This week I’m excited to announce the first in a series of articles written by Dave Fardoe. Accompanying each article is a drawing created by Dave depicting each chapter of his incredible journey. It starts here… 

My journey with Emer started just over 18 months ago in Bristol. I arrived for her simple graphics course, as many of us do, armed with a passing awareness that these techniques were catching on in business, and I was seeing more and more of these creations at Ted Talks and in organisations I was working with. Of course, like many of us I couldn’t draw! Yet, with a fair degree of enthusiasm and eagerness, my wife, Mary, and I signed up and left the experience feeling inspired and motivated. Emer is a great tutor and facilitator.  

I sang praises of the course to my colleagues, and used the techniques everywhere I could, developing my own characters and reading far and wide on the subject; I even wrote a short piece for Emer at the beginning of the year on how it had helped drive sales and my work with executives. I was on a roll. The universe gave me a hint that I should maybe slow down, but I ignored it and pushed on.  May arrived with the start of the long hot summer of 2018 and a spot of gardening was in order. That was the point the universe decided to help me press “pause”; (if you haven’t yet read Pause by Danielle Marchant I’d recommend it). My “pause” came in the form of a heart attack, followed quickly by quadruple bypass surgery and a long road to recovery.


To say this came as a major shock, is an understatement – totally unpredicted, and as a non-smoker, non-drinker (mostly), not especially overweight and with a very busy life, I never expected that at all – I needed to make sense of it all.


I turned to drawing and used the techniques I’d learnt from Emer plus the development work I’d done over the previous months, to begin to sketch out cartoons on how I felt and what it was like. Deliberately I left the cartoons as just images – I gave them a title and that’s all, a narrative would evolve.

Coming as such a shock, so unexpected, the first cartoon was obvious – “out of the blue” and reflects the suddenness of the events of that May bank holiday weekend, the extent and impact, the sense of shock and awe, and the potential loss of everything I’d held close. 

IP Dave Fardoe

Tune in next month for the next instalment of Dave’s story…
All comments/feedback most welcome.