Adventures are unique and intimate events, designed to offer our TEDx community unparalleled, behind-the scenes access to the people and places that make the local area so dynamic.

September 03, 2015

Summer Adventures with TEDxMtHood — Clay Making and Sketchnoting
Category: Adventures


Summer is the best time for Adventures of all kinds. In addition to all the outdoor fun and activities that are a staple for any Oregon summer, we hosted a few interactive indoor activities – which was a welcome respite from the scorching temperatures that were in abundance this season.

Here’s a recap in case you missed them – or a refresher for those who attended but made many other memories in the time since.

adventuresIn June, our own 2014 Artist in Residence, Jolie Guillebeau hosted an Introduction to Basic Pottery. Jolie works with art in all forms and advocates for experimenting and creating – over and over – to develop skill. She created 1,000 paintings for her stint as Artist in Residence and cultivates a daily practice of creativity. Her motto: “Don’t be afraid of making something bad. Be afraid of making nothing at all.”

Jolie’s approachable, encouraging, and courageous mindset frames her work at all times and set the tone for a roomful of new artists to not only learn the principles of pottery but challenge themselves to create projects and have fun doing it!

Using hand-forming clay, and experimenting with sculpting tools and color, Adventure artists created pinch-pots and mugs, sculptures, and animals, and even a lattice bowl!

In August, Verbal to Visual’s Doug Neill, taught us how to combine note-taking and sketching to cultivate the art of Sketchnoting. Verbal to Visual is an online resource providing note-taking tools for learners and makers. 

Doug defines Sketchnoting as “the process of giving visual form to verbal ideas using quick sketches, organic diagrams, color, and hand-written text, which combine to make your ideas pop off the page and into the minds of those who see them,” and believes a key to being successful in Sketchnoting lies in cultivating a mindset of purposeful practice.

Providing tips and resources for utilizing this essential tool, Doug walked the classroom through the process from mindset to layout and context to implementation and practice. Starting with a blank canvas of white paper and demonstrating these skills as they were presented allowed attendees to gain a better understanding of how Sketchnoting can be executed efficiently, effectively – and that these techniques can be utilized by anyone!

With a mixture of beginners and experienced sketchers in attendance, the Adventure was beneficial for all levels of people developing a Sketchnoting practice. Doug provided a recap of the day on his site and was excited by the engagement of those in attendance. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

For those that weren’t as familiar with visual thinking, the overall reaction was great. The benefits of building in more visuals while creating a growing map of ideas became very clear at the end of the workshop when we could look across the entire stretch of poster paper and have a good sense of the arc of the day as well as being able to focus in on any of the particular topics that we discussed.

Among those that already had some experience in this field, the idea that we kept coming back to was the 50/50 rule of visual note-taking. Folks really seemed to resonate with the idea of putting some constraints on their note-taking process. That makes it less daunting, and therefore more accessible.

Read Doug’s entire recap on Verbal to Visual.

Our next Adventure is the Storytelling Starter with Portland Story Theater on Wednesday, September 9, and will be another excellent opportunity to develop your personal and professional skills in a fun, engaging environment — join us!

Jessica Black

Portland native and long-time TED-talk lover, Jessica is a first year planning team member — and loving every minute! Outside of TEDx, Jessica manages operations at a local non-profit, coaches elementary-aged young women with empowering themselves and developing healthy body image, and spends every possible moment enjoying all the beauty and charm the Pacific NW has to offer.