The Symbolist

My work lies at the intersection of art, symbol, communication, and collaboration. There is nothing I enjoy more than participating in conversations that lead to discovery, insight, and taking bold action. I use the phrase “Draw You Out” because of its double meaning. Not only is my work visual, it also draws out your ideas, connections, and insights. The three “core words” of my purpose are Illuminate, Communicate, and Connect.

Raven Tahara is a graphic facilitator whose practice includes 3 main facets:

1. Facilitation – Using Technology of Participation® and a robust toolbox of other proven facilitation methods, Raven guides groups and teams through proven processes for creating new ideas, systems, and making actionable plans to execute them. The ideal client for these services are teams who want to get all the best ideas on the table and create workable plans to achieve them.

2. Graphic Facilitation/Graphic Recording – I make the distinction between Graphic Facilitation and Graphic Recording by the amount of involvement I have in shaping the conversation and the content in the meeting.

I consider the process Graphic Facilitation when I utilize my facilitation methods, collaborate with you in the meeting design, and then utilize my visual skills to make the meeting more participatory and memorable. The ideal client for this process would be a small team brainstorming session, a retreat to discuss vision or do team-building, or a break-out session at a conference.

I consider the process Graphic Recording when I attend a meeting with a designated facilitator, a keynote speaker, or a panel and I am capturing visual notes of the presentation (aka Sketchnoting). In this form of the work, I have very little input in the content of the meeting and limited engagement with meeting participants. The ideal client for this service is a meeting planner looking to capture a keynote talk or panel discussion to enhance recall of the material and create greater multi-sensory experience for participants.

Both of these services are done LIVE.

3. Illustration – A cartoonist since a very young age, I am sometimes sought out to illustrate an idea or abstract concept with a visual that explains what words cannot. I work with the client to create an image or images that are unique for their situation and go way beyond any clip-art you might find.


  • ICA Certified ToP® Facilitator (CTF); Qualified ToP Trainer (QTT)
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF)
  • Certified Facilitator of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method
  • 25 Years of Experience as a self-employed graphic designer, specializing in branding
  • Completed Graduate Certificate in Leading and Facilitating Innovation from the University of the Pacific, Benerd College
  • Currently pursuing a Master’s in Leadership, Organizational Innovation, and Change at the University of the Pacific’s Benerd College.
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Marketing Concentration from CSU, Sacramento
  • Began graphic recording for clients in 2008

Professional Affiliations

ToP Network
IFVP Member