IFVP Newsletter
August 2015
What did attendees like most about the conference?
(Click on each image to see it larger)




Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for their generous support of AustinTX 2015!



And special thanks to Steve Weinstock , our volunteer photographer for AustinTX 2015.

AustinTX 2015 Conference Group Photo
For more images from the conference, visit us on Flickr and search #IFVP2015 on Twitter and Instagram .
Under a new moon in Austin, Texas, the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) held a global roundup. Over 150 people from 6 continents and 17 countries gathered for AustinTX 2015, our 20th annual conference. They came to learn new skills, to connect with other professionals, to showcase their talents, and to be inspired. They left with resources and tools, friends and mentors, passion and ideas.
Professional Development for Multiple Audiences
The conference provided an opportunity for professional development regardless of skill level or background. Some sessions were geared towards members new to the profession, others were geared towards experienced practitioners, and a few focused on complementary skills for practitioners looking to differentiate themselves. With 15 sessions over 3 days, the conference offered something for everyone.
New practitioners had the opportunity to record sessions in front of a room full of peers and to receive feedback from some of the most experienced visual practitioners in the world. As experienced practitioners mentored new practitioners, a spirit of generosity and collaboration filled the air. The conference came alive with creative energy. Large colorful visuals lined the walls of the conference center and served as a reminder of what brings us together and makes us part of the same tribe.
Attendees' Highlights
IFVP members share their favorite things about AustinTX 2015.  

Sophia Liang from Graphic Footprints in Walnut, CA @sophiasliang
  Alli McKee from Blot, inc. in Stanford, CA @learnglyph
Aaron Mayper from ImageThink in Brooklyn, NY @ImageThink
Highly Relevant Content
Julie Gieseke's performance of her one-woman show "Waiting" during the welcome reception set the tone for the conference. Julie shared a day in the life of a visual practitioner with authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability. The conference lived up to her example by providing a place where participants asked and answered questions, where speakers shared hopes and concerns, and where creative expression and joy went hand in hand with learning and professional growth.
From an introduction to the profession by David Sibbet , to the opening keynote with Joel Garreau , to the closing keynote by Dan Roam , the conference included highly relevant content. Conference sessions provided practical skills development, business management advice, and insight into how visual practitioners work. In one session, "Getting into the Head of a Graphic Recorder" several visual practitioners recorded the same content and then shared their process with the audience.
Inspiration and Growth
Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's conference such a success. Let's shout one more "Yeehaw!" to Immediate Past President Lynn Carruthers for her leadership and dedication in making AustinTX 2015 a conference to remember. Thanks also to the IFVP Board f or volunteering your time, talents and treasure at Austin and throughout the year. Because of the efforts of these leaders and because of our members, who continue to inspire others with their excellence while freely sharing their talents, IFVP membership is growing at over 40% per year.
IFVP members who span the globe and visual practitioner superstars, like closing keynote speaker Dan Roam, increase awareness about the importance of visual communication in boardrooms, in conference halls, and even on the Senate floor. As more and more organizations and individuals learn about the business value of working visually, we need to realize that this is our time to celebrate our past and to build for our future.
Spreading our Culture
During the coming year, in order to serve the needs of our rapidly growing body of professionals and deliver on the 5-year Strategic Vision created by IFVP members in 2012, the IFVP Board will focus on the following areas: communications, geographic growth, and professional identity. Through initiatives such as a new website with articles that you can share about the value of our work, the development of an ambassadors program, and local gatherings, we will work to improve communications with you, our members, and your clients, to clarify our professional identity to those outside our community, and to connect with one another more frequently for networking, mentoring, and business development.
The new moon in AustinTX 2015 brought with it new ideas, new friendships, and new goals, but one thing stayed the same: IFVP continues to be an authentic, giving, and diverse tribe no matter how large we grow. We hope to see all of you and many more at #IFVP2016 in Washington, DC.
Jenny Trautman, on behalf of the IFVP Board: Renatta Algalarrondo, Philip Bakelaar, Jill Greenbaum, Dean Meyers, Guido Neuland, Brenda Tan, and Nitya Wakhlu

The first IFVP sponsored Local Gathering was held in San Francisco in October 2013. IFVP members Julie Gieseke and Lynn Carruthers invited the local visual practitioner community to join them and Rosanna von Sacken,an IFVP member visiting from Canada, for a day of conversation, lunch and learning. The day was a great success, and since then IFVP members in several cities (New York, Paris, Washington DC, Vancouver) have organized their own. Lynn, then IFVP Board President, approached the Board about making this an official IFVP initiative and offering $200 USD to any member anywhere who wanted to organize a Local Gathering. This was approved by the IFVP Board.


