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Entries in Speaking (5)



AMSTERDAM. Such a beautiful city.

I had the fortune to visit this past week, to speak at the first ever DSGNDAY conference and Amsterdam UX. Because of good friends, I also enjoyed several informal sketchnote meetups that were great fun.

I walked everywhere, and one day I managed to log 22,000+ steps, beating my old record in NYC. I ate delicious Dutch treats, and enjoyed tasty coffees and spent time with warm, wonderful friends. It was brilliant.

Here's a selection of photos I shot to tell the story in images:

Sunday, November 9th

Flight to chicago

Flying to Amsterdam.

Hotel door view

View from the front door of Hotel Estheréa, near the canal in Amsterdam.

Alley pannekoecken

A Pannekoecken shop in one of Amsterdam's narrow alleyways.

Bw square

Near the royal palace in Central Amsterdam.

Travelogue journal 1

Starting my Amsterdam sketchnote travelogue.

1890 bike

Lovely mural and a Dutch bike.

Hotel view

View from my hotel room, Hotel Estheréa.

Hotel view morning

Hotel room view of the canal and Singel (canal street) below.

Canal night

Canal at night.

Sketchnote greek coffee

Cappuccino, greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, while I add to my travelogue.

Sketchnotes 1

Sketchnote Travelogue; Pages 1 & 2. Vocabulary came in handy!

Sketchnotes 2

Sketchnote Travelogue; Pages 3 & 4. Trying traditional Dutch foods.

Sketchnotes 3

Sketchnote Travelogue; Pages 5 & 6. Canals and coffees.

Corner spot

View from Broodje Bert, a people-watching and breakfast eating corner spot.

Monday, November 10th


Uitsmijter & cappuccino for breakfast. Eggs and cheese over bread with a salad!

Lunch sketchnoters

Met Jasper, Laurens, Jay and Jacqueline (not pictured) for a Sketchnote Meetup at Grand Cafe l'Opera. We had a fantastic time sharing experiences, coffees and lunch.

Red shutters

Beautiful red shutters in Amsterdam.

Colorful street

Colorfully painted street.

Faces street

Grafitti Art.

Coffee sketchnoters 2

In the afternoon, I met my other friends Inge and Tamara for an afternoon coffee and another informal Sketchnote Meetup at REE7 on Reestraat.

Sketchnotes amsterdam

Sketchnote travelogue in process, with its creator!

Mike jay

My buddy Jay, who helped me get to Amsterdam UX after the Sketchnote Meetups. Awesome dude and a great sketchnoter too.

Dutch minivan

Dutch Minivan.

Making cups

We visited Pepper Mango, a coffee and chocolate shop of a friend Tamara and Inge knew, enjoyed some coffee and treats and started a new movement - decorating blank coffee cups in a #cuppatition! (Photo: Inge de Fluiter)

Me cuppas

Shop owner keeping an eye on me! #cuppatition. (Photo: Inge de Fluiter)


Cup closeups from my entry in the #cuppatition.

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Cup closeups from all entries in the #cuppatition. (Photo: Inge de Fluiter)

Canal tower

Canal and tower at night as we walked to the venue for Amsterdam UX.


Speaking to a crowd of about 60 at Amsterdam UX Meetup. What a fantastic time sharing with this group of Dutch Users. Thanks David, Tatiana and my friends at HQ!

Tuesday, November 11th

Dutch afternoon

On the way to Compagnietheater for DSGNDAY. Stephen led us through the back streets of Amsterdam to get to the venue early.

Dsgnday stage

My view from the stage, speaking at DSGNDAY on sketchnoting. What fun!

Dsgnday frontrow

Close view of me speaking and drawing faces, Austin Kleon style!

Dsgnday highup

Photo of me speaking from up in the back row.

Treehouse zeger

An idea sketchnote from Zeger Van Hese, created during the exercise we did at the end of my talk. So cool!

Last night amsterdam

Last night in Amsterdam.

Thank you for a fantastic experience Amsterdam. I can't wait to visit again.

Tot ziens!

Flickr: Amsterdam Photo Set
Flickr: DSGNDAY Sketchnotes


New York City

NEW YORK CITY turned out to be just what I expected and nothing like what I'd expected, all at the same time. It was fascinating, rich, quirky, and fun.

I want to go back as soon as I can.

New York City has a unique vibe. It feels large and small, simple and complex, old and new. Somehow these strange contrasts work together perfectly.

