About Me

I’ve been drawing on walls all my life. No, really, I have! As soon as I discovered crayons I decided the world was my canvas, starting with my bedroom walls. That didn’t go over too well with my Mum, so I switched to drawing on the furniture and tattooing my dolls. My parents made sure to supply me with lots of paper after that.

About_me_cwAround the same time, my favourite story featured a little girl with a magic pencil that brought to life everything she drew. Imagine my disappointment when none of my pencils produced the same results! And imagine my satisfaction now that I get to draw on walls for a living, and instead of a magic pencil I have magic markers that bring people’s ideas to life. They didn’t tell us about this career option in high school.

Between my early wall-scribbling days and now I’ve worked as a graphic designer, art director, project manager and facilitator – to name just the major job titles. I’m also a philosopher, world traveller, artist and chronic provocateur, with a love of conversation, an easily-tickled funnybone, a taste for the unknown, and a strong propensity to ask “Why?”

I used to wonder how all those pieces fit together, but it turns out that in my line of work all those roles and qualities come in handy. As an artist and designer, I know first-hand the power of imagery to stimulate our minds and capture our hearts – and how essential both are to bring about the change we seek. As a world traveller I’ve learned that we’re all in this together, and incidentally, that pictures are truly a global language. As a facilitator, I’ve come to understand that the most important quality I bring to any conversation is being a first-rate listener. And as a philosophically inclined provocateur, well… I might challenge conventional thinking just a teensy bit – but always with a healthy serving of laughter on the side!

I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Avril Orloff for close to 10 years. I have worked with many graphic facilitators around the world, and Avril is always my first choice as a collaborative partner. The quality of her work is obvious when you see it. Behind that work is an energy, a spirit, and a passion for collaboration and the co-creative process. Her thoughtfulness, willingness to always go the extra mile, and commitment to thinking together on behalf of what will be best in a given situation is not only a joy but provides value that defies words. I am honoured to know Avril as a colleague, collaborator, teacher and friend.

Charles Holmes – Connector for Change, CE Holmes Consulting Inc.