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Thoughts from a Keynote Artist & Visual Strategist

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  • Writer's pictureJulia Bakay

How to choose the best Graphic Recorder for your event?


So many excellent Artists out there!

Graphic Recording is a niche skillset. There aren't many of us (especially compared to the number of conferences held every single day!) and each of us approach the work differently, with a great variety of styles and methods.

We have many words to describe what we do, such as Graphic Recording, Scribing, Visual Note-taking, Live Illustration, and Sketch noting, but there's no real difference in what these cover. I agree; it would be practical if these terms covered different styles of real-time capturing - such as if 'Sketch noting' referred specifically to simpler, cartoonish, and primarily black and white sketches, and Live Illustration consistently referred to a greater depth of artistic details. Alas, that's not often the case. I personally use them almost interchangeably, depending on what style and approach we decide on for that event. So for one, you might not want to merely rely on these terms when choosing your artist.

So how to find the best Graphic Recording Artist for your event?

Here are some things you can explore....

Their Live Graphic Recording Portfolio

See how much you like their work!

When you first search for 'Graphic Recording' you might not like everything that pops up. As you continue exploring, you might recognize your preferences and understand what you value. Is it the witty associations and ways the different parts connect to one another? Is it the visual talent and artistry that catches your eye?

If you like one, check out the rest of their work, see what else the artist is capable of! Each event varies and some are more successful then others. Some of us even work in many different styles. Let the rabbit hole take you to the unique style and approach you're looking for and send them a message!

The work you see on our website is probably what we're most proud of. Bear in mind, Live Illustration work is often mixed with studio work (such as Infographics) when you glance at a portfolio. If you notice that you consistently don't appreciate the 'Live products' an artist shared, you might want to keep looking.

Graphic Recording Genres

Are you looking for in-person, or virtual Graphic Recording? Would you like someone to do analogue (paper & marker) or digital Graphic Recording? Some of us specialize in one or the other - knowing what you want can help to narrow your search.

Graphic Recording References

You may see a few words of recommendation on our websites from previous clients that will give you an idea of what it's like to collaborate with the artist. If you don't see these on their website, check out their LinkedIn recommendations!

Recommended Graphic Recorders

Recommendations are the highest form of compliment. Word of mouth is a fantastic way of getting known and I love it when someone approaches me with 'How can we work together?'. You're lucky if someone recommended a Graphic Recorder to you - most people I come across had never heard of us or tried this type of visual engagement.

Ideally, for what you pay is what you get....

Apart from a few brilliant beginners who don't yet understand the value of their work, it's likely that the quote you get reflects what we feel we'll be able to offer. Check out my article on Graphic Recording Rates if you'd like to learn more about this!

Working with a Graphic Recording Agency vs. an Independent Artist

Pricing might reflect the effort and quality less if you've chosen to work with a larger agency as opposed to an independent artist. In the former case you may not even know who did the work as their names are rarely shown on the graphics. In some cases, the artists behind the scene are paid a portion of the sum you've been charged, and haven't been in direct contact with you, so might not understand your needs as well.

With an agency, however, you might get a dedicated person for each part of the process, whether it's project management, logistics, finances, or the creative work itself. It will cost more for a team, but if this is the type of service you value, it may be the right option for you.

The Graphic Recording Community a friendly one!

We often recommend each other to clients and we know everyone in our beloved industry benefits from spreading the word about Graphic Recording. So feel free to reach out to one of us to get started with your quest - if they feel that they're not personally able to offer what you need (i.e. the style, approach, location, or timeframe doesn't work out) they'll send you to someone they respect!

We all want you to find the best graphic recorder for your needs - we'd like you to love what we do as much as we do!

To explore more examples and information on Graphic Recording, read on!


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