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My top tips for impressive sketch notes

This week, I moved my playful interest in sketch notes into a professional context, and I "officially" became and artist in residence at a conference. To tell you the truth, I was very nervous, but as I got into it I was picking up little tricks and lessons the whole time. My first sketch-sheet is miles apart in technique from my last at the same event, so it's a very quick learning curve! I thought I would share some of my top tips here to help anyone else looking to start sketch noting, for fun or for work!

But first:

What are sketch notes?

Sketch notes are a way of visually depicting any kind of notes (meetings, speakers, lesson notes...) Usually they are hand-drawn, with a mixture of caricatures, icons and typography, as well as quotes, facts and figures. They can be any size, for yourself or for display, and often very interesting to look at as well as to read!

Holiday/May Reading List


I'm off to Japan really soon, and to be honest, I'm not expecting to read a WHOLE lot on this trip because ... well, because I'll be in fricken Japan! BUT, that said, I have got a loooooong flight to entertain myself on (- especially if I can't sleep) So here is what I'm taking with me, and what I'm hoping to read through May:

My Home Workspace


I don't know about you, but I love having a nose around people's studios, desks and workspaces! Perhaps it's just my nosy nature, but I like to see whether I'm the only person who believes in "organised chaos" in a workspace or not?! Ha...

Recently, I had a good clear out/tidy up of the space around where I work. I'm not lucky enough to have a studio - we don't even have space for a desk(!) so often I work on the sofa, on the floor, or on the coffee table. Craft supplies are crammed into a cupboard, pens and pencils are unceremoniously stuffed into numerous pouches and left anywhere they end up... It's not a designer's dream, but I make the most of it!

After a spring clean of my supplies and tools, I took a couple of photos of how I left things. Mostly because I get so much joy from seeing other people's workspace shares, and I thought I would contribute my own; but also because I want to show that you can still be creative no mater where or how you work :)

April Reading List


While my review template is going through a bit of a update, I thought I would share my current reading list!

I've been taking a break from the dark depths of horror and ghost stories, and breaking outside of my comfort zone with a bit of romance, a bit of non-fiction and a little bit of sci-fi!

I've also held myself back from requesting any ARCs (advance reader copies, for the un-bookish crowd!) as I know I haven't sorted out my review format and it would be a bit unfair. So my list this month is "older" titles. I have to admit I feel a bit out of the loop 3 months into an ARC ban. I hope I can stride back soon!

So, here's what I've got planned for April. What will you be reading?!

We're going to Japan! Custom chibis by Mabel Low



Yep, you read that right - My boyfriend and I are off to the land of Hello Kitty, masterful sushi and crazy anime; JAPAN! I really can't wait, and although I still have so much to do before we go, I wanted to start sharing my excitement!

Japan has been on both of our "life goals" list for as long as we can remember. My love of Japanese culture started with Final Fantasy on the Playstation, and has evolved through anime, manga, kawaii stationery, minimalist design principles and a love for veggie ramen over the years. Sheff (my other half) has loved martial arts films, samurai, the Buddhist way of life, Godzilla, anime and arcade games (Katamari anyone?!) forever. So Japan is absolutely the place we had to go!

When we booked our flights, I wanted to mark the occasion of our dream becoming a reality - so I decided to contact model artist Mabel Low to commission custom chibis of me and Sheff!