Think > Create > Do
Sketchnoting is basically scribing on a smaller scale – usually drawn in a sketchbook perched on the artist’s lap. While it doesn’t have the theatre and visibility of it’s bigger brother, it’s a light and nimble option, and in some cases the right option. Obviously it’s perfect when there’s no space for a larger scribe. But it’s also an opportunity to catch a bit more content, since you’re not spending so much time dragging your marker across a vast canvas. And even if the intention is to share your sketchnotes as a record of the event, there’s definitely something more intimate about it. You’re not on show, so you’re less self-conscious. You’re doing something very natural and familiar – scribbling in a sketchbook, and with that comes a little more freedom of expression perhaps.
Dan produced these sketchnotes at the inaugural Think > Create > Do event in Nottingham. The day was organised and curated by Sarah King of We Are Unstuck, who has been a close friend and ally of Scriberia almost from the very start. She’s an expert in helping organisations think, work and act in more innovative ways and in helping people make the most of their creative potential. Those positive vibes have also helped her pull together a pretty amazing network of dynamic and talented individuals, who all share Sarah’s passion for shaking things up and working differently to solve problems. And it was those shared enthusiasms that brought a really diverse and interesting group of people together in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter in early 2015 to focus on the question ‘what might cities of the future look like?’
The ‘Think’ part of the day gave us a chance to hear four fantastic speakers, and gave Dan a chance to sharpen his pencils and get out the sketchbook. Pam Warhurst of Incredible Edible, Tom Farrand – another old pal of Scriberia – of Good for Nothing and Swarm, Jenni Lloyd of Nixon McInnes and Mike Zeidler, founder of the Happy Cities Bristol initiative shared their thoughts and experiences, while Dan sketchnoted furiously from the front row.
Moving into the ‘Create’ part of the day, Scriberia ran a visual thinking workshop - impressing our message of simplicity and emphasising that ‘it’s not the ink, it’s the think’ that matters when it comes to visual communication. Looking at examples of comms that evoke a sense of place, we developed visuals to entice people to an imagined Nottingham of the future.
An amazing day wrapped up with delegates writing a postcard to themselves detailing three things they’d learnt, two people they would keep in touch with, and one new thing they’d ‘Do.’ The sketchnotes were shared widely on social media and months down the line are still getting the occasional retweet, so on balance the hand cramps that took over after about an hour we well worth it!
For a great introduction to sketchnoting, check out Mike Rohde's The Sketchnote Handbook.