Retro Sketch

I took these visual tasting notes during a wine tasting back in 2006, before I even knew about a discipline called sketchnoting. The tasting itself featured five vintages of Hagafen’s Napa Valley Merlot. While others took more “proper” notes on index cards, I broke out the pocket-sized sketchbook, a Pigma Micron pen, and used dabs of the different wines to add some color. And yes; there are some phenomenal kosher wines out there, hailing everywhere from California’s finest vineyards to the world-class growing regions of Israel.

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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!

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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:

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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 caf├ęs to be found in this rather kitschy, yet storied and very visual, stretch of Brooklyn.

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.