching for learning: using simple images, Venns, tree diagrams, mindmaps and others.