Conference Call Sketches

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My sister-in-law recently emailed me this Wall Street Journal article about Andy Silton, a retired money manager, who had a habit of drawing during meetings. During his 30 years in asset management, Andy filled 75 notebooks with his drawings. Andy now publishes a blog called Meditations on Money Management and he writes a bi-weekly column for the Raleigh News & Observer where he shares his knowledge of the investment industry along with a sketch or two from his notebooks. I also work in the investment industry, so I applaud Andy for successfully combining his knowledge of finance with his passion for drawing.

I have been busy at the office lately, so I haven’t done much drawing or painting. But I took a page out of Andy Silton’s playbook, and sketched during some conference calls at work. The first sketch is a study of Jonathan Yeo’s Damien 2012.

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The second sketch is of one of my sons.


And the third sketch is of Robert Franklin Stroud, otherwise known as the “Birdman of Alcatraz.”

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I drew the last sketch this morning. I had an early morning conference call, but when I got to the office, I realized I had forgotten my keys at home. So I took the call from the Starbucks around the corner and drew the chair in front of me.


P.S. Andy, all the best in your new career as an artist and writer.

10 responses to “Conference Call Sketches

  1. Wow! These are amazing!! All I draw during meetings and conference calls are stick figures swinging from word to word.

  2. This isn’t just practice. You’ve some serious talent. Do find drawing during meeting and calls distracting or does drawing help you focus?
    Thanks for the comments of support — Andy Silton

    • Andy,
      Thanks for the note, and for the kind words. Since some of my colleagues may read this, then sketching clearly improves my focus. 🙂 In all seriousness, if I have to speak a lot during a call, then I don’t sketch. But if I am on the listening end of a lengthy call, drawing doesn’t impede my ability to focus or retain information.
      I mentioned in another post that my memory improves when I draw. I can look at an old drawing, and recall exactly where I was, what the light was like, and all sorts of details about my surroundings. I can’t say that sketching helps me remember specific details from conference calls, but it does no harm.
      I really enjoy your blog, and I look forward to seeing more of your drawings.
      Take care, Doug

  3. In college, I would sketch my notes, instead of writing them. It helped so much more with remembering the information. I love the idea of sketching during conference calls. And I’m wondering if this would work when my son starts taking about Pokémon again???

  4. Matthew L. Campbell

    My only question is: how can you sketch such amazing pictures and still focus on the call?

  5. Inspiring! Thanks to this, I just realized it’s important to have sketchbooks everywhere. If you’re a sometimes-sketch artist, you can increase your chances of sketching that way! Nice to discover your posts.

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