About

photo of Emily, a white middle-age woman, looking at the camera while holding a marker in hand ready to draw on large sheet of paper

Two Decades of Visual Problem Solving

I’ve always been a creative-type and quickly found my way into graphic design. I loved creating visuals that solved part of a problem but often felt frustrated by the limitations of subpar processes and the lack of strategic thinking and purpose. 

Before starting my own business, I worked in environments including corporate training, higher ed, furniture retail, even an NFL team.   

I recognized how these were all connected and was already developing my own visual strategy techniques. I could see the bigger issues and started leveraging my brain’s natural way of processing information.  

The power of visual strategy opened up a whole new world for me and that’s when I crafted these visual problem-solving tools for my clients to help them through similar challenges. My Illustration and visual strategy framework has been refined specifically for purpose-driven individuals and groups.

“Emily has a nuanced understanding of people’s affect and tells their stories through visuals in a way that always seems to liberate.”

University of Wyoming | Shepard Symposium on Social Justice Planning Team

Who I Work With

Big-hearted Independent Thinkers & Doers

Leaders, educators, advocates, entrepreneurs, volunteers, conveners & innovators. Working with clients who focus on making the world a better place is totally my jam! Each does it in their own way as we use visual tools to create a thriving world. 

Whether we’re addressing accessibility, race matters, gender equity, sustainability or other social challenges; my visual tools help amplify voices, develop community, activate conversations and transform education.

How I Work

I’m a high-empath with a neurodivergent mind – so you can expect me to be a super focused and supportive partner who asks intuitive questions in the pursuit of helping others find clarity and empowerment. And it’ll be engaging and fun to work together – with lots of visuals and exclamation points! 

I take the work of my clients to heart and recognize the immense responsibility I’m trusted with. Because my role is translating others’ stories, it is crucial I do that in a way that honors their voices. 

I am committed to living by these principles in both my business and personal life. As I learn new ways to focus on anti-racist, equitable and accessible work, I’m adjusting my policies, processes and practices to align.

What does Visual Strategy mean?

In a nutshell, I draw visual tools that empower people to take strategic action! My clients include everyone from entrepreneurs and busy moms to businesses and nonprofits focused on social change.

Here’s how it works…

I sketch in one-on-one sessions, group meetings, and at events, to capture thoughts, dialogue or presentations, as vibrant pictures. These verbal and visual cues combine to create powerful connections. It’s engaging and a scientifically proven visual approach to help you or your team organize ideas, simplify complex topics, map out solutions, energize audiences, or add spark to your story.

I use illustration and visual strategy so others can:

“I really appreciated Emily rolling up her proverbial sleeves and helping our planning team figure out how to proceed in the midst of a pandemic and still be highly effective.”

“Emily helped us think beyond the value as a visual note taker and leveraged her expertise and experience in the planning process to add great value to our project.”

University of Pittsburgh, CEC Hill District | Director, Kirk Holbrook

Visual Strategy as a Superpower!

No one knows your work better than you do. Chances are you’ve already got all the answers you are looking for but just can’t see them. That’s where I come in!

We collaboratively strategize to find the best solutions by visually working through problems from a macro and micro level. Why does this process work so well?  

Visuals help you make connections you didn’t realize were there. As I’m drawing, you’ll see patterns and possibilities appear before your eyes in ways you’ve never considered before. You’ll become even more clear on the steps you need to take next.

Working together to impact the world

We’ll begin with a call to discuss your particular needs and determine the best option for you. 

Depending on how we work together – individually or in a group, virtually or face-to-face – the process may differ but the end result remains the same. I solve your problems using visual representations of complex ideas with my 3-part framework.

While conversations are happening and content is being shared, that’s where the visual magic begins! I simplify and convert those conversations into a synthesized visual – sometimes on the fly in live sessions; other times it occurs slower over several conversations. 

These intentional steps are what create meaningful change.

Thinking Visual Strategy sounds fun, inspiring, and powerful?

You’re right! Click the button to learn how we can work together.

Take a peek inside my Visual Tool Kit

Ideation

Ideation

Generate ideas and consider possibilities using collaborative discussion and visual strategy tools.

Planning Circle

Planning

Keep projects, events and strategy moving along with regular planning sessions for agenda buildout, action plans & more.

Live Illustration

Graphic Recording

Enhance your next meeting or online conference with dynamic, sensory-focused live illustrations.

Facilitation Circle

Graphic Facilitation

Engage small groups with facilitated visual activities, workshops and strategic sessions.

Communication Design

Communication Design

Purposeful design to match your brand or build a new one: media posts, templates, publications, attendee materials, etc.

Custom Illustration services icon

Custom Illustration

Use colorful information graphics to transform complex content into a visual that others will actually read and retain.