Cara Holland, Founder of Graphic Change
Helping individuals and organisations to benefit from the power of working visually
Starting out in business, my biggest challenge was self-belief. I was an untrained artist who planned on becoming a professional doodler! I didn’t have a business qualification and my career to date had been in social work, so I am proud to have built a company that now sustains both myself and my wife Natasha.
I’ve always been creative. Working with vulnerable teenagers, I found that drawing was a relaxing activity that helped them to open up and have useful conversations. As my career progressed into management, it became a skill that helped me to communicate more effectively.
I observed it helped clients and colleagues to plan, stay on track and capture their thoughts, but it was 13 years before I found out it was something people did as a purposeful business practice!
In 2006, I left social work to set up Graphic Change. I didn’t have a role model doing the same thing that I could follow and learn from, so those early years were a steep learning curve. I figured out myself how to grow a sustainable business.
For the past five years, Natasha and I have run things together. Her background is change management in the financial sector. She takes care of all the technical aspects of the business, as well as ensuring a seamless and enjoyable customer journey.
With no grand plan to snag impressive-sounding clients, we’ve worked with companies such as Time Warner, Microsoft, Google and the NHS. I’ve even drawn at Buckingham Palace!
I put it down to a little bit of magic and the impact of live drawing at meetings and events. People experience working visually for the first time; then they come over for a chat, which often leads to word-of-mouth commissions.
Getting in ‘Forbes’ and writing a book – ‘Draw a Better Business’ – was more intentional. Both times, I saw an opportunity and went for it!
Our new online academy has students from more than 70 countries. We offer everything from a free five-day ‘Draw More Boot Camp’ to a 12-week deep dive ‘Graphic Recording’ course.
There are many ways to achieve an ambition. Believe in yourself, push for more and know that you CAN do it!
Photo credit: Appature-images