Sketchnoters’ Stories - “I love pen & paper!”: Andrea Brücken



Today's story is from our friend Andrea Brücken


About two years ago I started to participate as one of the first germans in the #todaysdoodle challenge shortly after its beginning: it became routine to post one doodle daily on twitter. Doing 365 doodles in a row, was the most ambitious aim!

challenge met #todaysdoodle

The beginning

Drawing just for fun seemed to be an easy way to integrate creative things into my life again because I stopped playing theatre and making music a few years after my studies of cultural sciences. Writing poems, novels or short stories was either no option - I am working as journalist & social media marketer now. For this reason, I have to write a lot, but not in a very creative way.

Since I have always been interested in the topic of learning I realized that #todaysdoodle offered me a drawing school at not cost, with an intense community support, and with small learning bits to reach a higher goal step by step.

The reasons

Becoming a sketchnoter is somehow logical when the general interest in communication and the skills of visualisation come together. By doodling on a daily basis you start building up a visual vocabulary which helps to open new ways of addressing others. The most interesting fact about sketchnoting though was that I could evolve the journalistic way of putting information into an understandable order. Sketchnoting basically is about doumenting and simplifying complex information.


The first example is from this year's Social Media Week at Hamburg. Panel discussions, hosted by Microsoft Germany about the digital transformation and its consequences for work life and private life were captured.

Sketchnote 3 @ #smwhh

Sketchnote 1 part 1 @ #smwhh

The second example is from a german MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) about the topic work 4.0. It lasted 7 days, every day was filled with input about an important topic. We also had discussions, a hashtag for social media platforms and a facebook group.
I captured the main 15-minutes videos.

#a40mooc Thementag Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion

#a40mooc Thementag Design Thinking

The third example is from a barcamp which was organized, made for and formed by people working in health care. From my point of view this is the most difficult live capturing because the sketchnoter has no idea of the content in advance. The sessions are suggested and held by the participants, so preparation is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, you can prepare templates with the name, date, place of the event including the logo (if there is one) and some visual vocabulary.

#cck16 Barcamp als Methode im Gesundheitswesen

#cck16 Sterbebegleitung im Akut-Krankenhaus

The last example comes from a scientific context and is more graphic facilitation than sketchnoting: three workshops about publishing options for Ph.D.’s had to be brought on large sheets. Each workshop contained 20 minutes input (left side) und 20 minutes groupwork (right side).


Why pen and paper

I do digital drawings from time to time, but I prefer the pen and paper way because I extensively use digital tools for work. I also love the smell of the materials, the sound of a pen on paper, the haptic experience.
I never get bored trying out new combinations: the format of the paper counts, the thickness of the paper, the quality of the pens and their special characteristics.

What else?

I love to experiment and test out new things. So I do urban sketches, sketch recipes, illustrations, collages, birthday cards, lettering and calligraphy. Not to mention todo-lists, idea generation, documentation of meetings which I integrate into my digital workflow.

Illustration: Blankeneser Restaurant Kajüte


cat collage 338

Asparagus Time

But I can’t show you all of my work here!
So have a look into my Flickr albums, contact me via twitter and follow my Instagram where you can find everything about my most recent projects, experiments and drawing exercises.

Yours, Andrea

Andrea Brücken
Twitter: @diehauteculture
Instagram: @diehauteculture
Flickr: diehauteculture



Fascinating story Andrea, thank you so much for sharing with us!


- Mauro

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