How long have you been sketching?
To give a short answer, I have 2 big periods of drawing.
The first one was when I was a kid till I grew up as a teen. I was sketching at home and school so we could share among friends. At Junior school, we was a group of asian friends who liked drawing manga. Then, I stopped for few years, I get back to drawing seriously when I enroll my design school.
But all the years I sketched when I was young was kind of “wasted”.
I believe I am not the only in this case. Let me share with you a more complete answer below.
Design Sketching ≠ Copy drawing
All these years of practice when I was a teen was “useless”.
I had a group of sketching friends. But none of us had any proper drawing technique. We basically copy what we saw.
Sometime, our sketches was super cool and enough similar to the original picture we copied to be proud of. But whenever we tried to draw from imagination (no reference picture), we was doomed.
We had a weak 3D vision and our 2D vision was average. We could copy Songoku (from Dragon Ball Z) pretty well with reference picture, but we could not visulize it from different views or position.
We believed we was good! But we was weak.
TIP: Sketch for reproduction as much as you love.
But as an incoming designer, keep your top priorities in mind so you will learn proper sketching techniques that will serve your creativity and visual communication skills.
Sketching = Communication tool ≠ Piece of art
Train your 3D vision
Geommetry and perpective allow me to see something and yet be able to draw it from different angle.
It’s essential to be aware of it so you can work on both with no confusion and make them complimentary.
TIP: To activate your 3D vision, visualise everything transparent, and simplify them with geommetric volumes such as cylinders, spheres, cubes… Ignore the details at start.
Hand sketching is everything.
The first year was frustrating – not having yet the level to sketch. So many ideas was stuck in my mind. We can’t figure out how to drop them on paper – and words was not sufficient. So we had to be inventive and carry on drawing ugly doodles! It’s actually a great start for any project. So we learned how to express our ideas fast without looking for perfection. (We din’t have the skill anyway.)
Learn how to draw with focus.
TIP: Sometime we feel stressed.
Take a 10-second break. Inhale deeply with your nose, and exhale sloooowwwly with your mouth. Repeat it 3 times, and you will feel much better and relax. 🙂
TIP: Whenever you learn a technique, think of various application you can do with. That’s how you will also accelerate your learning process and feed your memory of forms.
TIP: “Look for succesful people and model them.” – Tony Robbins
Here is an additional message that MJ has sent to me after reading the above article. He shares with us a similar experience where he started to learn how to sketch after being graduated from Animation.
“Hello Sir Chou-Tac how’re you?
Sorry I haven’t been replying or anything for a while and thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story.
I also went through the same thing with not learning fundamentals early and felt like I wasted time and just copied sailor moon or anime. Ahaha!
Thanks MJ for sharing your experience. We can all grow as soon as we are aware that fundamentals matter, and it’s a skill that anybody can learn.