Sketchnotes 2009 & 2010
By Eva-Lotta Lamm
This book contains 2 years worth of illustrated notes (also called sketchnotes) that Eva-Lotta took at dozens of UX / Design events and conferences, featuring talks from over 100 speakers and panelists. Some of the events covered in the book are UXweek 2009, d.construct 2010, Flash on the Beach 2010, etc.
1) What came first, the idea for the book or the sketches?
The sketches came first. For the last few years, I’ve been attending quite a few design talks and conferences and as I have a really bad memory, I need to take notes to not forget everything within days. I’ve always been drawing, sketching and playing around with my handwriting, so it came naturally to include little sketches and some nicely drawn type in my notes. Over time (and with the discovery of others doing these kinds of notes as well and giving them a name: ‘sketchnotes’) my style slowly became more and more visual. Since 2008, I’ve shared my notes online on flickr, but at some point I wanted to make the notes available to people in their original format as well: on paper. So the idea for the book was born. As the sketches are quite detailed, the format of a book is ideal: you can sit down and take the time to discover and let the eye and mind explore.
2) I love the concept, but I have to ask … with the explosive growth of online video and conferences like TED where talks are recorded and posted online, what advantage does one gain by consuming content via a format like sketchnotes?
First and foremost the sketchnotes are a personal tool for me to remember the parts of the talk I was interested in. They are my interpretation of what was said rather than a complete summary. I don’t see them in competition with the video recordings or as an alternative to actually attending a talk. They are an addition, an interpretation, a sort of digest and maybe an intriguing way of getting someone interested in actually watching the video or going to see a talk of the speaker. I leave it up to my ‘readers’ to decide if and why they are interested in looking at my notes.
3) How long have you been illustrating for?
I’ve been drawing all my life, sometimes more and sometimes less. I had 2 years of drawing lessons at university with an excellent teacher. After that, I focused more on interactive design and lost the habit of drawing regularly for quite some time. I’m glad I rediscovered it a few years ago, partly thanks to sketchnoting.
4) Why do you think it’s important for people to write about their passions?
It feels good. Sharing your thoughts forces you to go deeper, be more precise and think about what exactly it is you are interested in and why. It’s like going on a journey which makes you discover new things and -as a bonus- meet interesting people on the way.
What’s your passion? Post a comment and let us know what compels you to write. If you have a story, please share it with us. We’d love to hear about it.