rsa video

Here's What A Successful Illustrated Video Partnership Looks Like

Since the birth of the RSA videos for TED talks, illustrated videos have become ever-more popular to explain everything from complex science topics to why the viewer should hire a particular business.

Videos range in detail, quality, style and effectiveness. They’re a solid investment, which is why I’ve outlined some keys to making sure you make the most of your illustrated video partner. You can also read about how to get the most out of working with a graphic recorder here, and what the video making process looks like here.

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Know Your Purpose. This is the most important key to a successful video. If you don’t know exactly what you’re asking viewers to do as a result to seeing your video, make that a priority before moving forward. A call to action might be asking them to contact you or your organization, maybe it’s to educate them and encourage them to find out more about a subject, or to enroll in your program. Maybe it’s to consider adopting a new or different behavior. Whatever it is, make sure that is clear to everyone involved and that whenever you need to make decisions, you come back to this purpose.

Know Your Audience. Second only to knowing your purpose, knowing WHO it is you want to see this information is paramount. It’s SO tempting to say “My audience is everyone!” or “The ‘general public’”. However, it’s been proven time and again that if you’re talking to everyone, you’re connecting with no-one. In other words, when you have a specific group in mind, and you tailor your message to what matters most to them, the likelihood of getting them to respond to your Call to Action increases significantly. It’s really flipping hard. You to think about things from THEIR perspective, not what you think they want. Why should they care? What matters most to them? I work with you to understand this, and craft a story around it to resonate with your audience and make them want to know more.

Be Clear About Expectations. This include details like time frame, number of drafts and revisions agreed to, who needs to be involved in revisions, video length (for the love of all that is focused, get it to 2 minutes or less), what services you’re seeking and what your team will provide. For example, in my contracts I include 2 rounds of revisions to the storyboard, and one round of tweaks to the rough cut once I’ve filmed. I can be involved throughout the entire process and deliver a full-fledged final video, or do the storyboarding, illustration and filming, then hand off the files to your team to finish up.

Understand All the Moving Parts. Just as it’s important to make sure you’re clear on the video process, realizing all the different ingredients can help you know what you can provide and what you need in the package provided by your video making partner. Aside from the script, the storyboard and then final illustrations, the background music and voice over narration have a profound impact on the tone and energy your video has. Taking the time to engage with the right voice talent and select an appropriate music track contributes to your video’s success.

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

I see that sparkle in your eye…the one that means you’ve got a story to tell. Go ahead, click that button down there…

Where in the World ISN’T ConverSketch? (it’s been a busy week)

Filming & Editing One of Those Sweet Videos You Just Read About!

The Western US has been dealing with juuuust a couple of little  wildfires  this season. I’ve been working with a team of scientists and practitioners at the Rocky Mountain Research Station to develop a video series about helping communities become more adapted to wildfire. Video number two got filmed this week!

The Western US has been dealing with juuuust a couple of little wildfires this season. I’ve been working with a team of scientists and practitioners at the Rocky Mountain Research Station to develop a video series about helping communities become more adapted to wildfire. Video number two got filmed this week!

Graphic Facilitation in Maryland with the Board of Melwood

Melwood is a non-profit organization that trains and supports people with differing abilities to do work in landscaping, horticultural, and custodial work, as well as providing therapy and other services. We spent two days on the Chesapeake Bay being inspired by speakers and discussing the future and priorities for Melwood in the next five years.

Melwood is a non-profit organization that trains and supports people with differing abilities to do work in landscaping, horticultural, and custodial work, as well as providing therapy and other services. We spent two days on the Chesapeake Bay being inspired by speakers and discussing the future and priorities for Melwood in the next five years.

A Little Giving Back in Berthoud …

Although I'm particular about the ways I give back, infusing visual thinking and note-taking in schools is something I support. So,  last week I spent a day in the Library at Berthoud High School sharing the basics of visual note-taking with students of all ages. As you can imagine, by the end, I felt exhausted, and also energized by their enthusiasm and laughter seeing that doodling can be useful. Big shout out to Carin Barrett for making it happen!

Although I'm particular about the ways I give back, infusing visual thinking and note-taking in schools is something I support. So,  last week I spent a day in the Library at Berthoud High School sharing the basics of visual note-taking with students of all ages. As you can imagine, by the end, I felt exhausted, and also energized by their enthusiasm and laughter seeing that doodling can be useful. Big shout out to Carin Barrett for making it happen!

…And a Little More Giving Back for Public Lands

Here’s a digital video I created as a donation to the Outdoor Alliance, an organization that does work I deeply care about: protecting our public lands from being privatized. As an American citizen, all public lands are YOURS, you have a right to enjoy them! Here’s a quick video explaining public lands and actions you can take to support them.

Systems Thinking with the One Health Fellows

I’ve loved being a partner to the One Health Institute at CSU, and on Saturday the first cohort of Fellows gathered to begin their five year journey together. I am looking forward to seeing how their trans-disciplinary work moves One Health forward.

