The title of this post should speak for itself. “Stepping Outside My Comfortable Limits” – it is a statement that we hear from time to time. Well, I can say that I have done this recently. As a kid, I always dreaded reading. It just was not my thing. Give me some math problems to solve and I was right there ready to go with my mechanical pencil. Yes, I LOVED mechanical pencils! Well, fast forward to March 2018…who knew that I would be co-leading an online book chat with the librarian in my school, Jessica Gilcreast, as a means of delivering professional development. In fact, when I told my family about this, my brother thought I was lying and my mother smiled. In the end, once I truly convinced them of my task at hand, they were impressed with me. Put a smile on my face.
Let me start off by saying that I do not have the artistic ability like other people. However, I have always been intrigued with sketchnoting. Most people can agree with me in that Sylvia Duckworth does an amazing job with sketchnoting. If you do a simple Google search of ‘Sylvia Duckworth sketchnote‘ several of her masterpieces come up.
Just this past December, I decided to attend Kathy Schrock‘s presentation at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in New Hampshire on sketchnoting. Like I said, I have always been intrigued with sketchnoting. What I liked about Kathy’s session was that she helped us walk through different tasks with sketchnoting…making people, shapes, borders etc. (Kathy has curated lots of resources on sketchnoting HERE) The session started to get my brain thinking that maybe I can sketchnote.
Fast forward to mid-March. I come across a tweet on Twitter that there was going to be a 50 day sketchnote challenge. Call me crazy, but I immediately thought that this was a cool idea.
View the live @SKETCH_50 kickoff on YouTube 3/27 at 7:30PM PST https://t.co/SzWbkg4yiI The 1st #sketch50 prompt available Mon. morning 3/27 pic.twitter.com/LDQ792ai7K
— Sketch50 (@sketch_50) March 27, 2017
My Challenge Journey
Sure enough, I decided to commit myself to the challenge and followed the Twitter Handle @Sketch_50. The first day was lightbulb. Sure I can draw that…
Day two was microphone or megaphone followed by speech bubbles for day three. It was not until Day four where I realized that there was something big happening.
1. Lots and lots of people have decided to join in on the fun from all over
2. People are inspiring others to participate in #sketch50
3. People are learning great techniques from others through the use of sketchnotes (for instance, on my first sketchnote, I did not include my twitter handle)
4. People are building their visual vocabulary through this challenge
5. People over the course of 50 days will have their own sketches that they can repurpose for future use
I also realized that we as people sure have different perspectives of one simple topic. Genevieve Pacada decided to curate all of the sketch notes from Day 3 – Speech Bubbles. I looked at some of these and was just in awe. It is cool to see other perspectives from people all over the world.
A colleague of mine, Jess Gilcreast, tweeted out to others that she decided to curate all of her sketches in a Google Docs table. This way she has a one stop shop of accessing all of her sketchnotes. Very clever idea as I would not have thought of doing something like that. I am going to do something similar with the use of storify. I have seen a couple of people mention or use this tool recently – thanks Tina Zita and Mary Marotta. My only hope is that over the course of these 50 days, I will see some improvement on my sketchnotes.
To see my personal journey that I have taken, click HERE.
Will You Join Me?
I highly encourage you to also get inspired by either participate in the challenge (you don’t have to start from square one, or just follow the hashtag #sketch50 on twitter). Sketchnoting can be done in many ways:
- Paper and pencil/pens
- Google Drawing
- Notes (Apple app on your iPhone)
- Paper 53 (iPad app) – my personal preference
You would be surprised with what you see. True inspiration. Hope you will join me on this adventure.
And that is my spiel…