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Sketching With Confidence, Clarity And Imagination


Full-day workshop • June 28th
Being able to sketch is like speaking an additional language that enables you to structure and express your thoughts and ideas more clearly, quickly and in a engaging way. For anyone working in UX, design, marketing and product development in general, sketching is a valuable technique to feel comfortable with.

Thinking through complex problems on your own, spontaneously pitching an idea at the whiteboard, bringing a user scenario to life in a storyboard or creating sketchnotes during a research interview: the ability to sketch is as versatile and useful as the ability to write. And like writing, it’s daunting to learn at first, but with a bit of instruction and a lot of practice it can become second nature.

This hands-on workshop will provide you with the necessary skills, practice and confidence to sketch your ideas and communicate more visually and engagingly. You will sharpen the technical skills of our hands, eyes and mind and learn to use the underlying principles of visual perception to express your ideas with clarity and structure.

We will start by warming up and sharpening our motor skills. We will work on our line quality and hand-eye-mind coordination. Then we will focus on ‘seeing’ the world around us and explore how to sketch objects, people and expressions. We practice how to develop our own visual vocabulary and how to generate visual metaphors for abstract concepts. We’ll explore how we can make our sketches sharper and clearer, both visually and conceptually.

We will dive into the topic of visual notetaking (also known as sketchnoting) and visual explanations and explore how you can start capturing presentations, meetings and your own thoughts in a more engaging way. We will explore how to work with structure, visual hierarchy, making mistakes and time pressure when working in real-time.

The workshop is hands-on and practical, consisting of a fun and healthy mix of analysing and understanding underlying principles, live sketching demos, individual exercises and and learning from each other in group critiques and discussions.

What you'll learn:

  • How to express ideas and concepts through simple sketching
  • How to sketch objects, people, hands and facial expressions.
  • How to develop visual metaphors for abstract concepts
  • How to build your own visual vocabulary
  • How to create structure and establish visual hierarchy
  • Sketchnoting as a technique to capture talks, meetings and your own ideas in a memorable and engaging way
  • How to overcome the challenges of sketchnoting:
  • How to deal with time pressure, structure, abstract concepts, etc.
  • How to work with ‘mistakes’ and accept them as happy accidents

Who is it for:

This workshop is ideal for Designers, Researchers, Product Managers, Marketeers, Developers or anyone who needs to capture and express concepts quickly and engagingly. The techniques taught in this workshop will provide you with a valuable communication tool to add to your arsenal.

Required equipment and knowledge

All skill levels are welcome and no previous sketching skills are necessary.

Time & Location

This full-day workshop will be hosted at the Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre and will take place after the two days of Smashing Conference. The workshop will be running from 9:30am to 5:30pm on Thursday, June 28th.

Schedule for Thursday, June 28th

9:00 – Doors open, Registration
9:30 – Introduction & Kick-off
11:00 – Coffee Break
13:00 – Lunch
14:00 – Afternoon Session
15:30 – Coffee Break
17:30 – The End, Networking

Save $100 when signing up for the conference and a workshop!

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Workshop includes
  • Snacks and drinks during the whole day
  • Tea and coffee
  • Lunch
  • Paper and pen/pencil

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