Putting (a little bit of) Art in my Sketchnotes

My background is in organizational development and leadership coaching, not art or design, so I’ve had to work (hard!) on my art skills over the past few years. I’m now comfortable saying that I’m ‘creative’ – but I’m still working on becoming ‘artistic’. 

There are bazillions of design books and even more ‘learn to draw’ books, so I recommend browsing the shelves of your local library or bookstore to find ones that appeal to you.  Some of my favourites have been in the kids’ section (which, when you see some of my drawings, makes sense). 

In no particular order they are:  

  • Drawing Ideas: A Hand-Drawn Approach for Better Design by Mark Baskinger and William Bardel is a brilliant introduction to sketching.  They include a ‘Drawing Boot Camp’ (especially useful for those of us didn’t take – or don’t remember - high school art class). 
  • Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered by Quentin Blake and John Cassidy.  I ADORE Quentin Blake.  Magical.  Fantastic illustrator.  He collaborated with Roald Dahl for many decades so most of us know him as the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory illustrator.  His work always seems fresh and charming to me. This is a drawing primer aimed at kids but it is a terrific way for adults to re-discover drawing – particularly those of us who hear a little voice in our heads saying, ‘Ah, Julie, [or insert other randomly chosen name] you aren’t actually very artistic.’
  • Hand Letter Ledger: A Practical Guide to Creating Serif, Script, Illustrated, Ornate and other Totally Original Hand-Drawn Styles by Mary Kate McDevitt has been really helpful to me as I tackle titles and try to incorporate creative text into my work.  It has 65 pages of information and examples followed by a guided sketchbook.
  • Sally Kindberg’s Draw It! Is another children’s book.  It is basically a doodle-prompt book.  Since I love her illustrations, I have enjoyed studying the approach she takes and the way she uses colour. 
  • Draw me a House by Thibaud Herem, a French illustrator, is a lovely introduction to drawing buildings and architectural details.   It is also aimed at the children’s market but ever so helpful for those of us discovering our artistic side a little after graduation. 

Leave me a note below and let me know what you've done to develop your art skills.

Julie StittComment