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’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 keynote through her multimedia, "live drawing" presentations, in which she draws on her iPad live on stage as she speaks, and has the images projected on the screen behind her. The approach makes for incredibly dynamic, captivating keynotes, that engage audiences on a visual and auditory level. At a recent event, tweets of praise from audience-members included: “@lizadonnelly keynote + live drawing + tips = inspired ”; “@lizadonnelly Yes. This. 100% So grateful to have the chance to listen to you”; “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 delivered a keynote on "Drawing Disruption" at the esteemed SXSW Festival about the power of digital storytelling, and has been a smash hit at major events from TED to InspireFest. 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 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 unrivaled. 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 uses live drawing to provide exciting coverage of events
Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist LIZA DONNELLY can add a creative and buzz-worthy element to your event through her "live drawing" coverage. A technique Donnelly has famously used to cover major events such as the Oscars and the Women's March, through "live drawing" on her iPad Donnelly captures the people, ideas, and excitement of your event in real time. To best understand how it would work in conjunction with your event, you can watch Donnelly explain (and see examples) of how she covered a Hindustan Times conference through live drawing in the past. Donnelly can either share her drawings in real time on social media-- working with your own social media team and using the appropriate tags-- in order to amplify your conference and add a truly unique element. Or she can present her drawings at the conference's conclusion, offering a creative take on a highlights reel/ recap on some of the major moments.
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 is a writer and award-winning cartoonist with The New Yorker Magazine, where she has been drawing cartoons and writing about culture and politics for over thirty years. She is also a contributor for CBS News and CNN, creating political cartoons as well as live-drawing special cultural and political events. Donnelly writes and draws for The New York Times and CNN Opinion pages and Forbes. She is a designated top writer and cartoonist for Medium in politics and feminism where she writes and draws a regular column.
Donnelly delivered a very popular TED talk, which was translated into 38 languages and viewed over one million times. She also spoke at SXSW 2019, and will speak there again in 2020. She has delivered speeches at the United Nations in New York and Geneva; The New Yorker Festival; several TEDxes, Inspirefest, numerous universities, NGOs and corporate venues in the US and abroad. She has incorporated digitally drawing while on stage in her talks. Donnelly has been a Cultural Envoy for the US State Department, traveling around the world to speak about freedom of speech, cartoons and women’s rights.
Donnelly is the creator of a new digital visual journalism she calls live-drawing. For CBS News, CNN and The New Yorker, she covered the DNC in 2016, and the 2017 inauguration, White House Press conference, political protest marches and various events for them since. According to NBC News, Donnelly is “a pioneer of on-the-fly sketching of live events” wherein she quickly cartoons people and events on her tablet and immediately tweets them out, sometimes with humorous and insightful commentary on the drawing or in the tweet.
In 2016, Donnelly was the first cartoonist to be granted access on location to live draw and tweet the Academy Awards and red carpet, and she returns every year as the Oscar cartoonist. She covered the presidential debates, State of The Union, election returns, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the BET Awards, the Tonys, the Olympics, World Cup, Superbowl, literary events, and more. Along with CBS News and The New Yorker, her clients include Fusion, The New York Times, BET, Medium, PBS, Narrative Magazine, ESPN, Stanford University, The Hindustan Times and others. Her innovative approach to reporting and commenting on events with live tweet drawing has been covered in Time, CBSNews.com, NBC News.com, Ad Week, USA Today, and People Magazine.
Donnelly was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, MSNBC.com, NBC, has appeared on CBS This Morning, 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 New Yorker; Politico; CNN; Huffington Post; Salon; Daily Beast; Fusion; Narrative Magazine. Her work has appeared in print publications, including The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Nation, South Hampton Review, Jerusalem Post, and The Harvard Business Review. Donnelly is the author/editor of eighteen books. Donnelly is a charter member of the international project, Cartooning for Peace, helping to promote understanding through humor. Her work has been in numerous exhibitions globally, and she has curated exhibits of international cartoonists, here and abroad. Donnelly taught at Vassar College and the School of Visual Arts.
Currently a Distinguished Fellow at Barnard College, Donnelly is a recipient of an honorary PhD from University of Connecticut and delivered the Graduate School Commencement address, was a Thurber Prize finalist, the award for written humor in the United States, and is a recipient of a Reuben Award, the Salon St. Just International Prize, France, the AAUW Women of Distinction Award, and the Forte Dei Marmi, Italy, Satire Award. Her cartoons are in the Library of Congress Prints Collection, The Museum of Illustration and in private collections, and her cartoons are collected in numerous books around the world. A member of PEN America, Donnelly is on the board of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.
Her website is lizadonnelly.com, and on IG and twitter at @lizadonnelly. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She lives in New York with her husband.