A Retrospective to Kelvy Birds’ “Generative Scribing”

The year 2018 was perfectly round for me after participating in Kelvy Birds’ Masterclass „Generative Scribing“ in December. I felt very fortunate and grateful to be in this class, organized by the bikablo akademie. Therefore I’d like to share my experiences in the bikabloBLOG.



Kelvy Bird and bikablo director Karina Antons during the training

Generative Scribing is explained as a visual practice that attends to the field of energy and the emerging potential of a system. It is piercing through to something essential. Seeing clearly without fear of the result or consequence of what comes forward. And most of all, it’s drawing as a social act. Kelvy’s quote ‘There is a hand that holds a marker, that leans forward from the extended arm of an upright, physical body acting purely on behalf of the whole’, resonated with my heart as a visual facilitator and trainer, so I decided to sign up!

On the one hand, I felt very curious and excited. But on the other hand, there was this ‘thing’ in my mind that could not completely ‘grasp’ (my brains favourite job) what would be happening in the upcoming three days.
And now the challenge of trying to capture this adventure in words…

My lovely, but sometimes very impatient brain, immediately wanted to start with drawing like a tazmanian devil in order to try to grasp the whole: DOING! Soon enough I observed and learned that generating the picture, often comes after a chain of deepdives in our unconsious iceberg levels…

Would I be courageous enough to experiment with these deepdives? With timing when it comes to what is actually the right point in time to start drawing? How can I stay in touch with myself and others, to be able to ask the questions that truly matter, that might have the power to reveal blindspots? What truly needs to come to the surface? What about not drawing at all, but leave blank space on my paper?

My „generative scribings“ look so different from my „regular“ visualizations …

My „generative scribings“ look so different from my „regular“ visualizations …

So much to learn! I like this class, even though my rational mind showed some mental hick-ups. While trying to apply all this, I discovered the importance of holding space; to be a container that supports growth and trust; to make people feel safe to express themselves with an open heart, mind and will; and to serve as a social field that goes beyond the group and process. In order to be this container, we need to be and stay connected to ourselves and each other. Therefore its important to find access to your inner source, or the source that helps you in this proces; BEING, in the present moment.

My journey along the road of Generative Scribing, consisted of exploring and using different sources and senses to collect information that needs to get visible and tangible. Our senses are in the end our doorway to perception.
I love my rational mind, but I also learned that I should connect to all my senses to be able to reveal what truly needs to be drawn, and therefore seen.

My dear colleague Karina practicing at the workshop

Talking about sensing…how to make sense of what comes intuitively through us? In the end, we all love tangible, practical information…

I’ve learned that even though Generative Scribing almost looks like art, it’s not art. It’s thinking, not drawing. It’s about abstract intuitive visuals, that might be supported by words, but most importantly, are an outcome of deeper levels of sourcing and sensing. They reflect deeper levels of listening, content from the people that were heard, seen and felt, but also held in a container.

At the beginning of this blog my challenge was to capture this masterclass Generative Scribing in words.

I guess one of my key personal insights is that I do embrace my rational mind and the words coming out of it. It is a very helpful source at certain levels of communication. Though I could try to explore the balance in using words, existing visual concepts and intuitive visuals that might show up when I focus at other availabe senses and sources. I will invite myself to experiment in feeling the right time to start drawing, sensing and connecting, and leave blank space on the paper, to mirror the proces by not drawing at all. I will dance between BEING and DOING, deep dive up and down the iceberg, and move those hands to generate intuitive tangible visuals that truly need to appear for the social field and beyond!

Does thinking shapes drawing or does drawing shapes thinking?
I guess my lovely brain would now also agree on the second one.

„… a visual practice that attends to the field of energy and the emerging potential of a system …“


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