It’s that time of year again. Nine Worlds, aka London Geekfest has just concluded, so I fire up the scanner and scan in all my scribbled sketchnotes… whilst also using them as a prosthetic memory to help me blog about this event.
I’ve been trying a slightly different style this year, which is slower at chewing through sketchbook pages, and more useful for me as an aide-memoire… but, as it turns out, looks slightly less cool when scanned in. Ah well. I’m learning this new style as I go.
Throughout the convention I had several people say “I wish I could do that” . To which, in almost all cases, I have to say “you can”.
I’m far from the best at sketchnoting, and I’m largely making it up as I go along. If you look at my notes, you’ll see that I’m not especially skilled as an artist – particularly not when I’m powering through scribbling whilst trying to keep up with people’s speech.
There’s very little technical skill involved. I mostly do it as it helps me stay focused on what’s being said, and helps me remember it afterwards far more than just writing down words does. Treating words and scribbles as pictures probably shoves it through some different bit of my brain, and doing that helps me remember it all.
I’m not going to say that your first few sketchnotes will look any good. Many of mine look pretty awful – and I’m fine with that. They still serve their purpose, and I share them because people seem interested in them. I do sometimes “forget” to share the really bad ones, but mostly I even put up the ones which didn’t work out. Sometimes with some edits.
That said, I did go to a half-day workshop on doing this a few years ago. So I did get some advice and was given some confidence. I’ve forgotten most of it, and I’m yet to try using some of the advice I got from it. I’m still learning as I go.
So – if you wish you could do sketchnotes… my advice is to start doing sketchnotes. It’s not the most helpful advice, but it’s the best I can do right now.
Maybe I should run a sketchnoting workshop sometime, or at least write a post about the things I pay attention to while doing it.
Meanwhile, on to the con report and sketchnotes…