Today's guest is Julie Stitt
Julies's bio on Twitter say:
Organizational cartographer. Facilitator. Leadership coach. (Views are my own. The typos belong to someone else.)
1. Tell us when you first met Sketchnote/Visual art
My own journey to sketchnoting started long before I knew there was a word to describe my little doodles and the visual way I noted ideas during meetings. After taking formal training in graphic facilitation, I knew that I would have to practice regularly to keep up my skills. Since it was rarely possible to hang a 4’ by 8’ sheet of paper on the wall during a meeting for me to do full charts, I decided to make ‘little graphic recordings’ on letter-sized paper. For over two years, I made a visual recording of every learning event, workshop and seminar I attended – sometimes working in a sketchbook with art pens but, more often, on lined foolscap with whatever pencil or pen was handy. It wasn’t until I read Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook that I even realized that what I was doing had a name. That was three years ago and I haven't looked back.
2. How this impacted on your life/work/thinking?
After years of using sketchnoting and graphic facilitation in my work as an internal consultant, when I started my own firm it seemed natural to build my practice at the intersection of organizational development, coaching, facilitation and visual thinking; I describe it as 'Organizational Cartography'. What I love about sketchnoting is that it forces me to distill concepts into clear, simple, discernible pictures. When I'm sketchnoting my own ideas, I'm forced to peel away the filler and focus on the essence. When I'm working with someone else's ideas, I have to concentrate first on understanding their core concepts and then bringing them to life through pictures. In both cases, the discipline of creating a picture that cements a concept is a powerful learning process for me. My visual work has also created an unintended benefit in my life; my children have embraced their own artistic and creative sides without reservation. Because they see me creating, they want to create too. We now have an art table loaded up with paints, sketchpads, brushes and art markers along side a little gallery wall that displays their creations.
3. Sketchnotes: digital or analogical? Why?
Analog to begin and then Pixelmator for the (very many) fix-ups. I love the feel of a pen in my hand but I recently bought a Wacom Intuos and want to learn to record digitally.
4. Share a Sketchnote secret tip with us!
There are three things that I tell myself that might help others: 1) Less is more. My natural inclination is to include EVERYTHING, so this is hard for me but when I include only the essence, my sketchnotes are better. 2) I'm not Matisse and that's OK. My sketchnotes would be much lovelier if I'd stuck with art classes beyond ninth grade or had taken a graphic design course along the way. But I did other things and that's alright. I muddle through and have (mostly) stopped the useless and despair-producing comparisons with others. We all have our strengths. 3) This is one of those 'technical tips' that others seemed to know but I learned through trial and much error; if you struggle to keep the information on your pages straight, don't hesitate to pencil in faint lines on your page to guide you. Since my sketches are inclined to wander uphill, this helps keep me on the straight and (not so) narrow.
Bonus. The Sketchnote Workbook: can you tell us something about it?
I suppose my opinion is quite biased since my work was featured, but I think this is wonderful book. Mike is a genius and the book is a wonderful companion to the Sketchnote Handbook. It is also a great way for people to understand the breadth of ways sketchnoting can be useful and get inspired to make their own sketchnotes.
We thank you Julie for sharing with us.
You can find more about her and her works on: