Sketchnote Advent Calendar: 8 – Diane Bleck

I kept scouting the Internet for learning resources on #Sketchnoting. My goal at that time was to learn how to draw engaging pictures for my ideas. Clear writing doesn’t come easily to me. I thought: If I could add a few sketches it would be beneficial. I think it’s true for almost everyone.

That’s where I came across Diane Bleck’s videos. She was sharing tons of videos on periscope, a Twitter app similar to facebook live. She would pop in anytime and start to draw little funny characters or animals cards. Se named herself “The Doodle Girl”. She perfected a technique of drawing anything. Her teaching style is addictive.

Deep inside it’s a school of seeking simplicity and what is really important, significant.

I was not familiar with the term doodling. There’s no equivalent in French so it was a new dot on my semantic map. The French near term “gribouillages” is what kids do before being deliberate in their drawing.

I was confused. On my path to nice sketchnotes or hand-drawn infographics, this looked like a distraction. What my eyes were seeing and the energy radiated by Diane was saying the opposite. I decided to keep Doodling for what Diane is doing and not try to relate to anything else. I spent hours in Diane”s group. That’s where I met Ayoka and Dita. I’m glad I stuck around and took the time to learn more about her.


In her real life, Diane is a graphic facilitator. She stays in the middle of a meeting, a conversation and captures what each person says. The resulting drawing helps the participants to understand each other. The goal is to map a common ground and vision which goals or decisions can be taken from there. It’s a very ultimate step in visual thinking. It’s not one-sided like a sketchnote, it’s not spectator point of view as a graphic recorder. Anyone who can stand and start drawing in the middle of a meeting knows this power.

The thing here is that Diane’s apparent simplicity of doodle conveys a lot of feelings at full speed. Nowadays, in business, feelings are more listened to and their importance in decision making is recognized. It requires practice and speed to find the little something to add that convey those feelings. It may imply to let go some realistic detail complex to draw. I try to apply this lesson now. Excellent for illustrating empathy maps, customer journey maps, personas.

When you look at each of her little figures you find cuteness. It’s simple, sharp, attractive, distinctive.

She shared again this morning a set of drawing lessons. Jump and watch them it won’t last. Diane is a nomad of social media, she doesn’t dwell there or settle for long. Her style is dynamic bursts vs building a portfolio taking dust.

Anyone can jump into drawing with her. She has a 21 Doodle days course to teach you her style in 21 days. Small microlearning videos, one per day. I did it, it works. Now I often use her style for posters. That’s a modest but very practical example on the left. 

Putting Pen to Paper is Diane’s motto. Via Diane, I learned about the Neuland markers. Always have some markers and nice paper ready. The shiny colors of the markers and the range of colors are her secret weapon.

The (closed) group she formed on facebook is super supportive. She named it: “The Doodle Girl & Friends” aka DGF. A tribe of nice great minds assembled to follow her path.

This is the second hidden gem of Diane’s mission.  What is obvious: her drawing lessons. What is implicit: the way to simplify and express feeling in simple drawings. What is life changing is her coachings. She guides people to achieve their dream using drawings or make a business of it. Several participants of the group became graphic facilitators by the time I was there. Several others found a new balance in their life using doodles or teaching doodles themselves. Diane is a bit of a magician. Find the full network here.

The set of all 6 courses for this transformation is well described here.

Those transformations didn’t happen by accident. It’s a result of Diane relentless involvement and sharing. She has been sharing enthusiasm, support, tips, deals. I benefited as well from her teaching. She is generous, it’s a fact.

There will be a session on goals and vision end of the year. Jump in if you can. Subscribe to her newsletter here.

In this time of Christmas, if we had Queens and Kings of Sketchnote, Diane would be the Queen of Heart, no doubt.

You can find here an interview of Diane on the Sketchnote Army podcast.

Diane also published books. This is one of them: Discovery Doodles. Nice Christmas gifts #JustSaying

You find the animal cards here.

I never met Diane in real life, but I have seen so many videos and participated to so many meetings online it’s as if. I wish we, European Doodlers, have the occasion to meet her next year for the Sketchnote camp in Paris. If it happens I’ll edit this post and add a selfie 🙂 #FingersCrossed

Essential to start sketchnoting and becoming a visual thinker!

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