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Who is behind Sketchnote Army?

Mike Rohde, creator: Designer, author of The Sketchnote Handbook & Workbook, and illustrator, living in Wisconsin.

Mauro Toselli, curator: IT Director, sketchnoter, author, living in Italy.

Steve Silbert, curator: Agile Coach, sketchnoter, author, living in Florida.

Binaebi Akah, alumni: Sr. UX Designer, sketchnoter, author, living in Ohio.

How can I be showcased on Sketchnote Army?
Fill this form! It's as simple as that! We would love to feature your work.

Sketchnoter's Stories you may like
Archives
Friday
May042018

Sketchnoters' Stories - 8th Grader Allison Huang revolutionizes her school notes with sketchnotes

We are excited to share this story about Allison Huang, an eighth grader passionate about sketchnoting. This is her story about discovering and integrating sketchnoting as a powerful tool for the way she thinks in school and in her life.

I am most impressed by the way Allison continues to experiment and challenge her own sketchnoting practice, improving at every step. What a testament to her and the work she's doing. Go Allison!

- Mike Rohde


Here's Allison:

I first came across sketchnoting when my mom bought The Sketchnote Handbook for me three years ago when I was in sixth grade. Previously, I had been dissatisfied with typical bulleted notes because it was very hard for me to place emphasis on the things that were the most important.

I wanted notes that I could skim quickly and still be able to pull out the main ideas. This was extremely hard with bulleted notes due to how uniform everything was. Since then, I have been sketchnoting, working to develop my style as well as overcoming certain challenges I’ve discovered in the way I work and express myself.

Starting in sixth grade, I began incorporating visuals into my notes and eventually ditching the list form, taking presentations in my science class as an opportunity to sketchnote:

Sketchnote 1

I found sketchnoting very fun because of the freedom I had and the way that I could add my own interpretations into the notes in whatever form I desired. I also love art, so it was a fun way to incorporate that side of myself into my sketchnotes by adding simple drawings and finding a set of icons I liked to use.

Seventh Grade

During seventh grade, I tried a different structure of sketchnoting, using it to study for history tests. Rather than using it as a form of note-taking, I used it as a way to gather all the different things I had learned in that unit and put them all into one place. The process of creating the sketchnote did help me retain the information I was displaying, but I found that I wanted something more cohesive to look back on:

Sketchnote 2

Eighth Grade

This year, I’ve experimented with quite a few different structures of sketchnoting. Previously, I had always sketchnoted on graph paper, but based on what I had on hand at the time, I sketchnoted on lined paper a couple times this year:

Sketchnote 3
Sketchnote 4

I noticed that it changed my style in that it was a lot more rigid. I followed the lines very strictly, and that was apparent in the final product.

Afterwards, I saw a friend’s sketchnotes on the same topic. It was a lot more cohesive and felt more like a whole, which I admired and wanted to emulate. She had worked on a piece of blank paper, so I decided to give that a try.

Experimenting with Blank Paper

I ended up with a pretty busy sketchnote that I actually really liked. (As you can see, I went over part of it in pen in an effort to preserve it but never finished.) This sketchnote was a bit hard to navigate for someone who isn’t me, but it served its purpose well, and I found it fun to review the story told through it:

Sketchnote 5
Sketchnote 6
I recently did a digital sketchnote as another experiment to further find my preferences in sketchnoting. I found that for me, the process could be dragged out in length because of the way nothing is permanent in the digital medium, but the end result was easier to look back on and very similar to an infographic:

Sketchnote 7

As mentioned previously, I’ve developed a set of icons that I use to represent certain concepts or events and am constantly developing more. I especially love icons because they are such a simple, visual reminder that gives some background to the topic being written about.

For example, I use an icon for people that consists of a circular head and a slightly rounded body, and whenever I see it, I know that there is an important figure associated with the topic (in a historical context). A couple other icons I use are two crossed swords to represent war or conflict, chains to represent slavery, and curled paper to represent famous old documents or official documents/bills (ex. the Declaration of Independence).

Sketchnoting has also helped me find a style of art that I enjoy. It gave me a glance into stylizing text, something I found I really like to do. Since then, I’ve delved into the world of lettering, writing out song lyrics, quotes, and words that I like:

Sketchnote Samples

That concludes my sketchnoting journey thus far, and I’m really excited and grateful to be able to share it here. Sketchnoting has been really fun and useful for me, and I look forward to continuing to create and experiment with it.


