Loosetooth.com Lab is Brandy Agerbeck's signature workshop experience. An in-depth retreat into the world of visual thinking through the lens of graphic facilitation. In this challenging, yet safe environment, we immerse ourselves in mapping concepts and conversations live and large. You and 5 other "lab partners" will be led in three days of inquiry, exploration and growth of your visual practice.
Every Lab starts with the same exploratory exercise on our first morning together - then the agenda emerges from the needs of the people in the room.
Since 2012, Brandy has lent her 22 years of professional experience as a graphic facilitator and 40+ years of personal drawing experience to set up exciting, hands-on experiments, facilitate deep discussion, and to guide your work giving direct and constructive feedback.
Immerse yourself in visual tools and techniques, learning through three full days of hands-on action and reflection.
See your visuals with a critical eye that helps you strengthen the visual skills you contribute to the world. Discover and dissect our mental and visual choices and how they build the maps we make.
Delve into synthesizing information to cultivate your critical thinking skills. Become a better faciltator, thinker, communicator and problem solver.
"In Brandy's Lab, I was thoroughly delighted by the range and usefulness of the learning activities, the generous pack of resources and materials Brandy provided and the match of feedback and suggestions to each participant's level. I would highly recommend this course to both complete beginners wanting to explore the idea of using visuals in their work/life and seasoned practitioners who bring their own experience and wish to expand their repertoire. Brandy shares her unique style and wealth of experience generously."
Visual thinkers and graphic facilitators, anyone ready to experiment with and strengthen your visual practice:
You are new to the field and ready to dive in! Get a career catalyzer with Brandy's experience, guidance and constructive feedback. The Lab is a great space for starting strong and developing your own style.
Beyond beginner, but you are feeling isolated, in a rut, or like your work has plateaued. Join Brandy in The Lab to dive deep and reconnect to the power of your profession. We'll challenge your habits to shake things up and discover a new side of you!
You don't want to be a graphic facilitator when you grow up. You know visual thinking is pivotal to your work and you seek the time and space to strengthen your ability to listen, analyze, organize and synthesize. You'll return to your work upleveled to handle complexity with paper and pen.
You're not even sure why you're here! You're drawn to this kind of drawing or to Brandy as your guide. Perhaps you're at a crossroads and want to explore this path of visual practice. Welcome!
As of 2018, roughly 45% of our lab partners come specifically from the field of visual practice (graphic facilitators, graphic recorders, scribes), 65% come from adjacent fields or are looking to add visual practice to their repertoire or are at that visually curious crossroads. Brandy has hosted about 90 fine folks in The Lab from 19 countries so far.
Our emergent agenda adapts to the people in the room. Brandy welcomes any level visual thinker with a willingness to work hard, experiment and have fun. While she definitely leads The Lab, the shared learning from each other is unparalleled.
Watch this video to see The Lab's 3 differentiators: 1 Brandy as your guide 2 our laboratory approach and Brandy's strength to lead discussion and share constructive critique 3 our emergent agenda that adapts to your needs.
A couple notes on this 2012 video: 1 After the first Lab, I lowered the group size from 10 people to six to have more time for each person and to foster one discussion together. 2 Given that more lab partners aren't graphic facilitators, we rarely discuss the business side of graphic facilitation. We can, if all lab partners are interest in that topic.
"As an academic, I’m surrounded by information, which I need to build upon and teach to others. I’m a huge believer in a multisensory approach to learning, and visual thinking is such a powerful tool to include in a teaching repertoire. Attending The Lab with Brandy was an incredible opportunity and what I have learned about visual thinking has made a huge impact on my work, including my classroom pedagogy and note taking."
Whatever we make happen. Brandy will bring her lifetime of drawing experience and 22 years of graphic facilitation experience to create the space and time for you to question, test, observe and learn from your work and the work of your colleagues.
You will have all the physical materials you need, though you're welcome to bring the tools you like, or something you've been wanting to test out. Content will be provided for us to map and we'll map our own conversations. Brandy will have some experiments at the ready, but our three days are wide open to the needs of you and your 5 colleagues.
