MELANIE IDA CHOPKO
“Illustrator Melanie Ida Chopko has been working in the field of systems change and strategic dialogue since 2005, translating complex ideas into simple images to create extra-ordinary results.”
Illustrator Melanie Ida Chopko has been working in the field of systems change and strategic dialogue since 2005, translating complex ideas into simple images to create extra-ordinary results. Her work as a graphic recorder has been used to support strategic conversations on clean energy, urban farming, coaching for social change, women’s leadership and deep ecology, with clients like Bioneers, TEDx Berkeley, Margaret Wheatley, YES!, Impact Hub, and Coaching for Social Change.
In 2003, halfway through art school, Melanie set her creative passions to the side and began working on waste, climate and environmental justice issues in New York City. Perplexed by the fine line between an apathy and action, she found the work of Joanna Macy in 2009, and moved to California to continue her study of deep ecology. Her work came full circle when she found, over and over, one powerful way to shift people into action was an awakening inspired by the arts: music, theatre, illustration, story telling. It resonated deeply with her own history of activism, her own personal reorientation from conservatism to contribution instigated by the collaboration of storyteller Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco, the plays of Eve Ensler and stories of Alice Walker. She now works full time as an illustrator and musician in Oakland, CA.
Her work as a graphic recorder combines the best of cognitive science with movement theory: By integrating pictures and non-linear note taking, our entire brain is on board, meaning we tackle big problems using the entirety of our intelligence: both our logical/sequential processing style, and our creative/holistic processing style. In such a pivotal moment in human history, let’s use everything we’ve got!