People sometimes ask me why I draw cartoons on business and other “boring” topics.
To cut a long story short I discovered the power of the drawn line by accident. I used to produce digital campaigns for nonprofits. A lot of my work revolved around producing videos, animations and other labour intensive content to get people to sign a petition, donate money or tell their friends about the campaign i.e. getting people to DO something as opposed to just admire the content.
I blame/thank George Osborne
Then one day I was given only two days to produce a digital campaign against a government decision to introduce a so-called charity tax here in the UK. No time to produce a video or anything fancy. Boring but important topic. What to do?
I used to draw comics as a semi-professional hobby, so I quickly drew an infocomic about the problem and why people needed to take action.
The infographic spread like wildfire – we got both senior executives and concerned charity volunteers to sign up. The national press and TV channels used the graphics in their reporting. Within couple of weeks government backed down under pressure from thousands of citizens and charities.
What would have happened if I’d produced a video with our chief executive explaining the problem? Or a blog post? I doubt it would have had the same effect.
This event made me rethink my career. I’ve now worked as a professional visual simplifier and storyteller for four years.
PS. Why business topics you ask? Three reasons. First of all companies are the most powerful organisations on this planet right now. Secondly, I’m fascinated by the the struggle between theory (design thinking, agile, lean) and the practical reality. Human behaviour meets abstract thinking – it’s a sight to behold. And thirdly, I need to make a living – I live in London :).