Sketchnotes, Bible Study, and an Illustrated Discussion

Unplugged CLT Bible Study - Matt 14:22-33

Last night, while getting ready for a connect and Bible study, I was greeted with a neat tweet from the folks at FiftyThree, makers of an application called Paper that I use for sketchnotes on my iPad. They chose one of the sketchnotes that I did with their app as part of their daily curation listing*. That was pretty cool, and pointed out again to me the power of self-designed notes in this age of rigid digital constructs – or (if you will) how much fun the Bible and other books get when you draw what you hear/read instead of simply writing in text or highlighting.

What’s becoming more and more interesting is the conversations that these cause. Nearly anyone can understand and gravitate towards a picture. There’s an openness to interpretation and discussion. That discussion can lead to bigger understandings of content, or just be something that sticks around a bit more.

And then there’s that incentive that one person’s artistic impression can spark the creative juices of another. With the connect yesterday, a friend showed me how on his Samsung Galaxy Note how he’s been exploring the idea of drawing. When he showed me the pieces, I was amazed. For one, I didn’t know he could draw. But, then what he produced… wow! He literally took the canvas that was given and let his creativity run. Its really neat, and something I’m starting to see more of.

Where I’d like to see this go further is in the context like in my picture above. Where lessons similar to Bible studies are brokered and interpreted by drawing. Then, to be like the HTML image maps of old, we see regions on that artwork linked to data or other conversations. For example, I’ve got that Unplugged logo in there, that should be something that I could link to their website. Or, that the software intelligently recognizes the image, and in the background searches for similar, while adding it to the results of that search.

I think that many of us think in pictures. What would it be like to also speak more in them (ignoring that typography is pictorial for the moment)?

I do this often… drawing that is. There’s a sketchnotes gallery, and even one for my bible study/sermon notes. Lots of drawing to connect the dots of understanding.

*Update: Just found that FiftyThree has a Tumblr blog, and my sketchnote appears there. Very humbling to be included on their listing.