December 19, 2022
So you say you’re not an artist?
Despite all of the creative exposure we have across social media, exploring various art forms, tools, and spaces, many people still don’t consider themselves as being creative individuals.
Why is that?
Well, art has traditionally been considered a sector that only painters, singers, and theatre professionals were categorised in. But with more and more creative freedom, there are so many new ways of ‘creating’, which continue to surface daily.
Just as learners learn in different ways, so too, do each of us have unique ways of creating. ‘Why do you think you had to be an artist to draw?’ As I’ve learned across these past few years, we truly are all artists, with incredible creative potential within.
Adobe Fresco is just one of the EdTech tools that enables the creative risk-taking your students and educators might not have known they had… to spark.
Exploring creative potential
I first tried Adobe Fresco in its beta form, as an Adobe Education Leader a few years ago. I remember feeling quite nervous about trying to doodle on the digital artboard, and the rubber tool I ended up using the most at first. It didn’t take long for me to discover pure joy in learning to illustrate digitally and collaboratively.
I learned about sketchnoting after attending my first #DitchSummit just before the lockdown, where Matt Miller encouraged attendees to share their learning visually on Twitter – the left being my first ever sketchnote, and the right being the one I created after only a full year sketchnoting skills-building.
I was then introduced to Carrie Baughman and Jen Giffen that same year, and further developed my sketchnoting skills by attending Doodle & Chat virtually every week, and participating in one of Jen’s sketchnote boot camps during lockdown.
I volunteered to create sketchnotes of #BookCampPD’s book study chats on Twitter over the last few years, celebrating educators’ ideas creatively using images and text, which was also technical development, creative challenge, and retrieval practice. I also Livestream on Behance.
Sketchnoting with Adobe Fresco rapidly became one of my favourite pastimes and continues to bring me more and more joy across my learning journey. It’s all about the curiosity and ideas I want to bring to life using Fresco, along with the collaborative discovery process as a beginner artist.
How to get started with Adobe Fresco?
Fresco is a FREE app for artists of all levels, to sketch, paint, and animate with. It can be downloaded for free from Apple’s AppStore.
This product was originally built for iPad + Apple Pencil users, giving people a digital option, instead of creating on a physical sketchpad or canvas. It’s now also available for FREE on iOS, Wacom tablets, and Windows devices.
As it is a cloud-based app, you can start creating on one device, and then continue on the other device and vice-versa. Your sketch, painting, or animation is editable across any device that you have downloaded the Fresco app.
Some features and library resources are included in the free version of the Fresco app, and there is also a paid version, which has access to even more brushes and features.
Select a canvas size and then use the layer tools on the right-hand side of the app, along with the brush, colour, and transformation tools on the left-hand side of the app to begin creating!
Some ideas to integrate Fresco across the curriculum:
- ‘Get to know you’ activity with Pass-The-Sketchnote – independently or collaboratively (SEL, cross-school exchanges, field trips, station rotations, etc).
- Topic introduction activity (e.g. creative KWL charts, ‘brain-dumps, etc).
- Building new skills activity: demonstrate all the ways you can illustrate (e.g. number bonds, synonyms, recipes, etc).
- Agile workflows – collaborative or independent (e.g. inside project-based learning journals, etc).
- Deep dive complexities through topic/problem/project mind-maps or infographics (e.g. the anatomy of the human eye, health & safety workflows for around the school, planning your team’s STEAM build, etc).
- Cross-functional image-into-animation skills (e.g. learning to animate a drawing or sketch inside Fresco, or using a drawing or sketch inside Adobe Express Page, to create a portfolio, etc).
- Retrieval Practice:
- Learning portfolio (e.g. snapshots of key concepts across a topic/unit/term, or even snapshots of achievements across a time period, etc).
- Sketchnotes (e.g. a more detailed curation of learning across the topic/unit/term/event/book/etc).
Where to find inspiration?
There’s no better place to start with inspiration than directly in-app, with Fresco’s FREE video tutorials!
You can also find FREE Adobe live streams to learn alongside some of the professional streamers on @adobedrawing like Kyle Webster and Anna Daviscourt, to name a few.
Adobe Education Leaders are another great source of creative inspiration: Chana Messer & Theresa Jackson. Manuel S. Herrera’s sketchnoting course can be found on Adobe EdEx.
Finally, join me on #eduTGIF if you’re thinking of taking your first steps at learning to illustrate / sketchnote, a live stream that explores creative risk-taking with a global community each week!
Has this blog inspired you to try Fresco and/or to try sketchnoting generally? Tag me @TechyLeaderEDU on Twitter or @redefineed on IG, and share your first sketchnotes with the hashtags #eduTGIF, #adobeEDUcreative, and #Appvent22.