The Sketchnote Workbook featured Sketchnoter: Chris Spalton

Today's guest is Chris Spalton

Chris's bio on Twitter say:

Sketchnoter, UXer, Solution Builder and Underground Music fan. Now featured in the Sketchnote Workbook by @rohdesign, get yourself a copy :)

1. Tell us when you first met Sketchnote/Visual art

I've been scribbling since I could hold a pen, much to the disapproval of many teachers who didn't appreciate the hordes of zombies & monsters in my margins! In terms of actually discovering sketchnoting there was a time when I found myself doodling 'too much' (supposedly) in meetings at work, about a couple of years ago. I figured I had to be in these meetings and wanted to doodle, so maybe I could do 'Business doodles' and make notes that way. I really enjoyed the results and it made me notice I was retaining more information, so searched around the internet to see if anyone was doing anything similar. It was then I realised there was a whole 'movement' out there. I bought Mike Rohdes first Sketchnote Handbook and haven't looked back since!

 2. How this impacted on your life/work/thinking?

I now try to apply visual notetaking & doodling in all aspects of my working life, as well continuing to draw as much as I can 'personally'. I found it makes things so much easier when trying to explain my ideas for projects to people, and really cuts through a lot of 'waffle' in discussions as a quick doodle can provide a single reference for everyone in the room to instantly relate to. In my personal life, as well as the obvious relaxation benefits, I've found that developing myself by doodling/sketching has really made me more aware of my surroundings and able to notice a lot more around me, little details on a walk, funny signs etc. It's definitely given me a new appreciation of the world and really helps fuel my creativity and ideas.

3. Sketchnotes: digital or analogical? Why?

99% of my sketchnotes are done on just pen & paper, this is just down to how natural it feels. Also it's like the difference between Vinyl Records and CD's, it just feels more 'real' and it's great to look through your collection of old sketchbooks! I also find that working digitally gives too much temptation to erase and re-do things, which can slow things down, especially when making notes live at a talk or conference. However, I do really like Paper by 53 on the IPad so still have a lot of fun with that, and of course digitally makes things easier to share in higher quality etc so both ways definitely have their benefits.

 4. Share a Sketchnote secret tip with us!

I really think the best tip is to think of structure first, then concentrate on capturing the content around that. This is one area I still really need to practise this as I'm very much a 'Lets get Stuck in!' kind of person, but sometimes reach the end of a page and have to cram something in, or can't go back to put a key point in where it would connect with other ideas better. The times when I have spent just a few mins really considering the layout are the sketchnotes I'm most happy with so it's definiteyl worth taking the time to, still hard though with the excitement of a blank page and an interesting speaker in front of you!

 5. What future do you foresee for Sketchnote/Visual Arts?

I think we're in the very early days of a full blown 'Doodle Revolution' (thanks @sunnibrown!) as more and more people/communities/businesses realise the benefits Visual Thinking provides in such a wide range of topics from making messages more memorable, to aiding problem solving, to driving engagement. As you can see on Twitter the community grows everyday and more and more people are applying it at work or using it to help them in their personal lives, personally I'm really proud and honoured to be considered part of such a creative & inspiring group of people and am exciting to see it entice and engage more and more people moving forward - Viva la Revolution!

 Bonus. The Sketchnote Workbook: can you tell us something about it?

I just think that what Mike is doing with his books is something really special, the inclusivity of it all, and the gathering of such a wide variety of styles to draw inspiration and ideas from is great. The Workbook really expands on the 'basics' from the Handbook and I'm sure it'll prove to be a brilliant resource for Sketchnoters and doodlers for years to come.


We thank you Chris for sharing with us.

You can find more about him and his works on:


Teresa Amabile's TED talk Sketchnote by Philippe Brasseur

Soft Colors Sketchnotes: Yoni Crabe