Self portrait by RIDG visual strategist Phillip Leslie
Sep 09, 2020 Geoff Nelson Graphic Recording, Innovation, Storytelling, Visual Thinking No Comments

20 Questions with RIDG Visual Strategist: Phillip Leslie

Self portrait by RIDG visual strategist Phillip Leslie
Self portrait by RIDG visual strategist Phillip Leslie

1. Who are your artistic heroes, mentors or influences?

Tim Rogerson, Glen Keane, Robert Weaver, Trey Bryan, Picasso, George Pratt, Gary Kelley, Brad Holland, and Mark English.

2. What was the most valuable training you received as an artist or designer?
Art School, figure drawing, composing pictures, and basic font/graphic design.

3. What has been the work you are most proud of? (visually or otherwise)
Usually gestures that capture a certain energy or “life”, when the fluid passing of the moment is captured in still time.

4. How did you find the field of Graphic Recording?
My friend Taylor told me about Michelle and her work.

5. What do you love about Graphic Recording?
Being in flow state, locked in to the moment, the content, the flow, feeling the wave and riding it fully.

6. If you could be a flavor of ice cream, what would it be and why?
Cotton candy mixed with birthday cake batter, topped with rainbow sprinkles.

7. What are the biggest challenges about being a Graphic Recorder?
Getting tapped in my head, trying to force content versus capturing what’s actually happening.

8. What’s your favorite art supply or creative tool?
Black wing pencil -soft.

9. What are your strengths as a Graphic Recorder?
My visual vocabulary.

10. What is one thing you wish people knew about the process of Graphic Recording?
It’s fun and you don’t need to be a Michelangelo to do it.

11. Which Graphic Recorders or Visual Facilitators do you think we need to know about?
Graphic Recorders could learn a lot by studying traditional designers.

12. Do you prefer walkie talkies or carrier pigeons?
Soft whispers in my right ear.

13. What’s the best thing about working for RIDG?
The team and the clients. Always a fun fusion.

14. What is the most surprising or memorable client moment you’ve had with RIDG (without naming names)?
I don’t have a specific one right now, but anytime I see straight-laced white-collar professionals open up and play and become like kids around the creative energy that RIDG provides, it’s impactful.

15. How often do you draw or sketchnote outside of work?
Almost daily.

16. What other art or design skills do you practice outside of your work with RIDG?
Music, reading and studying in ways that exercise my imaginative picture making. If I’m inspired I express it visually.

17. Besides art supplies, what do you need to have with you on a Graphic Recording gig (particular snacks, a playlist, a plushie, a banjo? A plushie named Banjo?)
Water, some access to protein, a nice coffee, a good shoe, a good pant, and a good hair day.

18. What’s your favorite stage of the Graphic Recording process (blank slate, pre-sketching/concepting, getting to know the client, active listening, being in the flow, driving home?)
Blank slate always gives me anxiety, until I nail down my borders and titles. Then I feel “set”. Recording is a blast, and then once the record is finished I love snapping into photo mode, interaction mode, “touch-base w client” mode, and departing…and feeling the restful relaxation that comes with a day being done! Dinner afterwards is also reaaaallyy good. The travel is fun too.

19. If you had to live anywhere in the world besides Florida, where would it be?
Hmmm, I don’t particularly know. I need sunshine, so any place with sunshine. And I need water to keep from feeling stagnant. Nashville might be cool but I’ve never been. Venice Beach in Los Angeles is cool, but also feels a bit stifling.

20. Who would win in a fight, Superman or Captain Marvel? Explain your answer.
Superman- he’s got incredible alien super powers! But then again so does Captain Marvel…

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