We will definitely be mapping video and audio content in real-time and at a large scale. We will observe each others' maps of the same content as a crucial way to get into the nuance of graphic facilitation. Beyond those foundational exercises, our time is what we make of it.
You can try mapping blindfolded. You can try mapping with no words or only words. We can embark on a field trip to the Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Millennium Park, all within easy walking distance of our Lab's location, the Summit Executive Centre.
The Lab is three days for the 7 of us to explore and deepen our visual practice. You will have my support and all the materials you need. Please bring your questions, your observations and perspectives and most importantly, an openness to experiment.
Guillaume Wiatr, Principal
for business executives.
Seattle, WA, USA
Chicago Lab 2017
Photo courtesy of GeekWire
I have 6 spots open in each Lab. The registration fee is $3000 USD.
All Chicago Labs include the three-day retreat, plus breakfasts, lunches, beverages and snacks. All materials are included along with this unique access to me. I don't offer one-on-one coaching, so this is the best opportunity to work together in a small group format. Plus you'll get your own kit of supplies to use and take home.
Dependent on timing, a three part installment plan may be available. A $75 convenience fee will be applied.
Note: After extensive teaching tours in Europe and Australia 2017-2018, Brandy is sticking close to home with all Chicago Lab this year. If you have a group eager for a Lab or a venue suggestion for 2020, please contact Brandy and let her know.
January 2-4, 2019
Timed before school & work resumes, with great travel rates & post-holiday sales galore.
August 7-9, 2019
Aligned with the IFVP Conference (see IFVP.org) in New Jersey the week before.
October 16-18, 2019
Cancelling this Lab – I’m getting married! 💕 Am considering a November Lab instead. Click here if you want to attend.
“As a high school principal I use Brandy’s techniques to create visual agendas, capture meeting notes, develop strategic plans, and engage students and staff. Not a day goes by when I don’t have big charts on the wall or large whiteboards and papers in classrooms. Everyone benefits from thinking visually.
My 3-day Lab experience in Chicago with Brandy has been my best learning ever in the “how-to” and “why” of graphic visualization skills. As an educator, my practice has been transformed and positively helps my students and staff learn more. And, just so you know, I am having lots of fun with markers, and I confidently experiment all the time.
Many of my colleagues come my way asking for help as they, too, try to become visual practitioners. I smile and invite them to head to Chicago to meet Brandy.”
Principal, Sherwood Secondary
Hamilton, ON, Canada
Chicago Lab 2018
Our CHICAGO location, the Summit Executive Centre, is located at 205 North Michigan Avenue. I chose this space for its flat walls, great, healthy food, terrific staff and stellar location. For example, the Summit is:
🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.4 miles / 600 meters to the Clark/Lake train stop. At this stop is both the Blue Line to O'Hare airport and the Orange Line to Midway airport. This is also the closest stop for the Brown, Pink and Green lines.
🙂🙂 0.2 miles / 300 meters from the closest Red Line train stop on public transit.
🙂 0.1 miles / 200 meters to Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center
🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.4 miles / 600 meters to the Art Institute of Chicago
🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.9 miles / 1.4 kilometers to the Museum of Contemporary Art
🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.8 miles / kilometers to Hostelling International Chicago, a hostel with a capacity of 500 people and no age restrictions.
Our location is steps away from many hotels. Details will be shared upon registration. And I hope you'll add time to your trip to explore my most favorite city.
With an open, emergent agenda, we are guided by these ways of working:
Those are the only requirements for The Lab.
The Visual Project Manager
Danish Lab 2014
What surprised you or made you most happy during The Lab?
The intensity! With only 6 people, and a safe container for experimenting, we went NUTS, and really challenged, stretched, expanded our visual practice.
It was both in the conversations we had, and in the drawing we did.
What has been your biggest benefit from attending The Lab?
Trusting my own style!
What improvements have you seen in your work post-Lab?
Loosening up the structure on the paper.
Making my drawing more coherent. Making my piece more integrated - one drawing, one story.
