ON MAY 6TH, I had an amazing opportunity to sketchnote the Chick-fil-A Leadercast in Atlanta, Georgia. In April I wrote about being commissioned to sketchnote the event. Now that my work is done, I'd say the Leadercast exceeded my expectations.
Giant Impact, organizers of Chick-fil-A Leadercast were superb. On Thursday, I was flown to Atlanta, provided a room at the Omni and invited to the speaker dinner. On Friday I captured live sketchnotes at the Georgia Word Congress Center from a VIP lounge chair.
The extreme lighting which made the stage look great, made my sketchnoting task challenging. However, I found a pop light on a table near my white Don Draper lounge chair, which perfectly illuminated my Moleskine sketchbook for most of the day.
Here's the full collection of sketchnotes captured live at Chick-fil-A Leadercast:
It was fascinating to hear all eleven speakers in a single, one-day track. Every speaker had a unique way of presenting and a unique, thought-provoking perspective on leadership.
Sketchnoting Field Tips & Notes
There were several new approaches I tried with these sketchnotes which worked quite well that I'd like to record for myself and share with you:
Pre-created Speaker Title Pages - Thursday evening before the event, I took time to create title pages for each of the speakers, with 8 blank pages between each title page.
I this way, I made sure names were spelled correctly in the calm environment of my hotel. Pre-creating title pages provided an orderly structure when I started working on Friday, freeing me to focus on capturing ideas rather than sweating those details during the event.
A Portable Light Source - Finding a pop light for a portable light source was a happy accident. I should have brought my little book light, but forgot it at home. Fortunately, the pop light's diffused glow worked well, even though I had to hold it with my left hand.
An iPad & iPhone - I decided to travel without a laptop, carrying only my iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS. Besides being lighter than a MacBook, he iPad came in handy as a portable table for my Moleskine while sitting in the lounge chair and as a laptop replacement.
Unfortunately, Flickr isn't well optimized for touch, so editing my sketchnote photos with the iPad was less than ideal. I'm investigating iOS tools like Flickr Studio and hope to find an app that allows me to manage my Flickr images on the road.
The iPhone worked great for capturing photos of the sketchnotes in progress. During breaks I found decent lighting backstage to take shots of each page with Camera+. On each shot, I applied the flash filter for contrast, converted the color images to black and white, posted them to a new set on Flickr and announced some on Twitter.
Nomadic CB-1 Wise Walker Backpack - The Wise Walker backpack is gem — the perfect travel companion. It worked great for traveling around Washington DC, and perfectly in Atlanta too. It'ss the perfect size for my iPad, several sketchbooks, pens, water, snacks and a rain jacket with plenty of compartments for all sorts of items. Not too big, not too small.
Thanks go to Jeff Shinabager for making the initial connection; to Dan Cathy at Chick-fil-A for his graciousness; to Jeremie Kubicek, David Hoyt, Rachel Christopher, Stephanie Holcombe, Kevin Lee and Craig Johnson on the Giant Impact Leadercast team for their organization and care for me in Atlanta. I had a great time.