Thanks so much to Allison and her teacher and guide Lisa Stone for helping facilitate this fantastic story to share with other sketchnoters.

Wednesday
May022018

Thank you to our engaged creative community

 

Thank you for sharing, for teaching, for learning, for mentoring, offering, meeting, sketching, referring, applying, traveling, mashing things up, caring, innovating, laughing, and trying new things. You have made sketchnoting more than drawing "ideas not art". 

You have made this a global community of creativity.

Of greater importance, you make a difference every time you share, teach, mentor, offer, meet, apply, travel, mashup, innovate. If you don’t believe it, take a look at the work of up and coming sketchnoters and the impact that visual note taking has had in teaching them an intuitive way to learn. 

Check out Allison. Who? Watch for the next SketchnoteArmy blog post to find out.

Keep up the good work SketchnoteArmy people! It’s more than just “ideas not art”; it’s about creating and maintaining a safe space for people to experiment and find their inner superhero.

Keep it up! 

If you have made it to the bottom of this post, here's a special challenge. Create a sketchnote of this blog entry, post to Twitter, and tag @SketchnoteArmy. We'll collect them and select one, some, or all for a future blog post.

("Thank you" by Mike, superhero by Steve, "You are a superhero" by Mauro)

Saturday
Mar312018

The Sketchnote Army Podcast: Season 4, Episode 10: Luis Gonzaga ISC18LX Special

Logo isc2018lx final 800x800

In this special episode between season 4 and 5, I’m joined by Luis Gonzaga, one of the organizers of International Sketchnote Camp 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.

We talk about Lisbon as a great place to visit and enjoy, the structure of the event combining a traditional 3-track conference with a BarCamp portion, pricing and benefits, and finally, why you should plan to come to Lisbon on September 20-22nd, 2018 for a great experience with the community.

SPONSORED BY

The Sketchnote Workshop! Guide your team toward visual thinking confidence and creativity, to improve your innovation. Reach out and see how I can customize a high value workshop experience for you and the people you work with.

Listen to Season 4, Episode 10 of the podcast on SoundCloud:

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES:

You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.

LINKS

Special thanks to podcast producer: Jonathan Schiedermayer

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Saturday
Mar172018

Sketchnoting the Founding Documents of the United States

The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States are the founding documents of the United States. They detail where the USA as a people started, document America's journey as "The Great Experiment". 

@Publius_230 is focused on making these documents more approachable by sketchnoting parts of the documents themselves and specific decisions and actions that happened during the founding period in the United States of America.

Who is this Publius_230 person? We don't know. What we do know is that Publius is the penname Hamilton, Madison and John Jay used to write the Federalist Papers. We also know that thenumber 230 corresponds to the sequence of 230th anniversaries of ratifications by each state on the way to the 230th for the US Constitution (#230YearsAgo).

To see more of these interesting, engaging, and informative sketchnotes sketched on a Samsung GalaxyBook 12 using Sketchable, visit https://publius230.wordpress.com/ and follow @Publius_230 on Twitter. 

 

Saturday
Mar172018

Ben Crothers: Using Foundation Lines to Increase Confidence and Ability

Ben Crothers (@BenCrothers), author of Presto Sketching:The Magic of Simple Drawing for Brilliant Product Thinking and Design, believes in using foundation lines as a way to increase his ability and confidence in sketching.

By breaking anything that you want to sketch into simple geometric shapes with your mind's eye, and then using a lighter color (or pencil) to sketch out those shapes as foundation lines first, you get a much more satisfying result.

Says Ben,

I started doing these a while ago, as a way to build a visual library of things that are useful to mentally ‘reach for’ when sketching at work; this is handy for journey mapping, graphic recording, sketchnoting, storyboarding, or anything else where you need to communicate ideas and messages to others.

Ben encourages people to work on their  observation skills as well as their drawing skills. Look at objects around you and sketch foundation lines. Repeat. With practice you'll start seeing foundation lines when looking at objects, making it easier to draw them.

You can see Ben's full blog post on the topic of Foundation Lines here.

Thanks for sharing this valuable tip with us Ben!

~Steve