[Interview] Umm Sultan on creating ‘Sketchy Muslims’ and the art and benefits of sketchnoting

Sketchy Muslims

While written notes can form a good reference in various situations, the art of sketch noting has increased in popularity in recent years. Combined with its visual appeal and informative content, to being the first online space for “sketchnoters” in the Islamic community, Sketchy Muslims is definitely one interesting platform that stands out in developing and popularizing this creative art form.

Developed in 2013 by Umm Sultan, Sketchy Muslims is an online space where its founder and other “Sketchy Muslims”, create and share everything from Islamic lectures and events to personal enrichment and general advice.

I talk to Umm Sultan: sketch noter, idea-junkie and “aspiring mumpreneaur”, about what triggered her interest in becoming a sketch noter, the benefits and challenges associated with Islamic sketch noting, and her interesting plans and aspirations for the future.

Tell us about the inspiration behind Sketchy Muslims. How did it first come about? What have you achieved so far?

“I actually didn’t intend to be a sketchnoter. In October of 2012, I took a class in graphic recording, which is similar to sketchnoting but generally done live on huge 4 by 6 ft paper for groups at strategic planning meetings, retreats, conferences, etc.

This past October, I enrolled in a Seekers Guidance course, and decided that I wanted to practice my visual thinking by sketching my course notes. After taking some notes in the course, I wanted to share them because I thought that other people might benefit from them.

The problem was that there really wasn’t anywhere for me to post them. I didn’t want to use my personal social media profiles, and Islamographic, which I love, is for more polished work generally done by people with graphic design skills. So I decided to create an online space where I and other “Sketchy Muslims” could share our notes.


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