• Vickie Smith

VIDEO: Lauren's Origin Story

Watch Lauren's origin story of discovering and creating a career in visual note-taking. Then read on to learn ways you might build your origin story today.

Note from Lauren - For Captain America, it was going into the ice. For Tony Stark, it was innovating in captivity. The idea of an "origin story" comes from comics. It's how our heroes journeyed through challenge to become their best selves. You don't have to be a hero to create an origin story.

Video produced by Caitlin Murray


In 2015, Lauren wanted to make a career change into the field of organization development and facilitation. She was one year into graduate school and felt unfulfilled in her job. She decided that it was time to get clear on exactly what was important to her in the next opportunity. From that place, she created the road map below (notice the date at the top - April 17, 2015).

That same year, Lauren started graphic recording after seeing Barb Siegel facilitate and graphic record a creativity workshop. A year later, after creating her road map, she found herself presenting it during an interview for the OGSystems Visioneering team, a high-performing group of professional graphic facilitators. She got the job, and she recognizes it as the one that propelled her forward on the career journey of a lifetime. Even today, Lauren speaks of the OGSystems Visioneering team as the most wonderful group of mentors, friends, and colleagues she has ever worked with.

Reflecting on her origin story to share with her community and looking back at her road map from 2015, Lauren feels fulfilled and is grateful for the knowledge that each of her mentors continues to share with her and the partners she now has.

If you are interested in starting a career in visual note-taking, here are four key learnings that we hope you will take with you:

  1. Harness your excitement and practice, practice, PRACTICE! Look for opportunities everywhere, because they really do exist all over.

  2. Find mentor(s) that will come alongside you to share knowledge and support.

  3. Immerse yourself in the visual community for inspiration and guidance from others who have gone before you.

  4. Check out some of the resources on our visual note-taking page.

Finally, consider creating a personal road map of your own – one that you will be able to look back at in the future with gratitude. You can learn more about the personal road map process here.


On behalf of the Dancing with Markers team, thanks for reading!




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