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  • Writer's picturePhil Rappoport

Drawing Up a Community in Real Time

I first discovered Piccles in a virtual meeting. I was fascinated with how creativity could be shared instantaneously among a group of people and how it was an effective way of learning about one another. It was fast, fun, and in our case, full of laughter.

It became evident that because most of us had limited artistic skills but were adept at drawing stick figures, the purpose of the activity wasn't about our individual art but how we expressed our feelings, emotions, and personal stories with one another. It's about the conversation that is generated among a group. Storytelling can be so powerful.

How easy is it?

Piccles is an easy activity and it's easy to set up. You can be your group's facilitator or hire one of Piccles's facilitators and join the rest of the group in the activity. The format of Piccles is simple: you're presented with a question (or a series of questions) on a webpage that's shared with the audience in real time, then you scan a QR code which automatically opens a Piccles app on your mobile device (no need to download an app). The Piccles canvas -- I call it the"playspace" -- has an array of colors and a brush thickness dial, similar to a volume control, that allows you to customize your drawing. Once you start drawing, you can undo a stroke, change the thickness of your brush, and you can change colors. After you select "Done" your finished drawing is submitted. One of the cool aspects of the Piccles experience is that as you are drawing on your mobile device, the Piccles page that is shown to the entire audience starts populating your image along with everyone else's. The facilitator can then discuss some of the images and call on audience members to share their stories or perspectives based on the images they drew. All the images are anonymous, so no one needs to feel embarrassed if they're not the most talented artist.


Alert the audience first that you'll want them to have their mobile device for the activity. When the QR code is displayed, they simply select their device's Camera , then point it at the QR code, which then activates the app. Piccles can also be used for in-person conferences with either QR codes or a custom word that attendees can type in. As a Piccles trusted partner, Virlybird has special rates, so contact us. We can give you a live demo, make some suggestions for your event, and even moderate and facilitate the activity.

Cool things to know about Piccles:

  1. Piccles can create a music video that combines all the drawings and merges them all into your logo at the end. It makes for an awesome closing session experience, plus you can use the video on your organization's social media. (The video requires at least a one-day turnaround; the best case is that you're giving Piccles 1-2 days to create the video for you.)

  2. You can download all the individual drawings and promote them on social media and your intra-company communications

  3. Your sponsor's logo can be featured on the Piccles screen for all to see, plus your sponsor's logo can be used in the video.

  4. Use Piccles for a single event or purchase an annual subscription.

  5. Piccles is ready-made for ice-breakers, team-building activities, Q&A sessions, and more.

  6. For in-person events, set up a monitor in a high-traffic area and let people contribute to the Piccles experience for an entire day or multiple days.


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