ABOUT ME - VISUAL THINKER . ILLUSTRATOR. GRAPHIC FACILITATOR. TRAINER

My name is Katrina Swanton and I founded Swanton Sketches in 2020 with the intention of helping individuals and companies to harness the power of visual thinking. 

Visual notes have been proven to aid learning and retention. 

They are an effective approach to summarise and share key discussions from meetings and events. 

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Visual summaries offer complementary approaches to communicate complex ideas from research papers or company reports. 

Visuals grab attention and engage more people! 


I can help a range of industries and sectors to use visuals to bring together people and ideas, however my expertise is in Higher Education.  I have worked in the sector for over 20 years. I am a specialist in learning and teaching and gained Senior Fellowship of AdvanceHE for my contribution to supporting learning and teaching.


News & Updates

February 2024 - Lots of exciting plans in the mix for this year. I am delighted to have been asked to join the organising committee of Scotviz (https://www.meetup.com/Scotviz/) a Scottish-based visual practitioners group and am thrilled to be able to contribute ideas to continue to grow and develop this networking space.  I have a number of commissions lined up for later in the year and am spending this time getting myself prepared and ready for what will be another busy Spring/Summer! 


December 2023 - Another year comes to a close, and what a year! I have been relatively quiet professionally the past few months as I have been taking some time off to do a bit of postgraduate study myself. I was able to put my visual skills to work to produce one of my formative assessments which was a reflective take on my approach to literature searching. If you want to take a look, the file is available here: hyperlink to visual reflection. I am a massive advocate of using visual skills to support study and was funded by Edinburgh Napier University in 2022 to conduct a small-scale research study into the topic. If you are interested in hearing more - get in touch! 


September 2023 - Some highlights from the past few months, include illustration work for clients at the University of Staffordshire featuring in a Quality Assurance Agency webinar on Phenomena-Based Learning on 18th September 2023 (https://www.qaa.ac.uk/news-events/blog/a-different-approach-to-learning-is-phenomenon-based-learning-the-new-way-to-educate). I was also delighted to work with colleagues and students at Edinburgh Napier University to produce visuals around the concept of student/staff partnership which was featured in a presentation at the national 2023 RAISE Conference in Leeds  (https://www.raise-network.com/


June/July 2023 - Graphic recording events at the University of Liverpool's Making and Impact 2023. This is the third time I have been asked back by the Academy at the University of Liverpool and I am thrilled to be working with them again! (see https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/researcher/making-impact/resources/ for some of my work from last year).


24th June 2023 - Live scribing at the Royal Highland Show. It was my first time at the show (which is a little shocking given I have lived in Edinburgh for over 13 years!) and it was a hoot! I was partnering up with the Scottish Rural College's (SRUC) Policy Development team to gather and visualise feedback on the topic of what would make a positive difference to Scottish Rural Life.  I had also prepared an activity for younger visitors to SRUC's pavilion, to allow them to consider what they would want to see in their futures, but also to free up their grown-ups to engage in discussion with SRUC colleagues. It was a super hot day (for Scotland) and the pavilion was sweltering - but it was such a fun and productive day.  Thank you to SRUC for having me... 


May 2023 - Working for a new client at the University of Manchester who was seeking my help to illustrate some of their research concepts to support dissemination activities at a National Assessment & Feedback Conference. This was a really enjoyable commission allowing me to bring together my illustration skills together with my expertise in University Learning & Teaching.  I am delighted that the client has already commissioned me to undertake some more work for later in the year, so watch this space!


Some of our clients

Our client base is always expanding - but here are just some of the clients we have worked with to date...