Retro Sketch

Continuing the selection of pages from a 1999 sketchbook compiled when I was working in retail, this page not only shows a fountain pen I randomly drew, but also a little story inadvertently recorded on a series of Post-It Notes as I attempted to contact a customer about their purchase, which was eventually declined due to a bad credit card number. The page was finished with some credit card promotion stickers, sales stamps, and lots of clear scotch tape. Slow days in retail may have yielded less revenue, but they did allow for lots of creativity!


Public Interest Design Visual Notes

A former mapping colleague of mine was recently mentioned amongst the 100 notable people in Public Interest Design (PID). I’d never heard of PID before, but it sounded interesting enough, and they have a website with a link to a TED Talk about PID by Sami Nerenberg of Design for America. Deciding to kill two birds with one stone (or, one sketchbook and two pens), I used the TED Talk both to learn about PID and to do some visual note taking (“sketchnoting”). PID is actually pretty interesting, and here’s what I came up with:



Oktoberfest Visual Tasting Notes

I attended an Oktoberfest celebration at the National Harbor in Maryland today. While the goal was to sample some great beers and have a good time, I also wanted to visually record some of the ales and lagers we enjoyed. Unlike slower samplings of craft beers, where I sketch and record everything, for Oktoberfest, I needed to move fast. I had only one glass to work with – a plastic stein, actually – so I drew an icon of it over and over again. Then, as I tried each beer, I represented each with a swatch of color, followed by some quick notes. While there were many great beers, the winner for me was the unassuming Fordham Wisteria Wheat, which presented an almost apple-like nose and a surprisingly bold, yet well-balanced body, and stood out uniquely in a swirling sea of smoky marzens, powerful bocks, and tantalizing pilsners.

Brooklyn Letter Sketching

Over the past few months, I’ve been participating in Alphachimp Studio’sRockstar Scribe”, an introductory course to graphic recording. One module of the course emphasizes typography and letterforms in sketch-noting and graphic recording. Not too long ago, I found a unique opportunity to practice this particular discipline: I was in Brooklyn, NY, strolling along the ever-eclectic and visual vibrant Kings Highway. Barraged by a cacophony of old-world schlocky signage, I broke out my sketchbook and pen, and went to work sketching interesting letters and words. As I was doing this, raindrops began to fall, and I eventually retreated into one of the many unique eateries and pastry cafés to be found in this rather kitschy, yet storied and very visual, stretch of Brooklyn.

Delaware Beach Vacation Sketches

Here are some sketches from a recent quick trip to the beaches of the Delaware Shore. Though I was there just for some sun, sand, surf, and family fun, I did manage to do a few quick sketches. The first sketch is of the Atlantic View Hotel in Dewey Beach, Delaware. Located between the flashier beach towns of Bethany and Rehoboth, Dewey is smaller and quieter, and the Atlantic View, which was clean, quaint, and very friendly, is right on the beach and has everything you need to enjoy a true beach vacation. The second sketch is from the DogfishHead Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, where if you love great craft beer, you absolutely must visit. The third sketch was done by my kids to keep them busy while I enjoyed the beers in the second sketch.

Sketchnote Practice

Recently I’ve also been making forays in to the disciplines of graphic recording and sketchnoting. If you’ve never heard of or seen graphic recording or sketchnoting before, they’re worth the Google search.

Here are some practice sketchnotes I made from NPR podcasts, and I’ve recently enrolled in the Alphachimp Studios graphic recording course, which has been great fun, incredibly challenging, and an excellent foundation for me to continue pursuing the truly awesome disciplines that are graphic recording and sketchnoting.

Visual Tasting Notes

Being on vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to sample some of the fine Dogfish Head beers at the Dogfish Brewpub. Not only were the beers characteristic and delicious, but their colors begged to be drawn. However, being a hot and sunny day, this beer enthusiast dragged his tired wife and cranky kids in with him, so rather than taking the time to visually record the the beers in full colored-pencil glazing and the tasting notes in lovely script, I had to scrawl and drink fast to avoid full-kiddie meltdown.