My Process for Post-Event Sketchnoting

This post wraps up my series of sketchnotes created for The Company Corporation ( The event was a Q & A session with Brandon Steiner of and went through lessons he learned as an entrepreneur. The session contained tons of great information for small business owners, but was a challenge to sketchnote. All of the other sessions in this series were prepared presentations, so they had a structure, and a natural flow. But this one was more organic, with stories illustrating unconnected points. So the process that I took was different from what I have used with most events, and I thought it would be interesting to share.

Growing Smart sketchnotes basic

I watched the broadcast once in its entirety without capturing any sketchnotes just to get a feel for the content. That helped me realize the approach I wanted to take. Similar to my sketchnotes for the Raising Capital webinar, I wanted to try a different layout than what I have typically used. So when it came time to actually sketchnote the event, I left lots of white space and captured main ideas from the stories presented as usual, but I worked in more of a popcorn layout. As new ideas came up, they just popped onto the page without following a set order or pattern. For a linear presentation where the ideas build on each other, a sketchnote using this structure would be harder for someone reading it to follow, but since the ideas were loosely connected if at all, this worked well.

Growing Smart Sketchnotes colored

Once I was finished with the event, I went back and added some color and some emphasis to the title. With a non-standard layout, the title needed to pop a bit more than normal. Usually, this will be the final step for me. I prefer to do as much as possible live during the event, and will often add color highlights as I go if I’m going to use them in a sketchnote. Since these sketchnotes were for a paying client, I wanted to take a bit more time on each of the stages so that the end result would be the best that it could be.

Finally, I decided to try something else new and add some embellishments. There was so much great content and I wanted to convey that sense immediately. The clean layout that I had with lots of the white space works well for many situations, but I wanted something more. So I went back to the presentation and added some additional points that I didn’t capture during the first pass. I also added illustrations for some of the original points until I felt like I had the effect that I wanted. Since this was pushing me out of my comfort zone a bit, I scanned in the sketchnote at each of the stages, so that if I was dissatisfied with how things turned out, I had something to fall back on. But in the end, I felt that I had a product that worked well and was something I could be proud of.

Hopefully this glimpse into my creative process was interesting for you and sparks ideas for things you could try!

Sketchnotes for webinar on Growing Smart

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