How to be a Thumbstopper: Innovative Disruption in a Fast-Paced World
How do you stay abreast of innovation in a rapidly changing world? How do you capture people’s attentions and stand out from the loud, flashy, and click-baity crowd? Thanks to her creative and compelling cartoons and live drawings, Liza Donnelly is renowned as both a disruptor and a “thumbstopper”—someone whose work and words literally make your thumb stop as you scroll through your phone. Drawing on her experience as a cartoonist and publisher behind everything from books to ebooks, paper to digital, and innovative live drawings she does in real time on her iPad, Liza reveals how to incorporate new technologies as a creative thinker, how organizations and brands can find their “authentic voice,” and what it takes to break through the noise and get people to actually stop, look, and think. In this one-of-a-kind presentation, Donnelly practices what she preaches by using technology in exciting ways throughout her keynote and provides tangible takeaways for leaders and employees in every industry in the process.
Unity Through Humor
It’s no secret that most New Yorker readers flip through the magazine to look at the cartoons before they ever lay eyes on a word of the text. What is it about cartoons and humor we all find so compelling? What about it makes us willing to pause and think? In this timely and thought-provoking speech, Donnelly reveals the power of art and humor to unite us even amid divisive times. Regardless of age, gender or political affiliation, humor has the power to encourage connections and inspire meaningful dialogue. In a time of echo chambers and siloed perspectives, humor can be just the conversation-starter we need.
Inside The New Yorker
The New Yorker Magazine is an American icon. The New Yorker cartoon is the signature element of the magazine and studying them over the course of the magazine's existence (almost a century!) informs us about ourselves in a unique way. Liza began at the magazine as the youngest and only one of three women drawing cartoons, and she has been there almost half its life (40 years!). In this unique and engaging program, Liza will share her passion for and expert knowledge of the cartoons, and the immensely talented cartoonists. She will tell stories of what it's like to work at The New Yorker, how it has changed with our culture, and how it continues to be the popular, must-read publication it has always been. As The New Yorker itself successfully does, Liza bridges the gap between digital and print in her own work, and she will discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in this work, positing that because of their visual power and succinct words, cartoons represent our future.
Drawing the Future of Feminism
As one of the few women political cartoonists in the world, Liza tackles women’s issues and feminism through a unique, shrewd, and humorous lens, using cartoons to comment on what it means to be a woman today. Focusing on topics like sex, marriage, motherhood, sexism, inequality, beauty, and diversity in her work, Donnelly’s cartoons are thought-provoking, provocative, and witty portals into womanhood, often pushing their viewers to question the status quo. A top writer in feminism for Medium, Donnelly’s articles, live drawings and cartoons also celebrate the current moment, as she has brought major events like the Women’s March and #MeToo movement to life. In this refreshingly honest and empowering program, Donnelly shares what it means to be a feminist cartoonist, how her work hopes to inspire change, and how cartoons might help us move forward toward a more equitable and understanding future.
Liza Donnelly in the news
An award-winning cartoonist named by Medium as a Noteworthy Writer for “finding nuance in the news cycle” and sketching “everything that can’t be said,” LIZA DONNELLY is called on by media outlets for her unique perspectives and keeping her stylus on the pulse of our current moment. Follow her media appearances here:
Liza Donnelly’s creative use of technology results in one-of-a-kind presentations
Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist LIZA DONNELLY adds an unforgettable element to every event through her multimedia presentations in which she draws on her iPad live on stage as she speaks, and has the images projected on the screen behind her. A technique called “live drawing,” which Donnelly has used to cover major events such as the Oscars and the Presidential Inauguration for CBS News, the approach makes for incredibly dynamic, engaging keynotes. At a recent event, tweets of praise from audience-members included: “@lizadonnelly keynote + live drawing + tips = inspired #FocusOnLearn”; “@lizadonnelly Yes. This. 100% So grateful to have the chance to listen to you at #FocusOnLearn”; “Gotta love technology --watching @lizadonnelly live draw on screen :)” Full of fresh ideas on how to strategically tap into the power of tech to spur creativity and create dialogue, Donnelly is frequently sought-out for her insights. She’s been profiled in Forbes about how her cartoons offer lessons for entrepreneurs, and delivered a keynote on "Drawing Disruption" at the esteemed SXSW Festival about the power of digital storytelling. A smash hit at major events from TED to InspireFest, Donnelly garners rave reviews for her entertaining, illuminating, and timely presentations. As the InspireFest event-planner raved: "A unique and thought-provoking speaker, Liza Donnelly had the theatre in the palm of her hand... Liza's live drawing before and during Inspirefest 2018 added a whole new layer of creativity to our event. Liza's thoughtful and smart interpretation of happenings and on-stage content brought a warmth and humanity to proceedings, and her ability to capture tone is unrivalled. Our community is full of passionate social media users, and Liza's drawing created a remarkable buzz around the event worldwide. What can we say? Liza is simply the best."
