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The Low-down on
Live Sketching 

I've been on the road the past few weeks, teaching sketching workshops and live sketching at some amazing events. The Microsoft Ignite conference in the Gold Coast was probably the highlight—I live sketched the keynote presentation using a Microsoft Surface tablet computer, which was projected onto the big screen during the presentation for 3,000 people to watch!

I also ran a sketching workshop, and it was great to see so many people interested in learning to sketch. Remember, this was an audience of developers, programmers, and techy nerds. It was a great reminder that we all have a spark of creativity within. Sometimes it just takes some gentle coaxing to set it free.

I'll share a few thoughts about live sketching later. Read on!


Featured Video: 
What is EFTsure?

What is EFTsure?

When the team from EFTsure approached us about helping to explain their innovative solution in the online banking space, we spent a lot of time getting the messaging right before shooting the video.

There were a lot of concepts to get across, but I think we managed to tick most of the important boxes. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Could your organisation benefit from a similar video? We'd love to help you get your message out there. Get in touch!


Live Sketching: The What, How, and Why

I've been very fortunate to have sketched a ton of events over the years, from small meetings with only six people up to conferences like last week's Microsoft Ignite event, which had 3,000 attendees.

What follows is the what, how and why of live sketching:

1. What is live sketching?

Live sketching can take a number of forms. At a large conference, it often makes sense to use a large canvas (a big roll of paper, or some foam core). The sketch artist is positioned off to the side of the main stage, and captures the presenter's content in real time. Attendees get a kick out of seeing this visual interpretation of the sessions they've attended—and appreciate the summary for those they might have missed.

Alternatively, the live sketching can take place on a tablet computer, which is then projected onto a screen for the audience. This can have a nice "wow" effect, but should be used sparingly—you don't want the sketch to become the main event and steal the spotlight away from your presenter.

Sometimes the artist may make small sketchnotes on an A4 notepad, and scan or photograph them at the end of the session. These can be shared instantly on Twitter, to add to your event's digital back channel.

2. How does it work?

A graphic artist listens, processes, and captures content in real time. So when you engage me to sketch your conference, workshop, or other event, I'll show up without having seen the content that's being presented. I'll take visual notes, combining key phrases with illustration, to give attendees an alternative way to consume the content. It's also a great takeaway after the event is over—photograph the illustration, send it out on social media, and relive the moment in a more fun, colourful format than traditional written notes.

1. Why include live sketching at an event?

Having a graphic artist present can fundamentally change the dynamic of an event. We bring an extra dimension to the event—especially if it's a meeting or workshop. We'll capture quotes from people in the room, and those people often comment that they enjoy feeling validated. It can also help a discussion stay on track. Ever ran a meeting when Bob from Accounting raised the issue of payroll processing multiple times? Live sketching solves that problem: Bob's issue is documented once, and if he tries to raise it again, you can point to the place on the canvas where it's been captured and assure him that he's been heard.

If you think you'd like to try including a graphic artist at your next conference, workshop, or board meeting, get in touch!


Sketchy Links

BIGthink! Meetup

BIGthink! Meetup

Friends of ours at BIGthink! Business Booster are running their final meetup for the year to help you "get sh%t done in 2016". Check out a video of yours truly singing their praises. If that doesn't convince you that these guys are the business, I don't know what will! See you at the meetup.


NASA whiteboard animation

Explained: the Link between Global Warming and Rising Sea Levels

What’s the connection between the Earth getting warmer & the sea level getting higher? The talented team from TruScribe have created a video for NASA that explains just this.

Taylor Swift: Draw My Life

Draw My Life: Taylor Swift

They're irreverent, sarcastic, and compelling—I just can't get enough of these Draw My Life videos on YouTube. This one about Taylor Swift is for my daughter, T-Swizzle's biggest fan. Watch out for the Kanye cameo!


Here's an action photo one of our illustrators, Robin, as he shoots a video for one of our wonderful clients. After a fairly hectic travel schedule, I'm very happy to stay put for most of December. I hope the lead-up to the end of the year is not too crazy for you.