8 Ways to Build your Confidence as an Industrial Designer

Hey guys!!

Today, I am pretty excited to share with you something only a few know about.

The topic of the day is something that matter more than anything to succeed:
It’s “How to build your self-confidence”.

We often hear about self-made success in the business world who succeeded from scratch and their sweat. They are seen like heroes!

But in the domain of art and creation – we think their success is due to their (magic) innate talent.

FALSE! Success in sketching is about Passion and Dedication. 

Let me share with you 8 ways I hope will make you stronger so you will achieve more everyday. I’ll show you that you can keep pushing your limits yet confident and being happy! 


Keep pushing your limits with passion makes you confident happy

1. Learn from the beginning

At start, we often try to copy others and sometime, what you draw looks good! That’s great! However, when you draw your own sketches, it suddenly looks like crap. So your confidence get super low. Your may fall in the trap of copying others – giving you the illusion of having skills. 

It’s a natural phenomenon of beginners that I went through myself when I started. Reproducing a drawing is so much easier than creating something new. As a designer, you can’t only copy existing things, but create your own.

All you need is to get started learning your fundamentals of perspective and seeing things in transparency. This is where you can start building your first volumes – you will start to visualise and draw them in multiple angles!

In few words, to increase your confidence don’t burn the steps. You may get lost at trying to get “random shortcut”. Start from the basics, and soon you will draw your own creation!

2. Level up your body posture!

As a designer you will travel the world taking inspiration from new cultures but also visiting factories and suppliers.

However, you might spend most of your time sitting behind your desk drawing with your graphic tablet pen, markers and paper.

After a while, your session of drawing will bring you into a bubble of creativity – where there is “only you in the world”. You will be so absorbed that nothing can disturb you. Exect one thing: your body fatigue.

The common mistake at drawing is to forget about your body posture. If you want to last long and in good health, you got to draw with the right posture. So your body won’t surrender before your brain creativity.

QUICK TIP: Feel free to take some quick break of stretching! And when you do it, adjust your posture like you are Superman! And walk few steps!

Haha it’s a pretty fun exercise to do.

You will see that this will instantaneously make you feel stronger and confident! You would be surprised how much your posture affect your mindset.

I invite you to make a quick try by literary Smiling. Smile, and your brain get a quick shoot of positivity. Mimic a sad face, and your mind will do so. You can basically control your feelings from your face expression. (Discovery from Charles Darwin in 1872).

3. Focus on One thing

I realise that I can’t multi task. I can’t have multiple project in my mind that are farfetched from each other.

If you want to succeed at something, focus on one thing only. This is how you get exponential growth. Create an obsession toward it, and you’ll build a strong desire toward progress.

In case you tend to give yourself a lot of projects, ask yourself if you are not actually procrastinating. Don’t fall in: “Ho I have so many project, I am so busy that I can’t handle anything anymore!”.

Focus on one thing and start learning by making baby steps. Soon, you will be able to walk, run and jump! It’s a great feel of progress you’ll get, and I can tell you it’s pretty addictive – soon your ascension will be exponential.

4. Don’t worry, be happy!

You may think that to succeed you got to be serious and give hard work. Of course, it’s true! There is no magic wand! We got to sweat and make some sacrifice to excel in your passion. But it doesn’t have to full of pain. You can work and study with pleasure and happiness.

To do so, you got to forget about your years of school of assessment. Remember?  Whenever you did wrong, you lost a point and it was a bad thing. Education is to me not about earning or losing points. Some will be slower than others to grow, it doesn’t matter.

If you study with good method and passion, you will succeed anyway.

Once again, your design journey won’t be like taking the bad path or the good path. It’s a single path with up and down. It’s like the rhythm of your  heartbeat. As soon as you consider your down moment as a natural phenomenon, you’ll relax – and keep going with more confidence.

5. Visualise your goals

If you fall in a boring routine, and feel you are slowing down, it’s maybe because you have lost focus. To “fix” your motivation, there is nothing better than revisualising your goals to give you an instant boost!

After a long period of procrastination, quickly review what you did during the past months. Sometime, it’s pretty scary how time flies so fast, and you realise how much you can waste time in futilities. You realise that you are so far behind from your initial expectation. Get a good sense of timing, and “shake” yourself when needed, and revive the dream you are pursuing. As your dream is the most important thing you need to take care of.

6. Embrace positivity

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching cartoons, however I was told that succesful people should be watching news on TV. It would give me a good culture of the surrounding world.

But today, I disagree with it. I even decided to make a diet of information and filter them.

We are everyday bombarded from TV, newspaper of bad news that affect our positivity. I consider them as interferences, noises.

This is why I don’t have any TV at home. I don’t think that the selection of info given on TV is beneficial to my progress and positivity.

I choose the sources where I get information from – the day something huge is happening, I am pretty sure, one of my friend or relative or else will inform me about it.

I enjoy buying books, and always keep training to improve my skills. So I can spot and target specific points and also fix my weakness. I make sure to feed myself of info that I love and help me rise.

Some people (falling in the comfort zone) stop training or elevating themselves since they got a degree. To me, as a designer, it is a life long learning journey and discoveries. 

Loving what you do as a living gives you wings to reach higher mountains of success! And gives you a meaning to wake up every morning happy ! 🙂

7. Resting days

Take a break to relax your mind.

As well as during a training workout, you got to rest so your muscle to let your body repair your muscle fibres and get stronger.

Stop sketching once in a while to let your brain fix the information you’ve learned. You would be surprised how your level can increase suddenly. “Oh, I didn’t know I mastered that!”

8. Find passionate friends like you

Always remember that you are not alone.

There is thousand people like you who want to improve as well. If you already enrolled in a Design School, ask for support from your teachers ut also your pairs!

If you wanna build and challenge your confidence – don’t ask : “How good is my work?” instead ask : “How can I improve my work?”

Soon you will be used to overcome your challenges and enjoy getting positive critics.

Hope it’s helpful and will guide you all along as it does for me.



I wanna share with you I am preparing the launch of the course “Sketch like the Pros”! A design sketching course for aspiring designers and professionals who wanna improve their skills. I am still making some preparation, and it’s gonna be ready soon!

Make sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t yet, and I ‘ll let you know more about it :). Feel free to send me your question if you have any at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com.

I invite you to see the articles and interviews from inspiring students of the course:

Amy Riches: passionate in Design sketching

Huang Li Chung: majored in Civil engineering and today Graphic designer

Leonardo Peñaranda: 3D modeller for video games

Lucas Hyppolite: the youngest student of the course!

Have a wonderful day!!


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About The Author


Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

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