My wife and I enjoyed four fantastic days in the city. We walked to restaurants, rode subway lines, busses, boats and cabs. We ate delicious food and spent time with dear friends. By the end, we were physically worn out but our spirits were alive and happy. It was an awesome trip.

Here's a selection of photos I shot to tell the story in images:

Wednesday, September 17th

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NYC Subway map. Very useful!

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View from our hotel on 43rd Street and 2nd Avenue.

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Pad Thai & Pad See Euw, Talent Thai Kitchen, 34th Street & 3rd Avenue.

IMG 0348

Talent Thai Kitchen Food Sketchnote

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Chrysler Building view from our hotel door at dusk.

IMG 0245

Chrysler Building view from our hotel door at night.

Thursday, September 18th

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Woke up in the City that Never Sleeps.

IMG 0333

Brooklyn Bridge B&W


Brooklyn in the distance.

IMG 0336

Proof shot! I was on the Brooklyn Bridge.


Julianna's Pizza. Fabulous!

IMG 0347

Julianna's Pizza Sketchnote.

Friday, September 19th

IMG 0345

Scones and coffee at Le Pain Quotidien on 3rd Avenue.

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Street market on 43rd Street & 3rd Avenue.

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Times Square!

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Grand Central Station windows.

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Grand Central Station main hall.

Saturday, September 20th

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Crosstown bus stop on East 42nd Street.

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Our Circle Tour of Manhattan happened on this ferry.

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Statue of Liberty.

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Under the Brooklyn Bridge.

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UN Building. Our hotel was right behind it.

IMG 0454

Exquisite design details like this one for Borough Hall in Brooklyn, are everywhere in the subways.

IMG 0455

Brooklyn Crab, Red Hook.

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Upper Deck at Brooklyn Crab, Red Hook.

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Robin Williams sticker in Red Hook.

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Lady Liberty from Red Hook.

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Freedom Tower at dusk.

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9/11 Memorial, South Tower location.

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Too many names on that monument. Such a tragedy.

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Freedom Tower at night.

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Grand Central and The Chrysler Building.

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End of the line!

Thank you, New York City!

Flickr: NYC Photo Set
Flickr: Agile Day NYC 2014 Sketchnotes


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.


The Art and Practice of Sketchnoting - Sketchnotes

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Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to speak at the Art Director's Club of Metro Washington DC and had a great time sharing the story of sketchnotes and answering questions from the crowd of about 50 people.

There are several great sketchnoters in the DC club who captured my talk in sketchnote form. Three of these sketchnotes were posted today.

I've included their sketchnotes below with a little commentary on each one.

Carolyn Sewell

Carolyn was the mastermind behind my visit DC. Her style is type focused, with lovely shapes drawn loosely at the event, which are filled in with ink after the event. Her initial state appears below with the completed state on top. I love her organic type:

Mike Rohde, Sketchnotes (Before+After)

Jessica Eldredge

Jessica's sketchnotes are more minimalist, with more whitespace around her lettering, shapes and text. In my talk I put focus on listening for big ideas and Jessica is doing just that with these notes. She was so fired up, she captured sketchnotes from Eva-Lotta Lamm's sketchnote talk at WebExpo 2010 as well:

ADCMW presents Mike Rohde

Erin McHardy

Erin's sketchnotes are a bit more sketchy. I love the texture she's achieved with her pen on these notes. I'm also digging the horizontal nature of the spread, use of graphical elements, separators and varied typography that make these notes so interesting:


Similar, Yet So Different

It's fascinating to see such different sketchnote styles emerge from the same talk, captured from three different perspectives. I love it!

Thanks ADCMW for the invitation to speak — I had a great time!

Photo: Samantha Warren

Speaking: The Art and Practice of Sketchnoting - Washington DC

Adcmw logo

On Wednesday, April 27th at 6:30, I'll be speaking to the Art Director's Club of Metropolitan Washington (ADCMW) on the Art and Practice of Sketchnoting.

I'm very excited to be sharing the story of sketchnotes, the lessons learned from them and how those lessons apply to art direction, design and life.

Thank you Carolyn Sewell and Eric Stewart for making this event happen!

Location Details:

Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA), Studio C
1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007-DC (Google Map)

Time: 6)30-8:30 ET
Non-member price: $35.00

If you're in the DC area, please join us Wednesday night!


Mike Rohde's Art and Practice of Sketchnoting - ADCMW
Art Director's Club of Metropolitan Washington (ADCMW)
ADCMW Full Bleed Magazine