Focusing on supporting the group (and not on pretty drawings) - Process over product!
What was the best part of the environment of The Lab?
The intimacy. The openness. The willingness to experiment and share.
What would you tell someone that is considering joining The Lab?
GO! You’ll get the chance to really challenge yourself, and to grow in your practice, so go.
If you were to recommend The Lab to your best friend, what would you say?
You should join the lab because it’s a training like no other... it’s not a training, it’s a chance for you to be mentored, guided and challenged throughout 3 days. It’s a chance to learn from one of the most experienced visual practitioners. It’s a chance for you to connect with peers, and learn.
The Lab is a space for us to adapt to what the group needs and wants to do. Our agenda emerges from the group. We will learn by doing, more than learning from watching. If you like to dip your toe into the proverbial pool, you may not enjoy this dive into the deep end. If you like knowing what you'll be doing at 2:15 or knowing the exact agenda over three days, you are unlikely to feel comfortable with the openness of The Lab's schedule.
And yes, the Lab is a participatory process. Easily 80-90% of our lab partners self-identify as introverts. This work attracts introverts. If you are one, you are in brilliant company. This does tend to mean we get past chit chat quickly and into deeper discussion sooner.
If you have any questions about if The Lab is right for you, contact me.
The workshop is the conducted in English. About 30% of our past lab partners are non-Native English speakers.
I try my best to minimize my American idioms so everyone will understand. I adjust the content we map to work for our group (pacing and accents of speakers, content that's not so American- or English-language-culture centric). In workshops past, the native English speakers completely understand the challenge of mapping a conversation in a second language in a second language.
Bring headphones or earbuds along with your smart phone, in case you choose to listen to content in your native language. Since 2012, no one has opted for this, but it is a possibility.
Lastly, make sure you rest well before, during and after. The Lab is intense even without the layers of live translation.
There will be a variety of levels of drawing experience in The Lab. You don't have to draw well, you just need to be willing to draw.
In my experience, about a third of visual practitioners come from the visual arts. Two-thirds from the people arts. Often when people draw well, the drawing gets in the way and they need to unlearn habits and learn to focus on process, not product.
Those who come from the people side usually have stronger listening skills and awareness of group dynamics. So crucial in working with groups, processes and complex systems. The drawing parts are very learnable and get better with practice.
As I say in The Graphic Facilitator's Guide, drawing is a balance of listening, thinking and drawing skills. We all bring our strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences and roles into this work.
There are a lot of introductory graphic facilitation classes, dipping your toes into the pool of visual practice.
Let's cannonball into the deep end.
I welcome you to join me in this immersion. The three days will adapt to your questions and your needs. I believe the right people will be in the room. The veterans can look at their work with fresh eyes from the beginners. The inexperienced can learn from the experienced. We will all learn from our shared experience and experimentation.
That said, consider that we will balance your needs with the needs of others. If you feel like you'll have a metric ton of questions, you may want to do an introductory course first. If you are fine with sitting with your some of your questions and observing, you are welcome to swim with us.
Contact me if you have questions.
This reminds me of a time when I was a thwarted learner. As a ten-year-old, I attended a Girl Scout Jamboree. I wanted to go to the class on making a monkey's fist necklace, but the teacher insisted it was ages 12 and up. My scout leader stood up for me, but the teacher refused. I was furious. I knew I could make a frickin' frackin' monkey's fist knot.
This story is to illustrate that if you share this defiant, monkey-fist willingness to challenge yourself, you are a good candidate for The Lab.
The Summit Executive Centre is accessible. We will be on the 10th floor of a skyscraper that has ramps and elevators. While we generally tend to work standing at walls, you are welcome to sit and draw at a table. If you have any questions about the space, please contact the Summit. If you have any questions about the workshop itself, please contact me.
Cancellations are accepted up until 30 days before the workshop, with a 60% refund. Cancellations within 30 days will be subject to the entire workshop fee.
Substitutions can be made at any time (i.e. someone can take your place if you are unable to attend).