I’m currently engrossed in creating a staff experience/ conference for one of my clients. As soon I was given the task my mind was swimming with possibilities about what it could include.

How could all these elements be combined to produce something that would create a whole experience to uplift and motivate?

As I thought about it and acknowledged my creative excitement I realised the similarities between this task and creating a painting.

A painting usually begins with a sketch to get familiar with my subject.

Designing a conference- I sketch out ideas down and the overall shape of the day.


I then start blocking in certain areas of dark and light that create a framework for the picture.

For a conference  I put in the ‘must haves’ of the day: management briefing, staff discussions, workshop options, an opening and linked ending.

I add colour and tone to the painting and work on the detail so that it resembles the subject.

For the conference I refine ideas with staff and managers to get the right mix of elements that will give the desired outcome.

Finally, after all this work, the painting comes together. The colours and shapes somehow come to resemble a face and the magic happens. The face on the canvas looks back at you and has life and a soul.

At a conference it will all come together at the actual event. The whole day will be the painting- particularly the feeling at the end- hopefully magical.

The painting shown is a recent piece I did of the wonderful Cardiff artist Charles Byrd who died aged 100.

Why arranging a conference is just like painting…