Why draw at work?

19.02.2018       0

If you just heard for the first time in your life that anybody in an office job is drawing on the job, you might be inclined to think that person is just doodlin away instead of doing their actual job. But what if I told you, that by drawing, they can actually do their job more productively?

There’s four situations where you can be more effective if you use drawing techniques in your work:

  1. Presentations without powerpoint
  2. Making visual notes
  3. Tell stories in a better way
  4. Document meetings

Let’s dive into these in detail:

Presentations without powerpoint

The dread of everybody working in an office: Endless meetings with endless Powerpoint slides, killing even the most durable attention spans. In a world of endless slides, it’s refreshing to see a handmade presentation just on a flipchart, with explanatory drawings instead of piles of text. The person presenting can present the big picture at once as well as going into the details on a flipchart, all while providing a visual anchor for your thoughts to hang on.

Making visual notes

There’s a ton to be said for making visual notes or sketchnotes. We process information faster and can remember it better, if the information is presented in a visual way instead of only a written one. Also it’s faster to draw the picture of something in seconds instead of describing it in verbal detail in a multitude of the time needed. And if you made sketchnotes to a talk or meeting, just looking at the individual drawings provide you with a visual anchor to what was said at the time you noted that down. At least that’s how it works with my sketchnotes for me.

Tell stories in a better way

You’re working on a new product for your company. After doing customer interviews, you want to tell your team about potential improvements in your customers „customer journey“, the part in the life of a person where they discover a problem and try to solve it using your product. You could write an essay about your customers day, what problem she encounters and what happens once she finally solves it. But if you just draw it, even with simple stick figures, you can’t only explain the process more easily, but also you have something to point to in discussions with your team.

Document meetings

This one is similar to making visual notes, with the difference that the notes you’re making here are to be legible for others than just yourself. Also mostly you’ll do these on a flipchart, whiteboard or some digital medium. Drawing what has been said doesn’t only help document the process, it also proves whether or not you understood people correctly. And like in the storytelling example, you can use the drawings as a base for discussions.


I’m sure there’s a lot more occasions where your work can benefit from drawing skills. I find that drawing is not only great fun itself, but also a valuable tool to think differently about our world. Like with every tool, it’s important to recognize where you can use it, and where you’re better off using a different one («If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.»)

And if you think «That all sounds great, but unfortunately I can’t draw?», then here’s the part where I shamelessly plug my drawing course for all of you living in the area of Thun or Bern: Find out more on the course page.

Visual Facilitating / Sketchnotes Workshops

19.02.2018       2

Last year I started doing Visual Facilitating / Sketchnotes Workshops. Basically I teach grown up people that they can actually draw even if they don’t believe it, and how they can use it at work to make notes, explain things and learn stuff. The contents is a culmination of my lifetime of drawing, my experiences as an illustrator and what I learned myself from different courses and books.

The teaser for the first workshop. After the course anybody can draw something like this on their own.

It was a pleasure to lead these workshops and the feedback by the participants was positive. I want to do more workshops as inhouse courses for companies and I’m thinking about organising workshops open to the public in the area of Thun or Bern. Send me a message if you’re interested or if you know somebody who could be.

Hili practicing drawing people

Happy attendees with their new self designed sketchbooks

The giant

19.02.2018       0


The final Character design. Notice the little taylor standing on his arm.

Rough sketch over the silhouette

In the course «The Spark» at the Oatley Academy, we designed characters for an adaptation of a classic fairy tale. I chose «the brave little taylor», and designed the Giant from the story. More images in the projects entry.

Giant – Character Design


New Work: «Danger Chopper: Hoofs of Glory»

19.02.2018       0

At Edorex, we had one week each year to spend on our own projects. Two of these «Lab weeks», I spent along with one and two developers respectively on creating a 2D-Game. Since I only worked there four days a week, my Lab week also consisted of four days. So we created this 2D-Game with 9 or 7 levels respectively in 8 days. It’s buggy, there’s not really a menu or a decent tutorial but it works and it’s (at least for us) fun to play. What do you think of the idea? Would you like to see more stuff like this? Let me know in the comments.

In-Game screenshot from a bonuslevel «Alpine football»

Style exploration for the game: No-Outlines vs. Outlines.

More Pictures and information in the Portfolio entry for the Danger Chopper Game.

Danger Chopper

Book recommendation: Steal like an artist

19.02.2018       0

This is one of my favorite books of all time: «Steal like an Artist» – or «Alles nur geklaut« in german – by Author Austin Kleon. I must have bought and gave to friends as a gift at least five times already, it’s that good. Basically, it’s a short and readable Guide to creativity. The author explains Creativity in such a fun and entertaining way, you read through the 160 pages really quick.


A lot of my views about being creative stem from this book or are described therein at least. Some examples:

I deeply believe that creativity can’t occur in a vacuum. New ideas stem from mashing up other ideas, or applying a familiar idea in a new context. This is also the message in the popular video series «Everything is a remix» by Kirby Ferguson. The first of the 10 concepts in the book revolves around this. Austin Kleon explains how new ideas derive from the old, how you can find what inspired the things which inspire you, and what the difference is between «stealing» in the books sense and blatant plagiarism.


Another of the 10 ideas is about «Fake it till you make it». If your dream is to become a professional musician, then «fake» your life as a professional musician. This probably means practicing every day, playing concerts and writing songs. If at some point you’re good enough to make a living from it, then the only difference to the «faked life» is the commercial aspect. Also, if you recognize after doing this for a while that you don’t want to spend that much time practicing, playing concerts and writing songs, then that dream of yours is probably not a dream but a nice fantasy. That’s the difference between wanting to be a professional musician with all the effort that goes into it or just wanting to stand in front of a crowd and be famous.

The book is about 13 CHF or 11 $, get in on, Amazon (no affiliate link) or preferably at your local book store.


Fantasy Basel Review

19.02.2018       0

At the beginning of the month was the Fantasy Basel, where for the first time I had my own artist table at a convention. The Fantasy Basel is the swiss version of the Comic Cons happening all over the world. This means, there’s a lot of comic Fans, gamers, Cosplayers and generally nerds of all kinds meeting in one place for a weekend. Next to boothes from big Companies from the Game industry, there were lots of booths dedicated to Cosplay and Costumes in general. You could even buy proper Bows or Swords. There was also a Steampunk Café, different Star Wars Sets recreated entirely with Lego and generally a ton of pretty impressive Costumes. And next to all of this there was, of course, the ‚Artist Alley‘, where Artists can set up a booth to exhibit their work during the convention.

After going full freelance beginning of this year, Fantasy Basel was a big goal to work towards. I did not know what to expect, especially since I heard they were expecting over 50’000 people over those thee days.

I invested in some prints, decoration for the booth and created new artwork to show and sell. Next to original art, I had prints in A5 and A4, Postcards and a Poster for sale. Every day we had a small giveaway for all the people who registered themselves for my new newsletter. I also designed a big rollup, which is 100 by 200 cm, (or roughly 40 by 80 inch, if you’re more into the imperial system). It was pretty exciting to finally see it live. The rollup was printed by, which I really recommend.

I had two friends, Räffu and Simu, helping me out at the booth. This was not only helpful in busier times of the day, but also a lot more fun. In general I met a lot of interesting people at Fantasy Basel, and to me that’s really what conventions like these are about: Connecting with people and getting inspired by them. It was a great experience and I can only recommend to go and get a booth yourself, it’s a great opportunity to get your art in front of a lot of eyeballs and grow as an artist.

Recent PostsKategorien