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Visuals as a form of communication?

Do you allow yourself to use visuals as a form of communication?

— Malte von Tiesenhausen.

Many years ago, people were saying that handwriting is going to die soon. And I really believed it as I’ve noticed how my beautiful cursive handwriting was turning into full capital letters. I used to love composing handwritten letters on beautiful papers, then mailing them to the rest of the world. Then I stopped all together. Gone were the days of waiting for the postman, of smelling the scented stationeries, of admiring the stamps on the envelopes. Taking notes was all made on the computer too. Mind you, I can take notes verbatim on my computer. I can’t even recall having a notebook until I feel in love with a stationery covered in red leather that I saw in one shop in Bangkok. The year was 2011 and I knew I was back on. I started writing by hand again. I felt liberated. I felt I was on the right path. But, I was not there yet. At that time, I didn’t even know I was going somewhere.

Then slowly, my lined notebooks were replaced with sketchbooks. Instead of endless linear text, I was arranging my notes in different ways. Illustrations too became part of my note-taking. I went on visualising my thoughts and my ideas. I also started visualising recipes and my travel adventures. Then visualising spilled over to my role as a facilitator. Agendas and processes were presented in visuals. I visualised documents, organisational communication processes, talks, reflections and many different kinds of information, including CVs and self introductions. Communicating in a creative way through the process of arranging information visually has awaken my creativity. I was better at expressing myself. It was also very engaging. People responded to my visuals better than if I’ve written only in text. Workshop participants become more participative and inspired to be creative themselves. For most part, I don’t use my computer when I facilitate. I even stop using powerpoint.

Furthermore, my love for anything handwritten and hand drawn returned. I love illustrating cards and mailing them. My heart jumps for joy when I receive hand drawn pictures. I love composing handwritten notes. I would even love to send you one!

Where are you in your visual journey? Are you staying no to the death of handwriting?

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About EV

Hi, I’m Elaine Vitikainen. I’m a Visual Practitioner based in Helsinki. What I do:

  • Creative facilitation that incorporates the practical and effective use of visuals
  • Support communication processes by placing organisational communication into visual context.
  • Illustrate for the International Development field
  • Create surface Pattern design for placement prints and repeat patterns.

My background is in Linguistics, Communication and International Development. I have a Masters degree in Communication for Development from Malmö University, Sweden and a certificate in Applied Linguistics specialised in Multi-lingual Education from Dallas International University, USA. I have over 15 years experience in organisational development and leadership based in Cambodia and Laos, and have provided consultancy support in strengthening organisations across Asia which includes countries such as Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

I created this website to give you an idea of what EV Visuals does in the world of visualisation. In short, what is visualisation, what can visuals do, what are the different types of visuals and how can we be more visual people. There are links to some of my visual works too! This website is also a revamp of the EV Facilitation and Visuals website as told here.

So wherever you are in your visual journey, welcome to my website. Let’s continue to inspire each other!