The RSA was founded in England in 1754 as an “enlightenment organization” dedicated to bringing new ideas and debates to a mass audience. To aid in that mission they have been creating animations of talks given by academic and intellectual leaders and philosophers. Rather than using the TED technique of the PP slide show, RSA creates fun animations of doodles on a whiteboard to visually explore the concepts of the lectures. The animations has gotten more and more sophisticated over time, going from still drawings in the first videos to complex assemblages and animations recently.
Above is a recent animation of a talk given by education and creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson. He covers such topics as standardized testing, ADHD and arts education.
A page from my sketchbook drawn while watching TV coverage of Hurricane Irene this fall. Click image to see full set.
I draw all the time in meetings and lectures, either doing pictures of the speakers or riffing off ideas that are brought up in the course of the talk. I’ve been doodling like this since high school and my notes from college are a mind map of ideas and tangents, interspersed with cartoon cars and explosions.
A List Apart has an article about the value of sketching and outlines the need to just get stuff on paper in a tangible form, rather than fussing about how pretty things look or worrying about “artistic” quality.
When you feel inadequate in your sketching, pause and reconsider your perspective. Don’t worry how well you draw. Instead, think of your sketching as visual thinking, which works regardless of your drawing quality. Ugly gets the job done just fine.