I often write pages and pages of notes at meetings. But they never mean very much when I read them later. But when I draw and take notes, everything comes alive and becomes so much easier to understand, remember and recall. Drawing is my shorthand for writing copious notes. It’s like writing vividly.
Like these drawings and notes from Brian Bowes‘ comic book class my daughter and I took. I think of this as a page of  notes about ‘little things that make a big difference’. They’re little nuggets of information Brian touched on in his excellent workshop. But to me, they were big things to remember and to help me with drawing comics.

Sometimes my notes are just memories that complement a sketch: like these notes of the silly white elephant gifts at a holiday party.

Here, my notes are in no way comprehensive, but they’re sketches of things that strike me the most at a show. And while they don’t capture how powerful the original pieces were, looking at these rudimentary drawings brings back the power of the original pieces in my mind’s eye.

And then there are pages of notes and drawings, like these from the show Looking East at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. With a show as dense and inspiring as that one, my sketch-notes help make sense of what I’m seeing. They help record what I’d like to remember and think about later.

Do you sketchnote? If you do, how do you find it to be different or similar to either note-taking or to just sketching?


About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in How to, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Sketchnoting

  1. Tom Richmond says:

    An article in Huffington Post last week”Reasons to Sketch” and this Sketch note are convincing me to start sketching. So,with a few lessons on utube a pencil and pad here I go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicole Bills says:

    Suhita, you’re incredibly talented!


  3. C*M*F says:

    I am a lifelong compulsive note taker and sketcher too… this post and love your work!


  4. aikanae says:

    This is my first time here. I like the line on the looking east notes since I’ve been looking for a consistent fine liner. Mind telling me what pen you used?


    • Hi, I don’t use the sort of consistent fineliner you are looking for: I use a bent nib pen that is pretty variable in line. For a consistent line, I know a lot of people love the copic multiliner.


  5. koi says:

    ended up here when I was looking at my related posts thingie when I was reading my friends post on my reader! gosh dammit these sketches are wonderful !


  6. wiltdidit says:

    I really liked your sketches. I have started doing the same of late, although I am more of a slow sketcher, I guess that is drawing. But I carry a small pad and Staedler pens everywhere, and force myself to take in my surroundings. Yes I know it sounds suspiciously like mindfulness. By sketching I have become more observant of the apparent mundanities around me. I love looking back at my stuff, and it speaks to me in a way that words alone cannot! Keep up the good work!


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