The Sketchnote Workbook featured Sketchnoter: Ivan Seymus

Today's guest is Ivan Seymus

#Copywriter, #sketcher and #contentstrategist with a weak spot for #Provence.

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

Let me start with visual art. It's hard to say but I'll have to go back to when I was 13-14 years old and started drawing daily with a clear purpose: becoming an artist! While the others dropped their pencils and pens to become rockstars (a lot of my classmates bought guitars in those days), I did the contrary. I went to a local academy and started with intaglio and engraving. I never stopped since then. As for sketchnoting, that is a much more recent development and I didn't start thinking about it until I stumbled upon Mike Rohde's website.

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

The confrontation was devastating! As students at academies, thirty years ago, they made us believe a sketch was made in preparation of 'a finished piece'. Sad, because most of the time I thought the sketch was more interesting than what finally was hanging on the wall. And if we dared to stop in the sketching stage, it was not taken serious. It's the classic example of thinking about the product and not the process. Someone who didn't attend an academy will find this surprising maybe. I believe that sketchnoting can bring down that barrier for classic art students nowadays. Professionally sketching has always been with me and I like to describe it as my vehicle, a time machine, that takes me from one place to another. Moments of transition is where I feel the most comfortable. In contradiction to most people who are creatures of habit and fear change. They should sketch and doodle more!

3. Sketchnotes: digital or analogical? Why?

Both, but with a strong preference for analog. The pen moves as fast as my mind does. When I am translating what is in my head to paper I don't want to dive into menu's, filters or a sytem crash! I know, code is poetry, but I don't feel it that way. The sensory pleasure of a pencil, a William Mitchell or Guillot nib moving over the paper is fascinating. The sound, the smell, the thickness of ink and paint, it touches all my senses in a way a strike on a keyboard can't reproduce. But when we need to deliver and distribute all that we create, there are some pretty nifty tools and apps out there that drive us to discover new grounds and take our designs further. Hmmm, you see, that moment of transition between analog and digital is very fertile.

 4. Share a Sketchnote secret tip with us!

There are no secrets about sketchnoting I think. That's what is great about it: no dogma's, no way of doing it properly, no referees! One thing that could come in handy sometimes, especially when you sketchnote professionally, is to try to put your sketch to many uses. See it as a content pillar, not as a single illustration that can be used only once. If you sketchnote your travels, food experiences, etc. you can bring in elements that make it a bit more universal. That pizza you ate on that square, it maybe had an interesting monument, it was hot for the time of year, etc. Connecting seemingly disparate things could render your sketch interesting for further uses you don't know of yet. Second tip: archive your notes properly with tags ;)

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

Our society is becoming more and more visual. At least that's what they've been saying for the last 20 years! I believe that sketchnoting is one small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind. ;)

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

I admire the way Mike has distilled the essence of sketchnoting while leaving open a path for everyone to explore it in his own way. You couldn't wish for a better guide.


We thank you Ivan for sharing with us.

You can find more about him and his works on:


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