What is 'visual notetaking'?In real-time during an event, I combine sketches, hand-written notes, and inspiration from my physical context to create what I call 'visual-notes' or 'notes & doodles.' Onlookers often liken my work to the practice of 'graphic recording' or 'graphic facilitation,' others to comic book illustration. I began this style of note-taking with the project 'Notes & Doodles' (2016-2017) I created as part of my college art thesis. The style of my practice developed more-or-less organically, as I have always been one to add illustrations or diagrams to my classnotes. I'd also just taken a seminar on figure drawing and happily used my environment to practice sketching the human form. This project continues as a (somewhat) daily practice. Overall, I see 'visual-notetaking' as the best way I know how to keep focused during lectures and conferences, by taking notes I can reference in the future.
Pinoy Powerpoint PartyDuc NguyenPJ RavalSpencer Nakasako
Follow my academic journey via Twitter @angel_trazo.
About Notes & Doodles (2016-2017)'Notes &Doodles" was my Arts405 Final Project created over the course of my last year at Colgate University (Fall 2016-Spring 2017). This project began when I aimed to capture funniest quote said by a guest professor during his Biology Lecture. I soon developed a practice of drawing during any event I attended, from classes to lectures to dorm hangouts. Through each drawing, created in real time, I hoped to capture a sense of the characters and conversations that arose within the space.
At Colgate, many conversations remain insular, limited to the particular space, group of people, or event during the time they took place. Thus, one of the goals of this piece was to share information from one area of campus to another. I did so with the underlying intention of normalizing “challenging" conversation topics, including race, gender, consent, privilege, social culture, science, art, sexuality, mental health, religion, and politics, among others.
Most importantly, Notes & Doodles tells stories. This piece itself is a large, fragmented narrative, which, when brought together, tells the story of Colgate from multiple spaces, perspectives, and identities. While the initial purpose of this piece was to document interactions at Colgate, another concept behind this piece was self-representation. I wanted to express daily life through the eyes of a senior, double-major in Biology and Studio Art, through the lense of an Asian woman, through the lens of a student of color on a predominantly-white campus. This work, in a sense, is a reclamation of my Asian identity and normalization of my intersectional perspective. This work does not claim to represent the greater Asian American community; it merely shows a facet of what the Asian, first-generation perspective can be.
Angel Trazo (Summer 2017)
Notes & Doodles was displayed in the NOTHING IS LESS. LESS IS MORE. MORE IS TOO MUCH. show in the Clifford Art Gallery at Colgate University from April 19-May 21, 2017. Photos by Mark Williams and Angel Trazo.
Display of 180 drawings from Notes & Doodles and 2 copies of book and order sheets.
Close up of doodles.
Notes & Doodles "on fire": Woohee Kim & Angel Trazo. In case the institution couldn't hear us, we emphasized our message of the power of storytelling through adding this colored overlay of our artistic statement.
SocialThroughout this project, I shared drawings with all participants: fellow peers, faculty, staff, guest lecturers, and friends. Two doodles live in NASA Headquarters in D.C., as two guest lecturers from NASA came to speak at Colgate in 2017. One doodle is framed in the hair salon of my stylist, Tina, because she loved how much the sketch "looks like me!" Other doodles were shared via email and reposted on social media platforms. All of them can be found in my book, Notes & Doodles (in process of being self-published). Below are some social posts on my work.
Shoutout from Chinese-American activist, artist, actress, and fellow Colgate alumnus, Poppy Liu.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. It means so much to be able to create and share my artwork!