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The Next Chapter: District 86 Toastmasters conference April 22, 2022
Tell-A-Vision: Engage Your Audience with Simple Sketches, Emily Nichols

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When I looked through the Friday conference workshops, Emily Nichols’ workshop called to me. Greeted by her bright smile and conversation about art with children, and that it was World Creativity Day, I knew I was in the right place.

She asked us to have a large piece of paper and several coloured markers ready. We would be drawing. Because I cater to my young grandchildren who like to draw big pictures, I had a thick roll of paper handy and cut off a large piece. I grabbed my bin of coloured markers too, because colour is important.
Emily began with a statement: It’s the Drawing the Matters. And then she focused on it — It’s the Drawing that Matters.

She asked if we liked to draw. We acknowledged whatever ability we had, from little to more. She shared statistics about young children drawing freely, using a large body movement, the reason for a large sheet of paper. As a former preschool teacher, I knew that to be true.

Another fact: Somewhere around Grade 7 or 8, students want their drawings to look more realistic, and if they cannot achieve that, they give up.

I’d be interested in knowing if that statistic is only for the act of drawing with pencil on a piece of paper, but other art forms as well. A question for Emily, I guess, and one I didn’t think of at the time. I believe she was focusing on the act of drawing with pen or pencil in hand.

Emily demonstrated a series of simple shapes with the marker, that we each recreated over and over — brackets, circles, wavy lines, v-shapes, rectangles and squares. Add a few extra lines and words and the images can support our spoken words, and the best thing, it need not be complex.

We were asked to hold our papers up, proving that we could do it.

Such a useful workshop. Thank you, Emily!

Created by Carolyn Wilker DTM, Energetics Toastmasters