Making of... Yoga postcards

Over the last few months I’ve been drawing hundreds of women in (mostly) stripy shirts doing different yoga postures. It all started with publishing my book of visual notes from the yoga teacher training I attended in 2016. When someone orders a book from me, they can choose an asana and I’ll draw it in the front of the book. Below is a big collection of poses I’ve drawn so far. Many of them several times.

As the recipients really enjoyed the little drawings, I decided to take some of the most requested poses and a couple of my favourites to draw and make a set of postcards so these yoga-ladies can also live outside of the books, travel to far flung places and bring some joy and a smile to the people they are sent or given to.

The process for making the actual drawings was pretty straight forward. As I had practiced the poses so many times, I already had already figured out my favourite way of drawing them. I chose to draw the final illustrations in Procreate (on the iPad). Drawing digitally makes it easy to manipulate a drawing and play around with different colour options before making a print-ready version.

I first sketched a rough version of each pose in light grey and then drew the final lines in black on a new layer. I added a 20% shadow layer to give the figures some depth. The colour fills got their own layer as well, which allowed me to play around with different colours for the mat and colour accents. I finally settled on a nice sunny yellow.

The postcards are printed on a nice heavy card stock (400g/m2) and are left blank on the back, except for a small strip of text down the side with the asana name and credits. When the cards arrived from the printer, I was super happy with the result… until I spotted a stupid mistake I made.


When uploading the files for printing, I mixed-up the files for the back of the Sukhasana card, so the backs have the wrong asana name. Urgh. After a few minutes of being angry with myself, I decided though, that it doesn’t help to be angry as it won’t undo the mistake. Instead, I added a hand-written correction on all cards (a lot!), so now they are even more unique ;) And the next edition will be printed with the correct asana name. Problem solved.

I hope these little ladies will bring some smiles to their recipients, wherever they may be :)
You can buy the postcards here.

The Mini Visual Starter Kit – Feedback and Practice

I often get asked by people: “How do I get started with sketchnoting or visual thinking?”.
One way of doing it, is to attend one of my workshops… but as this is not always possible, I created a nice and compact ressource I could point people to if they just wanted to dip their feet in the water and see what it feels like.

This Mini Visual Starter Kit is designed to help anyone who is interested to take the very first steps towards making their meeting notes and project planning more visual. It contains a cheat sheet with a basic set of simple icons to copy, tips for practicing and a set of methods for using the icons to structure meeting notes and plan projects visually.

So far, over a thousand people have downloaded the Starter Kit and from the feedback I’ve gotten, it seems that quite a few of them enjoy practicing with it’s help:

 Nice example of the icons applied in notes by @lettowjenny

Nice example of the icons applied in notes by @lettowjenny

 @tbx314 is even using the illustration in the intro as material for practice

@tbx314 is even using the illustration in the intro as material for practice

If you have been using the starter kit to practice, to make your meeting notes more visual or to plan a project, I’d love to see your work. Post it on twitter or instagram and tag me (@evalottchen) or just send me an email with a picture ( to evalotta AT evalotta DOT net).

If you haven’t got the Mini Visual Starter Kit yet, you can download it here.
Happy Sketching everybody!

UX Australia – Getting sketchnoted myself

Usually, I am the one quietly sketching along to interesting speeches on stage. It's a rare treat when my own talks get sketchnoted by other people. I was lucky enough to have some really talented people sitting in the audience when I talked about 'Visual Literacy and Visual Fluency' at this year's 10th anniversary edition of UX Australia. Below are what they made of my talk.
Thank you, sketchnoters. It's so  interesting to see which details you captured!

 Sketchnotes by Alan Chen –  @fable_us

Sketchnotes by Alan Chen – @fable_us

 Sketchnotes by  Cindy WM Chong –   @bravescribbler

Sketchnotes by Cindy WM Chong – @bravescribbler

 Sketchnotes by Gerard Hogan –  @   g_hoges    ‏

Sketchnotes by Gerard Hogan – @g_hoges

 Sketchnotes by Inna Fourer –  @innshki

Sketchnotes by Inna Fourer – @innshki

 Sketchnotes by Krijstelle Liao –  @notjustapotato

Sketchnotes by Krijstelle Liao – @notjustapotato

While over here, we also did a little meet-up and mini-workshop for the design community in Sydney. My awesome designer friend Buzz Usborne took care of all the logistics and announcements and the lovely folks from ustwo were kind enough to host the event and make it a really welcoming and fun experience for me and the 70 attendees.
And again: I got lucky as Ben Crothers was in the audience, capturing what I said and what we did in his beautiful clear style:


Sketchnotes by Ben Crothers – @bencrothers

 Unfortunately I can’t find the name of the person who did this anymore. If it’s you, do let me know. I love your style :)

Unfortunately I can’t find the name of the person who did this anymore. If it’s you, do let me know. I love your style :)

Visual literacy and visual fluency – a short interview at UX Australia

Last week I had the joy and honour to give a talk at UX Australia, speaking to over 800 people about the importance and power of expressing ourselves visually.
After the talk, I spoke with the lovely people from Pop-up Radio who recorded podcasts, soundbites and interviews during the conference.

Below is my interview, covering the power of using words and images in combination, our natural ability to understand visual information and giving yourself permission to draw.
(Excuse the slightly rambly start... it's getting better a few minutes in)

You should also check out all the interviews with the other speakers. Lots of great thoughts in there: