The Sketchnote Workbook featured Sketchnoter: C. Wess Daniels

Today's guest is C. Wess Daniels

C. Wess's bio on Twitter say:

Quaker pastor, Prof, Poverty Scholar, Phd in Intercultural Studies. Angelic troublemaker & sketchnote preacher. Luv remix, liberation theology, bourbon & vests.

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

I loved drawing as a kid and I was pretty good at it. At one point I even dreamed of becoming a cartoonist. In college I pretty much stopped drawing altogether. Academics and art are separated in school, they don't mix. So I never thought of trying to incorporate my artistic side into learning. That is until I was working on my dissertation and got stuck. My advisor told me I needed to step back, I needed an 'Aha' moment. He suggested trying different techniques to get through my block: pray, sit in silence, diagram my argument, take a walk, etc. As I sat at the coffee staring blankly out the window I started seeing my dissertation in images. I began to drawn them out into a visual model. Once I was done, I sat back and knew that I had crossed over the threshold and was standing on the other-side. For the first time I knew exactly how the model I was writing about looked. I could describe it visually. From that point forward the dissertation basically wrote itself, everything falling into place perfectly. It was around this time that I learned that there was a whole community of "sketchnoters" and that I could incorporate my creative side into my thinking, learning, writing and presenting in ways I'd never considered or imagined. I was from the first "aha" moment a believer in sketchnotes. I couldn't go back if I tried. Now, I sketchnote my sermons, my lectures, articles, books I read, talks I hear, everything I can get my pen around. I love it.

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

Sketchnotes have impacted my life in many ways. For one, I have become a better communicator. Because I draw out what I want to communicate beforehand, I am forced to think visually, and therefore am able to describe more visually, that which I want to communicate to others. In this way, stories and images become far more a part of what I am preaching about or teaching. A second thing that has changed is that I remember things better. I remember my talks better. I look far less at my notes than I used to when speaking. I remember what I read and what I hear so much better. Finally, sketchnotes have helped me be more creative and have more fun. I enjoy what I am doing more. I am more thoughtful, because I am being more creative about the work. And that makes it worth it.

3. Sketchnotes: digital or analogical? Why?

Primarily analogical. I have used Paper by 53 for some things that I knew would be projected on a screen but everything else is analogical. It's faster, easier to flip back and forth between notes, and I find that the pen and paper are easier to manipulate for my needs. I prefer a Baron Fig or Moleskine notebook with Uni-Ball Vision and Vision elite pens.

 4. Share a Sketchnote secret tip with us!

I don't know that this is a secret tip so much or what but when I lead a book study I will sketchnote each chapter we read, copy them and give them to those in the study as a "cheatsheet" to help us remember key parts of the text. Plus, it adds to the fun when each week the participants get a packet with sketchnotes in it.

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

I'd like to see it become more normalized and expected at gatherings where learning is taking place.

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

I love the activities and the exercises. I am slowly working my way through them.


We thank you C. Wess for sharing with us.

You can find more about him and his works on:


First Sketchnotes: Kara Murphy

First live Sketchnote: Fabrizio Lodi