Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

exercise 01: taking a pencil for a walk

These sketches illustrate two emotive poems played in class. The sketches were developed and illustrate moments that were considered key to the poems. Looking back on it now, the sketch doesn’t trigger my memory of the poem line by line but more of the essence of the poem.

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset
exercise 02: developing your sketching vocabulary

At this stage I was still not yet confident with sketching. This exercise was done in three sets: sketching my office, sketching emotions and sketching tasks. For my office sketches, I decided to draw the individual items across the page. I don’t have many items because I don’t like clutter. This drawing seems strange without its context… a little bit like a shopping list. The next few sketches portrayed emotions. I did two sets of drawings for this. The first are facial expressions. I think this is very effective as its easily recognisable. However in the next set I decided to be more abstract and represent these emotions in term of boxes. The box with fanfare portrays the eureka moment. The thick box conveys annoyance. The wobbly box shows confusion. etc. The next set of sketches show tasks. I decided to frame these tasks because each of the tasks listed, working in a office, eating an apple, leaned towards a context and a scene.

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset


exercise 03 – sketchnoting as a communication tool

At this stage, I have become more confident with sketching. In the first sketch we watched a TED talk on “Can we create new senses for human?” It was incredibly interesting and there was so many and too many things to note down through sketching. For this sketch I decided to structure the information in a radial manner and added a funky title so that it stands out. I think also having the title scale larger than the information around it helped it pop out. The next sketch is a sketch of a recipe. I decided to sketch how to make pasta. I think sketch noting worked well here because it illustrates the various actions needed and what the ingredients may look like.

r e f l e c t i o n s

01/ How is this sketch noting technique different to traditional note taking?


  • Both are ways to record information.
  • Both capture the essence of the information and makes it easier to recall later.
  • Both are recorded using pen and paper.
  • Both are pretty personal (I don’t think anyone else would understand my notes. My handwriting or sketches are not very refined so not many people can read them. Furthermore my notes also record what I find interesting and this differs from person to person).


  • Sketch noting is incredibly useful for visual learners and thinkers.
  • Sketch noting takes me longer to record a specific point compared to traditional note taking (this may be because of my own confidence or how fast I can draw etc)
  • Sketch noting works both sides of the brain: creative yet also logical

02/ How does this visual approach facilitate communication of your ideas? Conversely, how does it prevent it?

Sketch noting helps facilitate communication of my ideas by synthesising them. I think with words you may be restricted because of language or context. With visuals, others may be able to look and understand its meaning. However, in turn, this may be prevent its communication because different visuals hold different meanings in different society. For example, owls may be seen as a cute creature but in South Africa owls are symbols of death and are feared. Thus, the visuals used must be appropriate to the viewer or they may be misinterpreted.

03/ Personal challenges as a sketch noter.

Some personal challenges I had as a sketch noter included:

  • Not having confidence with my ability. I think this initial hurdle was quite a big one. Once I was over it, it was much better.
  • Not sketching fast enough to take all I wanted down. Maybe this will get better with practice… dunno.