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Washington DC Sketchnotes

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Last week my family and I flew to Washington DC, so I could speak to the Art Director's Club of Metro Washington DC. Our family also had a chance to enjoy the city for a week.

Lately, I've been making a more conscious effort to sketchnote as much as I can, and in different ways. This felt like a great opportunity to keep myself in practice.

Back in June 2009 I captured an Alaskan cruise as sketchnotes, which were fun to do and turned out quite well.

Sketchnoting Washington DC

I took my brand new Ugmonk premium green leather journal to DC and used it to capture my week as a sketchnote travelogue on 12 pages:

Washington DC Sketchnotes 01-02
Washington DC Sketchnotes 03-04
Washington DC Sketchnotes 05-06
Washington DC Sketchnotes 07-08
Washington DC Sketchnotes 09-10
Washington DC Sketchnotes 11-12

My Travelogue Sketchnote Process

Pages were created in the morning, or in the evening when the kids were sleeping. Images were captured with my iPhone on site and added when I created the pages.

The last 2 pages of the book were created in Milwaukee, after I'd had time to reflect on the trip and capture my thoughts about our experience.

I took photos of finished pages with my iPhone camera and posted them on Twitter, just in case my journal was lost or damaged. Fortunately the journal survived the trip.

The Benefits of Travelogue Journaling

Of course, it's a little more work capturing your travels in a journal, but I believe there are real benefits to putting in the effort while experiences are fresh.

• Journaling travel provides a way to solidify the experiences you're having, and what you're thinking while in the moment. When I've skipped my journal, I find days and events blurring together or simply being forgotten.

• Journaling travel is an investment now, which you can enjoy in the future. I regularly look back at sketchnote journals of my trips and recall those enjoyable experiences. I know I'll do the same for our wonderful trip to Washington DC.

Try journaling your experience. It's fun and helps you and your friends re-experience all of the details years after the trip is over. Give it a try!

Reader Comments (3)

Wow, these are fantastic (as usual), Mike. Our family went to DC for the first time last summer, so I have a much better appreciation for your sketches and notes now. Thanks for sharing.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason Long


These are so inspiring. Must get back to drawing and journaling. Thanks so much for sharing these.

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNeille

Nellie, so glad you enjoyed these sketchnotes — even more pleased that they have inspired you to draw more!

May 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

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