Today I'm so happy to introduce a new Sketchnoters' Story and our guest is a good friend of Sketchnote Army: Ruth Baker .
My Sketchnote journey has taken me somewhere I never expected to go.
A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to work with an amazingly innovate and genuinely wonderful teacher from Canada who just so happened to sketchnote. This teacher wrote fiction in their free time and used sketchnotes to plan out their writing. I was completely ‘wowed’ by their work and immediately decided that I would never even try.
Fast-forward 18 months and I’m in a new country with a new job and am browsing TED talks. Rachel Smith’s Ted talk “Drawing in Class” caught my eye and off I went down the rabbit hole and exploring everything I could find in the world of sketchnotes.
Having not drawn even something as simple as a stick figure for 17 years I was daunted, but got in there and tried. I confess to buying some children’s drawing books in the local language and trying some of their simple image and icon ideas. Within the first month I was sketchnoting with my students and experimenting with how sketchnotes can help us in the classroom. I sat with my Drama classes and tried to sketchote what we needed to do for our public speaking exams and the students created their own sketchnotes along with me.
When my parents visited during the holiday’s I made an effort to sketchnote our trip. This definitely presented me with some challenges with my drawing skills, but is a huge improvement on my previous travel journals that only contained words and are gathering dust as they have never been reopened. My travel sketchnotes are still developing as I’m not sure what my style is as of yet. Watercolours scare me, but I intend to persevere.
TED talks are something I enjoy, but struggle to sit and enjoy unless I’m sketchnoting. I indulge on a regular basis now and use it as both a chance to learn something new, challenge my thinking and to work on my sketchnote skills. At my school I now sketchnote at all staff meetings and my sketchnotes are shared with the whole staff as a form of minutes. When I sketchnote live I tend to rely heavily on icons I’ve used before and will leave colour and accents until after. This is a sketchnote of a TED talk I love. It really inspires me when educational institutes take risks and offer the flexibility for students to drive their own learning.
The way I think has changed through sketchnotes. I am more critical in my thinking and am looking for connections as I sketchnote in order to represent the ideas visually. Everything that you read about why you should sketchnote and how they help is true for me. Think, retain, make connections, solve problems, share thinking etc. I use sketchnotes in my own studies and am fortunate enough that my school have allowed me to present to staff and students. Sketchnotes are gradually taking over our school as can be seen by our World Sketchnote Day 2017 celebration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPmBsQKomik
I am glad to have taken the risk and stepped into the world of sketchnotes and been given the opportunity to share it with so many others.
As usual, I quote a sentence that particulerly resonate with me:
The way I think has changed through sketchnotes.
This is remarkably true.
Thank you so much Ruth!