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?