• Emily Powell

The Possibilities are Endless!

A business client's guide to working with Thomkat Illustrations

When I talk to clients about the projects we work on together, I can see and hear their passion and excitement.

I felt that same passion in the corporate roles that I undertook in my 20 year career as a finance professional. I understand it. I know the importance and complexity of sharing key messages with a wide and diverse audience, and I know that how those messages land can make or break a project. It can determine financial sustainability and can be the difference between success or failure of an event, a transformational change, or the business itself.

It’s a world and language that is familiar and comfortable, and puts me in a unique position to help you connect with your audience and bring your messages to life.

How can illustration help your business?

Illustrations are an incredible way to connect with all your people, in a way they will remember, that really delivers the message.

Relatable and inclusive

Pictures cross cultural boundaries and language barriers, and are instantly understandable.

Engaging and memorable

Words are processed by our short-term memory. Images go straight into our long-term memory.

Improve understanding

Visuals have been found to improve understanding and comprehension by up to 400%.

And in case you need some more reasons, here you go!

  • Our attention span is now only 8 seconds, so catch it quickly.

  • 65% of the population are visual learners.

  • Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages in an hour.

  • We understand a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second.

  • 90% of the information sent to our brain is visual.

  • Visuals evoke emotions and can change our mood.

What makes Thomkat Illustrations unique?

I get it.

I've read strategy documents, standing financial instructions and complex policies. Heck, I've written them too. I've read and written board reports, created training documents, written standard operating procedures and read even more.

I've written PIDS and POAPS. I've read OBCs and FBCs. I’ve had to understand the content and the context, translate it, dissect it, analyse it, grasp the impact of it and then explain it to others.

I've sat in the meetings. I've run them. I've participated in training and development, in leadership and learning events. I've designed and delivered them.

I understand the corporate language, the sentences that say lots without saying much of anything. The jargon, the acronyms (well, probably not all the acronyms - I'm not sure that's actually possible).

And I can draw it. I have drawn it.

I can translate it into something engaging, memorable and powerful. Something that tells a story and connects with the audience in a way that will stay with them when all the loooooong unexciting documents are lost to living memory.

The possibilities are endless

Illustration can be used in so many different ways to connect and communicate with audiences, no matter how complex or dry the subject may be. For example:

  • Hand drawn or digital timelapse videos are a great way to communicate change, as I’ve recently done with the NHS Confederation, showing how the Integrated Care Systems across the NHS, local authority, and third sector, benefits patients.

  • Illustrated infographics can bring bland data, business reports, and financial information to life. I’m currently doing just this for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, by creating an engaging, visual infographic they’ll use every month to share their monthly financial results with budget managers.

  • Pictures can turn future and past stories, such as strategies, project plans, successes and reflections into visual journeys, illustrating key elements, milestones and aspirations. Oxford Health Charity really wanted to celebrate the journey they’d been on, all the great things they’d done, the obstacles overcome, and the difference they’ve made, as well as look towards the future and incoming opportunities. Through pictures, we turned it into a visual journey that everyone could understand.

  • Graphics can bring business plans to life, as I’ve done for the Clinical Service Lines and People Strategy at Solent NHS Trust this year.

  • Animated videos are an effective way of delivering training to a wide audience. Last month I created and produced just such a video for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, to roll out their new appraisal process to all managers.

  • Conference notes can mean so much more when the key elements are captured in a drawing, just as I did for the Women Who Do conference in 2021.

How do we get started, and what are the steps to the finished product?

Getting started is easy.

1. Get in touch. Send me an email or fill out and submit the enquiry form on my website.

2. Let’s talk. I’ll arrange a time for us to chat for up to half an hour, either over the phone or virtually. This helps me get to know you and your business, and understand more about your requirements, including timeframes, target audience, and the purpose of the work.

3. Details. Time to send me as much information as you can, to help me help you. This includes an outline of what you have in mind, e.g. the number of illustrations required; whether you’re after a timelapse, a fully edited video, just illustrations, or something else; whether you have a particular layout in mind; any specific instructions; any brand guidelines I need to follow; budget; and crucially, any source material for me to work from (e.g. strategy documents, training material or scripts).

4. Brief and quote. Then, I turn all of the above into a creative proposal that meets your needs and details how I will bring your request to life. The more prescriptive you’ve been, the quicker I can work. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you want. I am happy to, and often do, work with concepts rather than specifics, and can create conceptual images to help convey your messages. This information, along with high level terms and conditions, and a quote, will all be included in the brief. Once the details have been agreed and approved, I can really get to work.

5. Roughs. I’ll create and share rough drafts with you, for you to review and feedback on. This stage is always the longest, particularly if you’ve asked me to conceptualise the images. I use your feedback to tweak and send back a second round of roughs for approval.

6. Final image. Once the roughs are approved, I can create your final image/s. Or fully edited video if that’s what we’ve agreed!

7. Issue a licence. The final step. I retain the copyright of all my artwork, therefore the usage licence enables you to use the artwork within the capacity we’ve agreed. Click on the link below for more information. How to licence illustration

I love bringing information to life with the same passion and energy as I always feel from the people I work with. With colourful, vibrant, eye-catching images, your messages will stand out and be remembered.

And I love a challenge. So….dust off those documents, policies and processes that you really need people to understand but just know are languishing in their ‘unread pile’, and let me transform them from something that puts people to sleep, to something that gets them up in the mornings!

Hit me with your best shot because I can’t wait to work with you!

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