Do you have that voice in your head reminding you that you are not an artist? Yes, you may be hard working, literate, tech savvy, and infinitely curious – but no, not an artist. A few years ago I realized that I was increasingly envious of those visual notes I was seeing on Twitter and at conferences. Brad Ovenell-Carter @Braddo rocked it for BLC attendees and I think that was 2008. It took me to 2013 to actually start exploring the idea that maybe I could join the revolution. But how? Again, I am not an artist. I love words. I listen intently and when I take notes they are lengthy, detailed and formal. Drawing takes time, distracting me from the words being shared. What if I miss something? And, how would I ever draw fast enough? Not to mention that my animals are kind of homogenous, and my trees, people, and machines eerily similar. Stick figures, stop signs, cat whiskers, an apple, light bulb, thought bubble, etc. You get the picture. What would I ever be able to draw that would capture the message of a keynote speaker or anything else for that matter?
Bring on a little inspiration from Rachel Smith @ninmah recommended by Wesley Fryer @wfryer another great motivator. Slow and steady I watched several TED talks, started exploring iPad apps and finding new connections on Twitter. I branched out after buying my first Sketchnote book and now it is history.
Sketchnoting allowed me to become a learner again. To let go of being in control, of trying to do it perfectly, of having an answer, or knowing the outcome in advance. It has allowed me to exercise a different part of my brain and open myself up to new ways of thinking that are not even connected to education or technology. Well, at least not in an obvious way. The sketchnoting community is generous and inviting; the creativity and application of the extended or purposeful doodle is endless, and the crossover for students everywhere is extremely important. How wonderful if we can help students listen with purpose, connect with images of their own creation, and share with others their visual path of making meaning. Sketchnoting helps the visual, auditory, literal, and tactile learner. Some can share more images than words, others the opposite.
I am excited to be a novice in this movement. The live sketchnoters at conferences now captivate me. I want to exclaim – yes, Doodle in class! But then be willing to share. I will be joining the Sketchnote Army and sharing my notes tomorrow, January 11, 2016 for the first annual World Sketchnote Day and I cannot wait.
So, let the day of Sketchnoting begin! and use the hashtag #WDSketchnote2016 to share with the rest of us.