The 9 benefits of the 1 minute Sketching Challenge


I invite you to play at the new challenge I call The 1 Minute Sketching Challenge! 
It’s fun to sketch. I have just tried today and I can already see how it will help me improve my skills.

I warmly invite you to make a try. Post your sketches on Instagram and tag me @thedesignsketchbook #1minutesketchingchallenge! 

The rule is simple.

Take a piece of paper, and sketch something in 1 minute!
That’s all!

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook a

9 x 1-minute sketching challenge 🙂


I started to cut some A5 format paper – just by dividing A4 paper by 4.
To me, it’s a perfect format to take notes and doodle.

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook n.jpg

Cutting A4 paper in A5 format

It’s up to you to draw with reference picture or not – with ideas in mind or not – with multiple angles or not – existing thing or not… It’s flexible.

Pen recommendation

For this exercise, use a pen with low pen pressure, and that gives bold lines.
Below is the pen I have:

  • the ZIG Clean color f from KURETAKE
  • the UNI-BALL Ultrafine 0.38 | UM-151 Black from MITSHUBISHI
Test pen gel pen uni ball UM-151 blackMitsubishi Kuretake ZIG clean color f.jpg

Use a pen with “bold ink” and low pen pressure sensitivity.

Note: Any gel pen will do. They give smooth and contrasting lines.

9 benefits of the sketching challenge

  • 1 Think Fast
  • 2 Draw from memory
  • 3 Reveal your sketching weakness
  • 4 Get rid of perfection tendency
  • 5 Discover new shapes
  • 6 Kill time
  • 7 Increase in productivity
  • 8 Get relax about failure
  • 9 Have fun!

This challenge pushes you to:


Get ideas fast and gather new forms instantaneously. Train your neurons at getting the connection of ideas faster.

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook d

Mini (Ear)phone – Sony


You do not have much time to look at reference pictures. If you do, you need to “snapshot” what you see as fast as you can.
It’s a technique I use when I sketch while watching a movie without pressing “pause” (Sketch thinking like Google)

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook j



If you are making mistakes you usually do not do. It may mean you did not integrate a certain technique deeply. You’ll know you can work more on this point till you apply it intuitively. 

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook h

Cozy chair


No time for hesitation. Just draw!

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook b



Do you know about the Happy accident? That exercise is great for provoking them!

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook k

Men shaver


Play at this game anywhere anytime. When you take the subway for let’s say about 20 minutes. You basically have time to come out with 20 of them! After a while, scan and gather them on a board with a nice composition.  You will add hundreds of sketches in your portfolio. 

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook f

Speaker Samsung


As a designer, you have to jump from an idea to another fast. It’s not really good to spend too much time on one idea during the initial stage of a project. You rather multiply your ideas, then later on make a selection of the top one.
Spend more time on ideas that deserve to be pushed forward.


A sketch fail? It’s ok, let’s go to the next one!

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook i

Car gearbox


At school, sketching becomes homework. At work, it becomes work. Haha.
Don’t forget to have fun!

1 minute challenge design sketching the design sketchbook

Soap container

Gentle warning:

If you really want to draw faster,
Don’t try to accelerate your hand movement, at least not at the start. Work on how you can think faster and drop your ideas earlier. Think like a chess player. 

Sketching with super fast movement is actually bad if you take it as a long term habit. There is an equal pleasure to draw slow as drawing fast. It’s just a different mindset. Mix both!

To get dynamic lines, you do NOT have to draw with a fast movement of hand/arm. As long as your movement is regular, it’s fine. 

If you really want to improve your drawing speed, take your time at practice with focus. So you will deeply understand the concept, the techniques. Drawing slow is a good way to keep your concentration high for long drawing sessions.

Play with multiple players!

If you want to play with your friend, give you a “random theme”. Each of you says one word, combine them and you have your sketching subject!

Robert says: Rabbit
Sandra says: Mug
Here we go! You guys have to draw anything related to Rabbit – Mug!

I actually used to play at this game when I was a student with my friend and artist David Vong. We did that online through Skype sessions.

Feel free to post your 1-minute challenge in pictures or videos and tag me on Instagram! @thedesignsketchbook  #1minutesketchingchallenge

About The Author


Hello! 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 is to help you all along with your design projects and journey! Leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at : ) Chou-Tac


  • Jasmine

    Reply Reply June 2, 2017

    This seems like a fun challenge. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Chou-Tac

    Reply Reply March 17, 2016


    Keep these 3 sketches.

    Carry on learning and after while look back and you laugh at them even more. Best of it you will see how you got improved. 🙂


  • Yostina

    Reply Reply March 16, 2016

    I love this challenge 🙂 I did it three times and everytime I got weird looking shapes hahah.

    Thanks 🙂

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field