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Episode 089

December 2, 2020

089: Improv on Paper: Unleashing Creativity in the Cartoonist Way with Jonathan Plotkin and Pat Byrnes

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    How can you use the creativity of a daydream to solve a very real problem? Being able to access creative thought when necessary is a skill and it can be taught, much like any other discipline.

    Founders of The Drawing Board, Pat Byrnes and Jonathan Plotkin are cartoonists who facilitate creative workshops that teach participants how to unlock creative thought using cartoonist exercises and processes. They can then use these tools in other aspects of their career to help generate creativity, problem solve, and more.

    We had a fascinating discussion about the psychology behind cartooning, including why art creates a safe space to disagree and how you can surprise yourself through improv. I hope you enjoy this episode and that it inspires you to pick up a pen and start cartooning!

    Find out about

    • How cartooning facilitation works
    • How to access the discipline of cartooning to help your career
    • The three components of a cartoon and how they relate to the creative process
    • What exercises Pat and Jonathan use in their workshops and how they establish them as tools for future use
    • Why improv unlocks creative thoughts
    • The psychology behind combining your daydreams with reality
    • How doodling can help you engage
    • How art can be a safe space to facilitate disagreement

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

    Questions and Answers

    01:17Would you call yourselves facilitators?

    08:18What makes a good cartoon? How do you introduce quality into your group sessions?

    10:44How do you teach people to use a cartoonist’s way of thinking?

    13:51How do you get a group to improv using paper?

    18:08What do you mean when you say improv on paper?

    27:56Is focusing on a daydream to bring it to reality different in cartooning to drawing? Can we learn how to do it?

    36:16How can building a cartoon can help groups collaborate better or to solve a problem?

    42:41What makes a bad cartoon?

    43:30How would you turn a bad cartoon into a good cartoon?

    45:21What makes a workshop fail?

    49:12How do we find meaning?

    52:55What’s the one thing you’d like listeners to take away?

    Connect to Pat and Jonathan