Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sketchnotes class

I always admire people who can draw. When I met Alexis Finch at Women 2.0 PITCH conference, I told her that I adore her sketchnotes, and wished I could draw too. She said, "come to my sketchnotes class!" That's what I did tonight.

Our first exercise was to think back to our elementary school days, and re-created the doodles we drew on our notebooks. That was easy - I loved twisting ribbons around a pole. And block letters.

That was a great warmup because it reminded me that, hey, I doodle too!

Next Alexis shared some tips and trick to draw fast. She asked us to practice faces.

And then we tried adding bodies and limbs to draw people, picked our special animal, and tried various shapes and objects.

We had a quick lecture on the different styles on sketchnoting, and what it is good for. Then it's time to put everything to use. Alexis played us some podcasts and asked us to take notes. We did two. The first one I was so overwhelmed that I did not really have any bandwidth to understand the speakers until half way into the podcast, which meant my pictures did not really carry any meaning. The second one I made sure I jot down words that made sense, and only fill in the graphics when I felt comfortable with the pace.

The podcast was about the periodic table. It was actually pretty cool.

I was especially excited when I heard that Dmitri Mendeleev left some gaps in the periodic table because he knew some elements were missing. I knew how to draw tables, and I knew how to represent gaps!

That was when I had my epiphany. My repertoire of shapes and objects is quite small right now, but when I know how to represent something as a picture, I can actually draw it fairly quickly. I decided that I will continue to take notes by writing, but look for opportunities to illustrate. I may start with 90% words 10% pictures, and pick up more ways to depict ideas and expressions as I practice more.

I'm very happy that I came out of the class with a game plan to get more comfortable with drawing and doodling. Thank you so much, Alexis!

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