I’ve loved being a partner to the One Health Institute at CSU, and on Saturday the first cohort of Fellows gathered to begin their five year journey together. I am looking forward to seeing how their trans-disciplinary work moves One Health forward.

The ConverSketch Illustrated Video: Process In Images & Words

This week’s blog is going to be fairly straightforward and focused on the in’s and out’s of the video process when I work with clients. Different folks do it differently, and for me, it’s important to be clear about the process and expectations, which I’ll write more about next time.

Below you’ll find a sketch of what it looks like to go through the full video creation process with me. Each project and client is different, so we tweak things. But here’s the basic flow, with a few notes below.

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  • Scoping meeting/call (what’s the goal? Who’s your audience? What style? Time frame & budget?)
  • Script writing responsibility and number of revisions determined with client before project begins.
  • Storyboard revisions again, TBD with my client, but usually I stick with two rounds of revisions on storyboard sketches. Once sketches are approved here, all imagery is FINAL and cannot be changed.
  • Rough Cut revisions include changes to timing, volume, VO, music, color, movement speed, etc.
  • You get the Final Cut and we share that puppy!

At this point, you might be wondering how long it takes to create one of these. And the maddening answer I'll give you is...it depends. To give a ball-park, in an ideal world, between 4 and 8 weeks.

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Now that you know what it takes…

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

This week I filmed the second video in a series about wildfire research to help communities become more adapted and resilient to wildfire. Which, is kind of a big deal in the  Western US this year …

This week I filmed the second video in a series about wildfire research to help communities become more adapted and resilient to wildfire. Which, is kind of a big deal in the Western US this year

...And I'm headed back to Utah tomorrow to spend some time visioning with Deans at the U! More to come!

How to Stay Relevant & Infuse Generosity Into Your Business

Howdy!

Can you believe it? It’s been a year since I started sending out these little nuggets of creative inspiration. And I’m proud to say that I haven’t missed a single one I’ve scheduled since I started.

I’ve chosen to hold myself to high standards. Even though writing isn’t necessarily my favorite thing, and there were days all I wanted to do was tell y’all that sometimes…well, sometimes you’re just not feeling creative. Peace out.

But there was something else that kept nudging, even when it would have been easy to blow off an email. I remembered that I respect and admire each of you, and I want to give you this small gift of an email every two weeks. I know you are all busy and your inboxes are packed, so I make these as succinct, engaging (and clever) as I can for you. Maybe a pun will brighten your day, or maybe you needed a little reminder to make space for creativity.

Not only that, but I’m doing some pretty cool work that I want to share with you. Developing new techniques, styles, processes to support your work, and products to show appreciation or refine your vision for the future and what you can do to get yourself there.

So what can I share with you this week? As usual, what I’ve figured out by trial and error ahem, experience. Be consistent. Here’s how:

Remember why/who you’re doing this for. If it becomes just a chore, that will become apparent in your work. If you’re having fun and sharing for the love of it, that will shine through too. As good ol’ Paul Simon said, have a good time (with it).

Make your commitment known. Social science shows that when you verbalize something you aim to do in front of others, you’re more likely to actually do it. Chalk one up for social norms.

Give yourself time for iterations (who does this sometimes? Karina raises hand). This is secretly a two-for-one. A) Schedule time to write, brainstorm, plan. If it’s not in my calendar, it’s not real and I’m more likely to blow it off or get distracted. B) Don’t expect to write it perfectly the first time. If you do, great! Use that time you expected to iterate to go for a bike ride or something. If you need that time, know that you’re still a creative force to be reckoned with, sometimes it takes time and breaks to be able to really tap into that Creative Genius. Which is a beautiful segue to…

Know that despite what everyone’s social media feed is telling you, creativity can be a slog (term coined by the amazing Marie Forleo). By that I mean it can require tenacity: moments of blinding clarity and creative genius peppered among many sessions that may feel mediocre. But all that purposeful action will yield improvement, if only you give it time and energy to germinate and bloom. So Hug the Slog, love the journey and put your time in. Because forever is composed of nows (yeah, that’s Emily Dickinson, via the incredible Em Shepard).

Click on the image below to see the larger version.

I read every single one of your emails, appreciate the feedback and requests that have helped me learn and grow as I figure out this newsletter thing. So, as this next cycle of ConverSketches unfolds, I’ve been developing topics and doodles that I really, truly hope will help you make sense of the world and have a little more fun with it too.

If you liked this tip, it would be AWESOME if you shared it with your friends!

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina



Creativity is a drive. I'm real good at helping you or your team see where you can focus & leverage your energy. Click on to talk about your ideas.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

My newest  explainer video  collaboration is out! Click the image above to find out how dliberative dialogue and facilitation can shift the conversation from adversarial and argumentative to curious and productive. Thanks to  Creek Consulting  for the inspiration &  Wes White  at Shadowlands Media for the excellent production.

My newest explainer video collaboration is out! Click the image above to find out how dliberative dialogue and facilitation can shift the conversation from adversarial and argumentative to curious and productive. Thanks to Creek Consulting for the inspiration & Wes White at Shadowlands Media for the excellent production.