Note-taking of the artistic kind

She sits quietly, next to a very large and blank white board, off to one side of the stage. Then, as the first conference session starts, Pepper Curry stands and begins writing on the board.

Within minutes, words and illustrations flow as Pepper captures the essential points of the address, creating ‘mind-maps’ which will serve as notes for the audience.

“I have no idea in advance what the speakers will be saying – it’s much better that I don’t have any pre-conceptions,” she explains.

The technical term for Pepper is ‘live graphic facilitator’ and her skills were employed at the Horticultural Conference 2017 where she created mind-maps for several sessions, including the address by Steve Sexton, Countdown’s produce merchandise manager and the session on ‘Women in Horticulture’.

It’s one of the hardest jobs to describe to people who haven’t seen it in action, says Pepper. “As a graphic facilitator, I capture the key concepts from a meeting, speaker, or debate, and present them in a concisely-synthesised visual format. Some people refer to them as mind-maps.

“Most people benefit from visual cues and reminders of things they’ve learned. Graphic facilitation takes this to the next level by doing it in real-time, taking people’s ideas and presenting them beautifully in images that can be used later for communications and reference.”

Graphic facilitation is the skill that has taken Pepper across New Zealand and Australia but it’s not all she does.

Based in Kerikeri, Pepper has her own business called Pepper Curry Design. She describes herself as “a creative generalist, and specialise in common threads that connect all of my areas of work. I’ve spent years building skills in web and print design, as well as art”.


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