I first met Michael when I went to Camp Improv--an event put on by Leadership Network several years ago.
Not that I was actually introduced. There was just this man standing at the back of the crowd with a handful of markers capturing all of the ideas that were being presented from the stage. Not notes exactly. Not a drawing or a painting. (It was something I would later be told was called "scribing".)
Speakers like Ron Heifitz and Jim Collins were presenting their ideas in a flow of words and stories, and Michael was capturing them in a way that gave them form and made them stand still. And, because the thoughts were caught, they could be studied and reexamined simply by walking past the boards he had created.
Not too long after this, Michael was part of an experiment at Crosspointe church using scribing during worship. This was actually how John and I met David Wahlstedt and wound up going to church there. I was sent to cover the event in an article for Church Production Magazine. I interviewed Michael for the piece, and he said something about David Wahlstedt that I have quoted many times, "David is easy to scribe for. He talks in pictures."
The thing about the scribing for worship experiment is that it was unexpectedly powerful. There is something about the translation of beautiful words for God into drawings and phrases on paper that connects deeply.
This is a sample of Michael's work I lifted from his website to help communicate the idea of scribing. When the ideation is from a meeting you actually attended it gives much more impact to the experience rather than having just listened alone.
I became fascinated with the process and started practicing on my own....taking crayons to meetings and later working from my tablet PC. Nothing official. Just something I did for me.
Today, my company allowed me to hire Michael for a couple of hours for scribing lessons. Which was beyond cool. I had so much fun spending time learning about the magic behind the markers. Best of all, this is something I get to try solo for Operation Mindshift up in Calgary. Michael was somewhat suprising in that he didn't teach me his style. He taught me what I needed to do to develop my own.
If you are interested in learning more about Michael, check out his newest endeavors at artlovemagic.com. He has been the catalyst for a new wave of art events that blow the whole concept of wine, cheese and quiet appreciative chatter out of the water. They are interactive and fun with artists creating in real time breaking down walls between patron and artist. Check the website for the next event. Admission is usually quite affordable and well worth the trip downtown.