The IFVP Board is pleased to officially launch the Local Gathering Initiative, and IFVP members across the world are encouraged to hold their own Local Gathering. It is our hope that members will gather together to share techniques, tools, resources and stories, and to connect in person. We know meeting face to face is invaluable to our members, and the $200 USD allowance is intended to enable more Local Gatherings.


We owe thanks to Jill Greenbaum and Ruth Wieder for their months of thought and research and interviews with members that fed into the Local Gathering initiative.



The IFVP Board has budgeted $1,200 for 2015. Allowances are provided on a "first come first served" basis, and when the $1,200 has been allocated (to six Local Gatherings at $200 USD apiece) the "2016 Local Gathering Request" list will be started. 

The $200 USD will be reimbursed to the organizing member after the Local Gathering. The requirements for receiving reimbursement are listed below, under "The Process." There are no restrictions or constraints on how the $200 USD allowance is spent. It can cover food, drink, room rental, supplies, honorarium for a speaker, etc.



Anyone is welcome to attend an IFVP Local Gathering. A Local Gathering is a perfect opportunity for members to talk about a new technique, try out a new tool, brainstorm about an upcoming conference (as the DC Capital Region members did this June), introduce potential members to the IFVP community, or simply network and catch up with members in your area.

*A minimum of 8 people (a combination of IFVP members and others) must attend in order to receive the $200 USD allowance.


A Local Gathering can be held anywhere in the world where there is an IFVP member who wants to organize one and where the required number of people* can attend.
WHEN: Any time, day or night, weekday or weekend - it's up to the IFVP member who takes the initiative to organize the Local Gathering!



the $200 USD allowance may be used to cover room rental or a donation to an organization that will allow you to meet in their space.

WHY: Currently the IFVP holds its one annual conference, but the research that Jill and Ruth conducted and the results of the feedback we solicit after our conferences tell us IFVP members are eager to have more opportunities to gather together. Making this an official IFVP initiative and providing the $200 USD allowance is one way we hope to be able to help members create more in-person moments for our community.


If you'd like to organize a Local Gathering, send an email to Launa Post our Membership Coordinator. Put Local Gathering Request in the subject line and tell Launa your plans.  


There is no application process.  


Launa will say 'Yes!" to requests until the 2015 $1,200 budget has been allocated and then she will begin the "2016 Local Gatherings Requests" list.  


Once a day, date, place and time have been chosen, send that information and any other details you want to include (e.g. the name of the member who will be visiting your city, what technique will be featured, if it's beer and pizza and Zentangle) to Launa this time with Local Gathering and Your city/region/area in the subject line. Launa will post your information on the IFVP website under "Events," and if timing permits, in the monthly newsletter.  


To be reimbursed for the $200 USD allowance, the following information must be provided by the organizing member within two months of the Local Gathering:    

  1. A list of all who attended: names and contact information.
  2. The agenda or whatever documentation exists about the gathering (activities, exercises, flow, etc.), which will be archived and available to our community as inspiration for future Local Gatherings. 
  3. A completed IFVP expense form with receipts that total up to $200 USD.
  4.  An article (maximum 400 words) and two photos/images for the IFVP social media channels and upcoming IFVP newsletter.




In July the IFVP Board called for three volunteers to revamp our bylaws, last updated in 2010 when the IFVP was a much smaller organization. We were delighted when three people immediately raised their hands - Mary Jo Neil, Joe Azar, and Sam Bradd. Within days of publishing our call to action, the Bylaws Task Force was at work reviewing and organizing the bylaws draft.

Lynn Carruthers,
Past President of the Board, instilled a practice for recruiting volunteers that has served the IFVP well: "right person - right role." The members of the Bylaws Task Force certainly are the right people in the right roles: all are highly qualified to work on our bylaws and each makes a unique contribution to the team. They have all written bylaws for other organizations, one brings a perspective from outside the United States, one is a registered parliamentarian, and the third is a non-practicing attorney. Just call them the Bylaws Dream Team.
Part of the work the Task Force has undertaken is research into moving our incorporation from California to Delaware. For the first time in our history the IFVP does not have a board member from the State of California where we are currently incorporated. According to California law we need to have a resident represent our interests there. Although we can hire an agent to fulfill that role, we are investigating incorporation in the State of Delaware instead. Many businesses and non-profits have moved their legal headquarters to Delaware, and such a move may have benefits for the IFVP. State laws have an impact on bylaws, so the Task Force will complete its research on incorporation prior to updating the bylaws.
The Task Force plans to complete its first pass through the draft bylaws by August 28th to organize the contents and sequencing of the document. In the next round they will begin editing for clarity, simplicity and flexibility. Watch this space and they'll keep you updated as the work is done. If you have questions, please send them to Jenny Trautman who is serving as Board liaison to the Task Force.
IFVP 2016, our 21 st Annual Conference, will take place in Washington, DC.
Watch this space for more news as details become available!


 IFVP - International Forum of Visual Practitioners