Alison Garwood Jones


May 29, 2015

Being asked to participate in this year’s TEDxWomen 2015 was a testament to the power of LinkedIn’s algorithm, having a blog, doing what you love and showing your stuff! As a result I got to collaborate with a bunch of really smart, generous women. I always hoped this is what freelancing could be. Thank you, Helena Skrinjar and Vanessa Reid!

Graphic Visualizer at TEDx The Annex Women, Toronto May 28, 2015

Graphic Visualizer at TEDx The Annex Women, Toronto,  May 28, 2015. Photo: Shaghaygh Tajvidi

TEDxWomen 2015 was a one-day event showcasing women’s voices and perspectives from around the world. While TEDxTheAnnexWomen highlights local voices in Toronto, it is part of an intercontinental network of inspiring storytelling with the goal being to share ideas and insights on creating, sustaining and recovering momentum. Collectively, we discovered new perspectives on where — and why — change is happening today by exploring the innovations, ideas and individuals building momentum around the world.

In Toronto, we heard six speakers on range of topics from sustainability to building a bike culture to the importance of choice for a woman in marriage. Kristyn Wong-Tam, Carolyn Harris, Naz Gocek, Sonia Molodecky, Vanessa Reid & Yvonne Bambrick were the speakers. My job was to capture the essence of their talks in drawn form.

You talk, I'll draw.

You talk, I’ll draw.


TEDx Board 2

Drawing at TEDx Toronto

Photo by the talented Shaghayegh Tajvidi:


Alison Garwood-Jones talks to Vanessa Reid.

Getting to know TEDx presenter, Vanessa Reid.




Planet freelance

October 6, 2015

I stick up for freelancers. They inspire me. They’re my tribe.

I don’t know if what I say disturbs the order. When there are still more men making $100 million a month on Wall Street flipping real estate than there are Occupy protests, I’d say … probably not.

Every day, we freelancers show up to write, draw, scratch our chins, review our sins, check our email and push through our lower/middle class existential crises. Hope is like oxygen to us, although to admit that would be a bit pathetic.

So last night I threw several bottles containing messages into the Twitter stream. I was the guest on Marketer Monday, a Tweet Chat held every Monday between 8-9pm. Moderator Karima-Catherine Goundiam interviews key industry leaders on topics ranging from business, marketing and social media and it attracts a large and active crowd from North America and the UK.

The topic I proposed was: Show What You Want To Be Known For: Why Monetizing Your Creativity is Easier in a Digital Age. Karima asked me to tszuj up the Marketer Monday mascot, so I put a brush and palette on the end of his wings:

Here’s a round up of tweets. In short, getting discovered is way easier when you’re online. But you have to be a steely negotiator.








And about idea theft:


May 22, 2011

Alison Garwood-Jones in her home office.
Alison Garwood-Jones is an award-winning writer, blogger and a former editor with Elle Canada and Viva magazines. Her blog, “Society Pages,” explores her take on human nature and was nominated twice (“Arts & Entertainment” and “Life” categories) in the 2014 Canadian Weblog Awards. Alison was also recently cited as a “favourite blogger” by, the Washington, D.C.-based work-related website for “next-generation professionals” profiled by 60 Minutes.

Through her magazine feature writing and media work, Alison has built a steady business teaching social media workshops and consulting for corporate clients and freelancers who want to tell better digital stories and solve business problems for potential clients who are looking for answers in online searches. Since the Fall of 2014, Alison has been an instructor in Digital Strategy & Communications Management at the University of Toronto (SCS).

Alison not only writes, she draws:


As an artist consultant to brands, she provides a fresh perspective and competitive advantage to businesses looking to clarify their marketing message and direction online and offline. Writer Leah Lamb said it well in Fast Company, “Who better to lead [brands] through cultural shifts in real time than someone who is actually engaged in the production of culture?”  To see how Alison has incorporated drawings into her writing and communications offerings, check out her work with TEDx and Lean In

Beyond her corporate partnerships, Alison’s digital and freestyle drawings published on her WordPress blog, Society Pages, have garnered the praise of legendary graphic designer and book cover king, Chip Kidd, as well as the illustrator Tom Bachtell of The New Yorker. In an email to Alison, Kidd called one of her political drawings, “a great conceptual drawing,” while Bachtell wrote, “a beautiful illustration. It’s simple, but perfectly captures the essence of the story. Hard to do, as I well know.”  (Yes, she squealed when she got their emails).

Before becoming a journalist, illustrator and social media strategist, Alison was a museum intern and fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, as well as a freelance curator at her hometown gallery, The Art Gallery of Hamilton. This was followed by a three-year stint in film where she worked as a historical consultant and writer with the Emmy Award-winning Devine Entertainment on their artist biopics that aired on HBO and PBS. Alison is working again with Devine on MacCap Learning Systems, their ed-tech start-up being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Email: alison (dot) garwoodjones (at) gmail (dot) com

Find Alison elsewhere online at Facebook, InstagramTwitterLinkedIn, TumblrPinterest and YouTube.


Canadian Writers Group (freelance; non-fiction)

536 Eastern Avenue

Toronto, Ontario

M4M 1C7


Derek Finkle: