Sketchnote Advent Calendar: 1 – Mauro Toselli aka @xLontrax

Let’s start this advent calendar with Mauro. let’s follow the order of my discovery. Mauro Toselli is also a keystone of the Sketchnoting community, so he is well placed in first position.

I notice Mauro appear in my Twitter feed around 2015. Someone retweeted his work. He was sharing pictures of a long walk in the mountains somewhere in the North of Italy. He was sharing picture of a solitary walk. At that time I was not interested in Sketchnotes but drawings and walks yes. I was also following the travels of @snowded for the same reasons. I was hiking in the mountains through their eyes.

He was also sharing sketches of recipes with pasta. That’s our second shared interest.

And he’s in IT, I’m too.

I followed him, always on Twitter, for his 100 days challenge #The100DayProject. I started to be seriously interested.

He made a book from this work. I bought it at once. It was the first book that got me back into drawing.

100+1 Drawing Ideas for Sketchnoters and Doodlers

For me, the value of the book is to deconstruct the approach of the doodler.

  • Find simple shapes inside a complex shape.
  • Start by outlining them.
  • Finalize the complex shape

Everyone is doing that including svg artists.

It’s only a year later, in 2016, that I started to get interested in Sketchnoting as a mean to think, learn and communicate visually.

His site:

He’s on Twitter at @xLontrax

This is his flickr:

I met Mauro twice: During the first International Sketchnote Camp in Berlin in 2017, 3 months ago in Lisbon. He shared his latest thinking on his “Theory of Sketchnote”. Watch him

Mauro is also a tinkerer. He makes his books binding himself and document the process. I share this passion too.

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He started like this an initiative of a book traveling all around the world to collect a page from each sketchnoter of the sketchnote army.

The book is in Poland now:

Nice tweet I used for my drawing.

Here are my first tentatives. I’m not very good to draw a portrait. I’m going to suck for 23 days and hopefully the last ones will suck less.


PS1: For this adventure of the advent calendar, I had to choose an order. Who is the most important? It’s not a community of prominent show-off members. People are important for me because they are nice humans and bring me something. I met them in my journey toward using my brain, pen and paper. The more natural was to follow the order in which I encountered them.

PS2: The idea of this challenge came from a tweet from Sarah Drasner. @Sarah_edo. She is in my javascript list, a very different world but connected since she gave this week, 2 days of workshop on design and vector graphic animation. Nothing is totally disconnected when we are constant learners.

PS3: Seems Advent starts really tomorrow, means in 15 minutes. That’s cool, as a serial procrastinator I was late.