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Behind the Scenes: Standing Up to the VUCA Monster

sketchnotes visual thinking Mar 10, 2020
One week ago, I was nearing a month-long teaching tour in Europe. Now, I am not. How the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of our VUCA world, and how I made a drawing to make sense of it. Here's the story.

Highly recommend reading it if you tackle complexity, care about visual thinking, or just need to feel a bit more tethered. 

Scroll here for shots of the drawing in progress.  

Beginning with pencil to figure out what goes where and proportions. Plenty of erasing with stick eraser. I still marvel how many years I have drawn before I discovered the stick eraser and it's fantastic control. 


Inking the finest line with a Neuland SketchOne. Letting the lines dry and then eraser the pencil. I always do this area by area, starting with the parts I'm most certain of. I can nix parts later if they don't fit or my ideas change.


Starting with some color and adding a thicker line black pen.


Getting in my hand-mixed chartreuse with my Neuland inks and an empty FineOne. 


More coming together. And filling in the central figure to help it push forward among so many words.

Put down a tiny Muji sticky note so I could continue my yellow rays behind my monster.


Glasses off, up close, concentrating. 


Turns out my red Neuland FineOne (top) and Papermate Flair (bottom) are nearly the same color and thickness. C'est La Vie.  


Adding a couple grays. And carefully colored the chartreuse around the line to keep it clear. 


Thinner rays of yellow with my Flair pen. 

Here's the completed drawing scanned in: 

Hop on over to the article page to read and print a PDF of the drawing >>

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