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!

Graphic Change

Photo credit: Appature-images