I doodle notes for everything. About 10 years ago I realized I’d been going to a lot of conferences and didn’t have much to show from the learnings I’d taken from them. So I practiced drawing. And now I doodle notes for everything. This page is a collection of my doodle notes.

10 years ago I went to the first EYEO festival in Minneapolis. It was there that I decided my notes were terrible. Since then I’ve improved a bit. I’ve gone back to that conference several times including 2019. Here are my notes from Mohit Bhoite’s talk on Freeform Circuit Sculpture. I have been thinking about his talk pretty much nonstop since the conference. His work is simply beautiful.

Page 1 of Mohit’s talk at EYEO 2019.
Page 2 of Mohit’s talk at EYEO 2019.

So how does this work? Basically as I’m listening to a talk I am scribbling down visuals that I see on slides, important things the person says, diagrams and anything else I can get down with a pencil. It’s a quick art form – I try not to spend too long on any one drawing or I’ll miss other important content. Sometimes I only get a few little shapes down – and I hope that I will remember what on earth they mean. It’s often more important to me to capture the memorable things a speaker says than just the text on a slide.

I try to break up the page in chunks, as much as possible. Sometimes it works well – sometimes I run out of space. In the drawings above, the perspective on some of the pieces is off – and looking at it now drives me absolutely nuts :P. But again, the idea is not to dwell on any one thing – and to make it so that the next time I do this, I do it better – more accurately – more creatively.

Usually, once the talk is over I go back and refine the notes in pen. This allows me to regroup any topics that may have been split across multiple pages. It also helps me to rework the composition, thinking about what the most important things the speaker mentioned.

Periscope is an opportunity for artists to refine and build their businesses. It’s an 8-week program plus mentorship hosted by the Arts & Business Council oF Greater Nashville.