During the week of October 16, 2017, I participated in an event called Kick-Start: Cardiff, a wonderful international programme put on by Visiting Arts. To take from the blog article summarizing the event:
Kick Start: Cardiff, the international creative entrepreneurship event produced as part of the Creative Tracks programme, brought together over 100 attendees from 20 countries including a delegation of 30 inspiring creative changemakers in Wales from 16 to 19 October during Sŵn Festival and celebrations for Creative Cardiff’s Second Birthday. The conference encouraged exchange around the role and value of the creative entrepreneur and how the arts and creative industries are driving regional/ rural economies.
Beyond being a delegate and engaging with a number of colleagues from across the world, I did what I do best when in an environment where information, experience and inspiration is delivered often from one speaker to many. I drew. I drew, sketched, painted and wrote small notes that each speaker had to say. This process is often a very selfish one, for these notes often end up being forgotten in my tower of old sketchbooks and done only to serve my own purposes. But the thing about such exchanges of information, is that they are an amazing wealth that could be given to many more if properly recorded. Of course, there’s videos of presentations, but not every single talk, conference, event can be recorded in this way. And this is where I come in, to give life to what could be a really dry event.
The visual notes first appear as, well, notes in a sketchbook. These pages serve as the basis for a finished, cleaner product and capture an editorial look at the event. The very nature of note-taking is editorial and when one takes on such a project an editorial purpose must be taken: is it reporting the event as it happens, is it taking on a particular political viewpoint on the speakers’ words, or am I looking for illustrative inspiration hidden in unmeant metaphors? Am I being comedic and capturing the jokes?
Moving forward with visual notetaking as a business, service and part of my practice, the initial editorial purpose of the artefact the notes will inspire is paramount and will indeed define what sort of notes I’ll be taking.
Standing somewhere between a record of an event and a summary of information given at talks, the booklet I produced for Kick-Start: Cardiff became a very colourful project. The booklet took compositional inspiration from the sketchbook, of course, but the actual making of this book helped inform the notetaking and reporting progress so that the next project will not only look better but its production will be smoothed over. Here are some images from the project, but the full show can be found on my Behance page.