Sketchnote Advent Calendar: 13 – Makayla Lewis

I met Makayla on Twitter in the form of the #SNHangout hashtag. I could see this hashtag popping up regularly. I knew nothing of her.

Her full name is Dr. Makayla Lewis. She has a PhD in Human Computer Interaction (HCI, near UX and HIM) from City University London.

Her bio goes by: She uses HCI and participatory visual methods to draw out an understanding of how people influence the management of their data and how they use social networks to extend and maintain this influence.

At that time, I inferred, wrongly, that it was a kind of public event like a Twitter chats or a Facebook live. In fact, there was like a path to follow and that led to a confusion between me and Makayla. Bad start, but I had met Makayla. Good point.

I decided to give a second try and eventually joined one of her on-site events in London. I was booked for London to see a show from the Pussy Riots. A show I funded on Kickstarter. Luckily there was London Sketchnote the evening before. Dr Rossana was going too. I won’t be alone.

That’s my first encounter with Makayla IRL. It went super well. She’s a great professional. Everything was thought of. A sequence of activities around drawing, sketchnote. Mayalak shares her knowledge generously. Just, you have to be one time and follow the guide.

Makayla style is multiple. She’s a UX designer by trade. Precision, mindfulness in the work is part of this trade.

She keeps experimenting so it’s difficult to frame her in a style.

She excels in Digital work, she’s good with pen, brushes, markers. There is a reason: practice, a lot of practice. Sharing as you practice, don’t work in a cave. Deliberate practice with a goal in mind: be among the bests. Well done Makayla!

The work is the art. The expertize I could see is the execution. It took until the International Sketchnote camp in Lisbon to get to see behind the scene. She shared her way, her search for her art. The presentation was beautiful, the insights mindblowing. Like for the Pussy Riots, it was a live show, a happening. There was no recording, no memories. You were there or you missed it.

Makayla describes herself as an acquired taste. She’s true. Once you get it, you love it and can’t forget it. I’m also sometimes hard to relate too. All conditions were met that we definitely disliked each other, we’ve been beyond that point and enjoy our connection.

She offered a full print of her #Inktober work, with ink, feather, and brush. I jump on the occasion. It’s now hanging next to my yoga mat, in my morning meditation space. From time to time, I take a long close-up look to it. Not far way are Eva Lotta’s Asanas (yoga postures) sketches. One should steal from artists, said Austin Kleon. It’s a good reason to buy and own work from artists. To be inspired.


There will be a 6 hours Sketchnote Hangout on December 30th. I’ll be there. See you there.

Finding Makayla

Follow Makayla on Twitter.

That’s where she shares her discoveries, she’s great to follow on Twitter.

She’s also on Instagram:

Her Flickr:

Her site:


She publishes a challenge to build your visual vocabulary.

Every month, should you join the hangout or not, she publishes a challenge. A page of prompts to build your visual library. You can get it for a 1 British Pound. You print it and fill it. Every day a cell. Make a habit of it, like during breakfast, or before your lunch.

If you join the next hangout, participants share their page and discuss it. If you failed to join (like I did), share your page on Twitter and tag it with #SNchallenge like the lady below:

Sketchnote Hangout

Every month, there is a Sketchnote Hangout. You must book a ticket, there is a limited number of participants. It’s free. Book early #FriendlyAdvice. follow @SN_hangout for information. It’s a Google Hangout, not recorded, with 25 people maximum. Everyone draw together.

Upcoming Events

Sketchnote London

Every Month there is a live session in London. Follow @sketchnoteLDN or search hashtag #SketchnoteLDN on Twitter for info. It is founded & co-organised by @maccymacx & @nidhi_narula. Booking goes via Meetup: I quote: “Expect to be challenged and inspired, supported and motivated”.

Final word

In our procession of the Magi, on this Advent Calendar, Makayla is definitely a queen. I see her as the Queen of Spades of Sketchnoting ๐Ÿ™‚

Essential to start sketchnoting and becoming a visual thinker!

Grab your invite below for my new project! An app to build your visual vocabulary.