How to keep motivated (having poor results) and avoid procrastination ? | TIP 147


This article has been inspired from questions asked by the members of my blog who answered my previous survey: Ask me anything.

Thank you Prakash from India, Rerolde from Brazil, He from USA, Anze from Slovenia, Mfonkpang from Nigeria, Skirsk from USA for your questions about “How to keep motivated to draw ?”

The questions was:
Can you help me overcome the resistance to draw and sketch ?
How you get motivate to keep drawing with poor results and avoid the procrastination ?
How can I stay motivated from day to day ?
How did you get motivated, and stayed motivated when there was lack of results ?
How do you sustain the drive to keep working ?

Arrows the Design Sketchbook a
How to draw arrows. (Online course in preparation) 🙂

“Whether you think you can do it or not, you are right.”

I realized that Motivation is the major obstacle that beginner face. If you think you can’t make something, or something is too difficult. So it will be. It’s as simple as that. Our own perception is our number one limitation.

I do believe that everybody can sketch, as long as there is a proper guidance. A lot of students give up after practicing so hard. Why because, they didn’t practice “smart”. Let’s take the example of playing pool. If I practice pool for months without nobody to guide me, I doubt I will make a lot progress. In the case I end playing good, it will be within the amateur category.

These couple of weeks I started a new project. I am working on creating a complete online Design sketching course for beginners. The course aims to start learning how to sketch step-by-step, but also gain confidence. I an also testing a new platform to give one-to-one guidance to my students. It avoid them to be stuck facing a wall. No. They could face a problem, share it and ask for solution to unlock the situation, and keep going.

I believe that when you are confident, your are motivated. When you are motivated, you have energy. Most important the belief you are ready to overcome any obstacles. You get out of your comfort zone and explore what you need to learn in order to go to the next level.

Your perception of your possibilities become much wider and you will naturally achieve more, progress faster, gain even more confidence and sketch better and so on. As soon as you get into that momentum, you are on the right track.

Some of you have already asked me about the different modules of the course. But I haven’t made it yet ! 🙂 I am actually preparing it and I would like to make it with you. I will be glad to update you guys further soon and get your feedback on it. I want to make a course that fit your needs.


Let’s answer your questions about “How to be motivated to keep sketching?”.
May I share a bit of my experience to illustrate ?

My story

When I enrolled my design school, I though I knew how to sketch.
But actually I only knew how to copy Manga, Marvel or some cool stuff I like since my childhood. I actually had no proper techniques. Industrial design sketching was a total discovery for me. I realised I was not able to draw from imagination. Sick…

To enter the design school we had to pass a test. That day, my brain was blank. Time was limited, and I had no idea how to start. I end producing some sketches that a kid could be proud of. But as a future designer ? Maybe not.  Luckily, I passed the following interview where I showed my high motivation and enthusiasm.

When the class started, after a month or two, my ego was down because my drawings appeared so clumsy to me. At school, whatever I tried to draw, it didn’t looks good, and I didn’t know why. So I started to procrastinate and remain in my comfort zone. Damn… There was a big gap between what to expect from a leisure stand point and professional one.


But then,
what refilled my motivation up was when I knew about some senior students from school had successful internship – even though they started from zero. I admire there work and the path they took. They did there internship for major brands such as Nike, LVMH, Adidas, Salomon… and so on… So I told myself: “If they can do it. I can do it too !” We are in the same school, we have the same teachers. We all have 10 fingers. So all I had to do is to forget about the myth of the innate talent. From this stand point, I couldn’t find any more excuses. I put my ego aside and learn how to sketch through experimentation and dare trying more the sketching course given by the teachers. But the lesson at school was not enough. I guess not enough hours of sketching per week, neither enough personal guidance. It’s a pity because the teachers was talented. I struggled to gather information from here and there.


What changed in me was not my skills, but belief.
In few words, even though my skills was very clumsy, to keep motivated I needed to define my compelling GOAL. I was ready to overcome the difficulties. Obstacles actually became challenges. When other students did homework for the sake of getting an average mark, I was doing experiment to learn even more and get closer to my goal. It was tough, I did a lot of mistakes but I improved. As long as you are better than yesterday, it’s fine. People around you realize that your progression has been massive. They will ask you, how do you do that ? You will say, I started to connect some dots drawing some straight lines without ruler. Haha, its easy ! They may say. But they have no ideas of all the tiny things  you accumulated to get where you are or will be.

One day, one of the successful student  came to me and told me he saw my work from  a teacher desk. He saw my name and told me he liked my designs saying that it pop out from the rest. OMG, I knew I was on that right track of momentum and I felt closer to my goal. So I aimed to build my portfolio and went to push some doors and get new opportunities. I couldn’t do alone without the support of my school*. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Know how to ask for help and support. I had the chance to study Fashion in Los Angeles (even if my English was super poor at that time), I was hired in a shoe company even though I was not graduated yet, I did an internship in Japan for car industry for Daihatsu (Toyota), joined the Adidas team in Germany, and travel in South East Asia for a Singaporean shoe brand. I didn’t plan all these things in advance. Some people may say it’s all about luck. But I have learned that Luck is a skill. If you want luck come to you, you need to provoke it. How to be lucky if you remain on a sofa all day long watching TV. So yeah, there is nothing better to feel alive than following our passion. Be a fighter !

*Special thanks to Mr Noury, Mme Leralu, Mme Prevotat, Mme Rochet, Mme Moreira who believed in me.

When you love something you become more excited but also more patient. 
e.g. By default, nobody like to do push up. But an American football player who does 100 push up every  training does not tell himself. “Damn this push up is boring and tiring. Why am I doing it” No. He just does it. Because he knows he needs it to perform and become a champion. He has his compelling goal. So he perform and keep progress.


What is your compelling goal ?

Ask yourself what is your goal. It has to be compelling. 🙂 If you dream of Designing the next rocket that goes to the moon, write it down. (Richard Branson dream is to send tourist in the space. And he’s seriously working on it)
Write it down and display it on the wall or your fridge. Somewhere you can see it everyday. But remember that the brain has the tendency to get used to things too long – so it may ignore it after a while.  Move it or rewrite it again ! Feel free to attach a compelling picture with it.

e.g:: A reader of the blog from India told me:
I want to be a Designer to make better products for disable people in my country. I do believe that his mission is engraved in his heart.
I want to join Nike ! And draw awesome fashion designs of sneakers for the best athlete in the world.
I want to create a better environment for our world and save it.
I want to create the next generation of IT products to help people connect better.

It is all about your own desire, passion. It may change along your journey. It means you will be evolving. But take the time to think about it. Or “the society” may do it for you and you may not end anywhere you would be happy with.


Hope this article is helpful.
Tell me what is your compelling goal – Why you want to become a designer ? :).

Facebook Comments

About The Author


If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.


  • It’s impressive that you are gettung thoughts from this article as weell as
    from our dialogue made at ths time.

  • Chou-Tac

    Reply Reply February 7, 2016

    Glad it helps Gustavo ! 🙂

  • Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful nformation specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info much.
    I was looking for this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you andd best off luck.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field