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graphic recording

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Photography Challenge at The Learning Studio: Graphic Recording

I had been wanting to experiment with various mediums including paper type and markers (I found out Sharpie paint markers are not as brilliant as I'd hoped). And, I was itching to do an illustration for myself, to market my skills and have differentiating photos on social media. But then I thought about how flat my photos of the recordings can be sometimes. I wanted fresh eyes on how to approach photographing the work. A-ha! I know where to find emerging photographers!

Nick's classroom at Ypsilanti Community High School is also known as The Learning Studio, an experimental commercial photography studio where students in grades 9-12 learn technical and conceptual photography skills. Being in its first year, Nick and the students have made some impressive progress (including two of his students, Davinique Powell and Jenae Gonzalez, winning Best Photo at the recent Potential Art Exhibit at the teen center, Neutral Zone!)  

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I introduced the following challenge to the students over two days: to create a cohesive marketing photo campaign of 3-5 images of the following graphic recording using any method of lighting and including any props or people they chose. The only other criteria being judged was teamwork. The latter proved to be more challenging for larger classes, understandably, but I was utterly impressed by the initiative and knowledge of many students in each and every class. The winning class receives full credit for the photos on social media, mention in an upcoming lifestyle blog I'm being interviewed for and choice of a pizza or donut party, which is, of course, where I heard the "yeaaaahhh"s and excitement.

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Detroit graphic recorder Yen Azzaro

All the classes had phenomenal ideas and some had more innovative concepts, but in terms of sound photography and extraordinary teamwork skills...

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I'm psyched to announce the winning class is 3rd hour (B)!!! They not only brainstormed before jumping into the work, they collectively came up with the most variety of images and made sure everyone was involved in some aspect of the process. Congratulations, Ana, Abbie, Britney, Britthani, Gabe, Jonatan, Lynda, Marcus, Owen, and Rochelle!

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Graphic Recording for the Ford Culture Hackathon

I had the extreme pleasure of graphic recording at Ford Motor Company's World Headquarters over the last two days. It was one of the most fun and energetic events I've ever captured as the ideas were just flying during their Culture Hackathon. The environment was open and thoughtful as the facilitators encouraged attendees to share their ideas and photos. 

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The hackathon ended in a competitive fashion with presentations and awards. It was a dynamic event filled with warm, talented folks I won't soon forget. 

For more information about graphic recording, you can reach me here

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Solution Seeking in Memphis

This past week I had the incredible privilege to travel to Memphis for The Kresge Foundation's FreshLo Convening. The event brought together some of the most innovative organizations doing work in the areas of food access, economic development and education. I was soaking up all the ideas and conversation. And, of course, trying to capture it all in graphic recording. 

Graphic recording for The Kresge Foundation, opening day of FreshLo in Memphis

Graphic recording for The Kresge Foundation, opening day of FreshLo in Memphis

Besides the incredible wealth of information-sharing, the cohort of not-for-profit leaders in the room were striving for food and economic equity in their communities. I was listening to capture all the elements of each presentation, but also learning fascinated with the complications surrounding access to resources. Organizations were offering programming and education in the form of gardening, kitchen incubators, business courses, neighborhood grocery stores, kids' cooking classes, and so much more nationwide in all kinds of urban and rural environments. Inequity and lack of resources is not exclusive to any one type of population or region.  

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It was so great to see a familiar face and have Michigan representing with David Zinn as a teaching artist. 

It was so great to see a familiar face and have Michigan representing with David Zinn as a teaching artist. 

Sluggo and friends

Sluggo and friends

I didn't have a ton of time to explore downtown Memphis, but what I did see of it, made me start dreaming about my next visit there. The Civil Rights Museum is an experience that every young person and adult should experience. I was wrought with emotion the entire visit. Although it was gut-wrenching to see what generations of African-Americans have endured in our country and the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's. assassination had me completely choked up, I was grateful to see the care and intent going into keeping this history present. This museum will be a necessity for my son to visit one day, when he can absorb the gravity of it all. 

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Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

The March on Washington, 1963

The March on Washington, 1963

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Silent, peaceful sit ins of the 1960s. 

Silent, peaceful sit ins of the 1960s. 

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For more information about graphic recording or illustration for your event, contact me at yenazzaro(@)gmail.com 

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Graphic Recording: Service in Two Sectors

Over the last few weeks I had the opportunity to record at two very different kinds of organizations. But they both had one thing in common: service. 

The first was the well known Domino's Pizza. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they have been a ubiquitous choice for pizza delivery my whole life. At their gathering of brilliant tech minds at Go Where Meetings Matter, I learned how much they put into their customer service and technology arms, especially my favorite part about ordering with them...the Pizza Tracker! Seriously, you can see when your pizza's being made, when it went into the oven, when it's out for delivery — do satisfying! Here are a few illustrations from that day. 

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The other event was the Third Annual Ideas to Action Conference hosted by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the talented folks that run Bright Futures, the after school enrichment program out of Eastern Michigan University. This is my third year covering this event and I always learn something personally and professionally. It's an engaging day of educators and innovators in the field doing phenomenal work. This time around they were focusing on Social Emotional Learning. Speakers included professional storytellers, educators and students. It was moving and phenomenal content to capture. 

Graphic recording at Go Where Meetings Matter in Ann Arbor

Graphic recording at Go Where Meetings Matter in Ann Arbor

Graphic recording for Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti

Graphic recording for Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti

This also turned out to be my longest, single themed drawing coming in at 10 feet long. The photo above also includes a breakout session graphic.

Although both organizations are serving different "customers", it's evident that great interpersonal service among colleagues and clients is key in success. Nothing can replace the sound of a person's voice or friendliness conveyed through face to face interaction. 

If you're interested in graphic recording and learning about the process for your event, please contact me here. Thanks for exploring! 

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A Band of Illustrators: Graphic Recording for Shell

Recently my uber talented friend Brittany Zeller-Holland of Two if by Sea Studios emailed about a graphic recording opportunity. We had been passing jobs back and forth but for the first time we were going to get to work together! And better yet, the client needed four simultaneous recorders. Brittany immediately thought of Brittany Barnhart from Just Curious Co. Her whimsical style would translate perfectly to graphic recording. And I got to bring Jessica Krcmarik, letterer, artist, designer extraordinaire! We were four creative women on a mission to synthesize ideas and words onto paper. 

Shell's Eco-Marathon event is taking place at Cobo Hall in Detroit over the next three days. We got to kick off the first day during the break out sessions as specialists in their fields talked about ways to innovate beyond what currently exists in the energy industry. Not only did we learn a ton about the processes and challenges of energy consumption and finding more of it, we had so much fun.

We even tossed around the idea of starting a graphic recording collective. That way we could rotate through the requests we receive and put some effort toward really marketing the services. How cool would that be? 

So beautiful and vibrant! To see more of Brittany Zeller-Holland's work, click here.

I love Jessica's lettering ability! To see more of Jessica Krcmarik's work, click here.

Brittany's illustrations are so complete and full of humor. I love it! To see more of Brittany Barnhart's work, click here.

Graphic recording for Shell at Cobo Hall in Detroit

Graphic recording for Shell at Cobo Hall in Detroit

I chose the topic of energy practices and solutions for low income communities and I was so glad I did. I learned from some of the best thinkers in the industry on how important access is for everyone.  You can contact me about graphic recording here — thanks!

Afterwards we hit up Green Dot Stables (my first time!) and recapped the day -- and fed our faces, of course. It was such a fulfilling day, hanging with such talented women and friends! 

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