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Entries in Sketches (67)


SecondConf: Sketching for Developers

SINGLE TRACK conferences seem to be all the rage. Limited attendee slots, focused topics and one track that everyone can enjoy together. SecondConf, like Madison Ruby, is one of the new crop of focused, single-track, small conferences with the right recipe.

On Sunday, I was honored to speak at SecondConf, on the importance of sketching in app development. I shared sketches I created for developer Chad Sellers, while designing Pear Note for Mac and iPad. I offered a variety of tips and ideas to encourage indie developers to start sketching too.

I've posted a PDF of my presentation deck (2.5MB), if you'd like to check it out.

Thanks Dave and Amy Kinney for the opportunity to be part of SecondConf!


Speaking at SecondConf on Sketching


I'M EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that I'll be speaking at SecondConf, a 3-day conference happening September 23rd through the 25th at TechNexus in downtown Chicago.

SecondConf is a deliberately small, 3-day, single-track conference for the iOS and Mac development community, in the spirit of the C4 conference, which is no more.

The conference has been mentioned by John Gruber on Daring Fireball and has recently sold out due to its popularity — a great sign.

I'll be speaking about sketching as a visual thinking power tool for iOS and Mac developers and designers — expanding on my recent A List Apart article.

I plan on sharing more examples of sketching as a problem-solving tool, along with practical ways attendees can make sketching a useful tool in their own software design and development processes.

I can't wait to share and teach about sketching this September. Many hanks to David Kinney and Dave Dribin for this wonderful opportunity.


ALA 322: Sketching: the Visual Thinking Power Tool

The only thing I love more than sketching is encouraging others to sketch.

Because of that love, I'm very excited to see my article, Sketching: the Visual Thinking Power Tool featured in A List Apart 322 this morning.

Here's a little teaser:

Adding sketching to the design process is a great way to amplify software and hardware tools. Sketching provides a unique space that can help you think differently, generate a variety of ideas quickly, explore alternatives with less risk, and encourage constructive discussions with colleagues and clients.

Even better, my good pal Sunni Brown's article, The Miseducation of the Doodle is also featured in A List Apart 322. It's a great day for visual thinking education.

Thanks A List Apart!

Thanks go to Carolyn Wood, for pursuing me until I submitted an article idea; to Krista Stevens and Mandy Brown for editing and streamlining my words; to Erin Lynch for his production guidance and to Kevin Cornell for his beautiful illustration work.

I'm very honored to be a part of A List Apart.


NaNoDrawMo 2010

NaNoDrawMo 2009 - 9/50 - Van Gogh

Back in November 2009 I took on the NaNoDrawMo 2009 challenge — creating 50 drawings in the month of November.

I found it fun to do, fun to share and a good discipline for me to draw intentionally every day.

I've decided to take the challenge again, and promote it here and on Twitter, so others can join in and enjoy the challenge.

How Does NaNoDrawMo Work?

It's a pretty simple: create 50 drawings between Monday, November 1st and Tuesday, November 30th. Submit them to the NaNoDrawMo Flickr group, and post them on your own site and on Twitter, if you like.

Tweeting photos or a link to your drawing, with the hash tag #NaNoDrawMo helps share your journey with your followers. Plus, those tweets are captured in the Twitter search feed for #NaNoDrawMo which you can search to find the latest entries.

My Drawing Approach

Last year my drawings were pretty random, based on whatever struck me at the time. I enjoyed the random approach, though I'd love to tie 50 drawings together in a unified story, revealed a day at a time. I just need to figure out a storyline.

I may or may not do sketchnotes this year. I'm tempted to go in a different direction and use my thick Faber-Castell pencil for a little looser feel. I'll make that decision on Monday.

Last year's experience taught me to create 2 drawings per day, otherwise you might be up all night on November 30th trying to meet the quota.

Join Me!

I'd love to have you along for the NaNoDrawMo journey this year. If you're giving it a go with me, leave a note in the comments and be sure to post a link to your Flickr page or website so others can enjoy your work.

NaNoDrawMo Drawings for 2010

I'm posting up each of my 50 NaNoDrawMo sketches on this post for reference:

NaNoDrawMo 2010 - 01/50
NaNoDrawMo 2010 - 02/50
NaNoDrawMo 2010 - 3/50 iPhones Kill Discipline, Solitude & Boredom
NaNoDrawMo 2010 - 4/50 Inhale (RJD2)

Related Links

NaNoDrawMo Flickr Group
NaNoDrawMo Twitter Search
Steven Frank's NaNoDrawMo '09 post that started it all


Milwaukee State Street Bridge Illustration

Last week I came across an ink illustration of a Milwaukee bridge from 1989. I was a graphic design student at Milwaukee Area Technical College, still learning my craft.

Milwaukee State Street Bridge Illustration

I still have fond memories of walking with my drawing class to the State Street bridge in Milwaukee to draw on warm spring mornings. The entire drawing class trekked out to the bridge each day of class. We each found a spot and we drew like crazy.

I inked this piece with a Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph ink drafting pen on heavyweight drawing board, using some freehand and a fair amount of help from a triangle.

The most interesting thing learned while drawing this piece was to have patience and enjoy the process. Something of this detail level could have driven me crazy, yet by having to tackle it a little every day while enjoying the process made it achieveable.