The Power of Enthusiasm & a Sketchbook with Katie Merrien

There are times when my sketchbook is like a co-worker, a friend, a confidence booster, and a brainstorm partner. I use my sketchbook to take notes, jot ideas, and plan out projects, and brainstorm variations. I call this Sketchbook Thinking.

My sketchbook is used when I am out and about to take both visual and verbal notes for clients, for design ideas, and notes in meetings. My sketchbook is my constant companion. It’s my escape and my recorder. Sometimes my sketchbooks have been extremely private and act more like a diary and other times in my life it has acted like a scrapbook.

Have you ever taken a sketchbook with you everywhere? Do you ever feel awkward taking it out? Sometimes at church or when I am at lunch or eating a meal and taking it out sometimes feel inappropriate but it is like a companion. It is often my escape partner. Using it helps me remember. Helps me process conversations.

Do you regularly bring your sketchbook with you where ever you go? Why or why not? How about to meetings? Do you doodle while you take notes? Does it help you remember and retain what you’re hearing?

Our guest this week is Katie Merrien, her story is fascinating and her personality is contagious. Katie is a graphic recorder, she picks things up so fast, and she loves serving others. We dive into Katie’s story and her sketchbooks. We find out how her enthusiasm and amazing personality combined with her sketchnotes led to career opportunities she wouldn’t have imagined.

I hope you will join us LIVE for Episode 472 on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at 7:30pm BST / 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT / 8:30am in Hawaii. Signup here to get the link delivered to your inbox.

Questions for Katie

  1. Katie, can you give everybody a little background about your careers before finding graphic recording? 
  2. We talked about how you were always great at taking notes because you figured out that was a way your brain worked. How did being neurodivergent show up in school for you? How did that translate into your role in the workforce?
  3. How has your ability to get on board and enthusiastically learn things help you in your different roles in different companies?
  4. Now these companies are some of your consistent clients, correct? After you went full-time freelance your relationships with your past employers has been a great asset. Can you talk about how you are able to maintain such a great enthusiasm for the places you have worked?
  5. When did you start graphic recording? When did you know you wanted to do this as a bigger part of your business/life?
  6. I am hoping we can get a sneak peak at some of your sketchbooks from early on and then now. Why do you think having a sketchbook with you is important? What does sketching and taking notes do for your life or understanding?
  7. Simplifying content can be really difficult for most people, how did you get skilled in this?
  8. You are an avid learner, you are now working on copy writing and animations. What drives you to add new offerings to your business? 
  9. Do you feel like being neurodivergent is an asset?
  10. What are you working on now?
  11. What is next?

Connect with Katie

Her site:

Listen here


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