Liza Donnelly is a contract cartoonist and writer with The New Yorker Magazine, where she has been drawing cartoons about culture and politics for over thirty years. She is also a columnist and cartoonist for Forbes.com, specializing in politics and women’s rights, a contributing cartoonist on CBS This Morning capturing behind the scenes moments with guests and emerging news. Donnelly is also a featured weekly political cartoonist for Medium. Her writing and cartoons have also appeared on Politico, HuffingtonPost, DailyBeast, WashingtonPost, and Salon. She has been profiled globally in numerous publications and her work has been exhibited around the world. In 2014, Donnelly received an honorary doctorate from University of Connecticut, where she delivered the commencement address to the Graduate School ceremony.
Donnelly is a Cultural Envoy for the US State Department, traveling around the world speaking about freedom of speech, cartoons and women’s rights. As a public speaker, Donnelly has also spoken at TED (Technology Entertainment and Design), the United Nations, and The New Yorker Festival, the Thurber House, and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists annual convention, Vassar College, Bard College, Brown University, The Omega Institute, The Society of Illustrators, The Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art, The Norman Rockwell Museum, among other places. Donnelly was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC and BetterTV, and has been interviewed on radio and in numerous magazines, newspapers and online. Donnelly’s cartoons and commentary can be seen on various websites: the NewYorker.com; CNN.com; HuffingtonPost.com; Salon.com; DailyBeast.com; WomensEnews.org; NarrativeMagazine.com. Her work has appeared in print publications, including The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Nation and The Harvard Business Review.
Donnelly is the author/editor of fifteen books. Her most recent book is Women On Men, a collection of her cartoons and writing which was a finalist for the well known humor award in 2014, The Thurber Prize. Before that, she published When Do They Serve The Wine?, The Folly, Flexibility and Fun of Being a Woman, and she also wrote Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons, a history of the women who drew cartoons for the magazine, Sex and Sensibility: Ten Women Examine the Lunacy of Modern Love in 200 Cartoons and Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Love and Matrimony with the New Yorker’s Cartooning Couple (with Michael Maslin).
Donnelly wrote an article on New Yorker cartoonist Helen Hokinson that appeared in a November, 2002 issue of The New Yorker.
Donnelly conceived of and edited three collections of cartoons for Ballantine Books called Mothers and Daughters, Fathers and Sons and Husbands and Wives (the last two with Michael Maslin). Husbands and Wives and another collection for Andrews and McMeel entitled Call Me When You Reach Nirvana were collections of Ms. Donnelly’s and Mr. Maslin’s cartoons. She has illustrated numerous adult humorous books as well.
In the area of childrens’ books, Donnelly wrote and illustrated seven books for Scholastic, Inc. They are: Dinosaur Day, Dinosaur Beach, Dinosaurs’ Halloween, Dinosaur Garden, Dinosaur Thanksgiving, Dinosaur Christmas, Dinosaurs’ Valentine. The series sold over two million copies. The series is being reprinted digitally for Star Walk Kids Media. Donnelly will publish two new children’s books with Holiday House in 2015.
Donnelly’s book, When Do they Serve the Wine? was optioned by Mark Gordon Studios for an hour long comedy for television; and the book she wrote with her husband, Cartoon Marriage, has been optioned by Jennifer Garner for ABCStudios. She is at work on a new pilot.
She is a charter member of an international project, Cartooning for Peace, helping to promote understanding around the world through humor; and is one of the founding members of USA FECO, the US chapter of the international cartoonists’ organization FECO. She conceived of and is editor for World Ink, a site of international cartoons from contributors around the globe (WorldInk.com) and has curated several exhibits of international cartoonists, here and abroad. Donnelly taught at Vassar College and the School of Visual Arts and is a member of PEN, Authors Guild and the National Cartoonist Society. She is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Connecticut, received the Salon St. Just, France International Prize, the Woman of Distinction Prize from the American Association of University Women; and was a member the jury of the World Press Cartoon Prize in Lisbon, the Cartooning for Peace Prize in Geneva in 2012 and 2014, and the Aydin Dogan International Cartoon Competition in Istanbul, Turkey. Her cartoons are in the Library Of Congress Prints and Drawings Collection, the Society Of Illustrators Collection and private collections.
She lives in New York with her husband, New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin.