How to turn a Passion for ‘Product Design Sketching’ into a career

I’m from France, and you?
My name is Chou-Tac and I love Product Design Sketching.

Chou-Tac Chung drawing on Wacom tablet
Chou-Tac Chung drawing on Wacom tablet

As a kid, I loved sketching daily at school, at home, and with friends during the school break. We were inspired by the world of animated cartoons (Dragon Ball Z, Super Mario Bros, The Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Disney…).

I collected the Panini stickers, recorded the cartoons on TV, pressed pause, and drew.

When I grew up, I stopped drawing for years and turned, “naturally”, to focus my studies on the classics of Business and Information technology. I was not really happy until my 23 years old, I decided to follow my initial passion for drawing and do what it takes to become an Industrial Designer.

How about your inspirations?
Feel free to comment below. I’m curious to know more about you. 🙂

Follow your Creative path

I decided to focus my early studies at university on marketing and multimedia. However, while sales, marketing, and analysis are all useful skills, they all serve to sell another person’s product/creation.

I realized that I didn’t want to sell a finished product; I wanted to create my own instead. It was then that I decided to learn about design and acquire strong sketching skills to communicate my ideas.

I told myself:

  • Stop studying topics that do not matter to me!
  • Learn design sketching and creativity
  • So I can follow my childhood passion as a living: Drawing.

Work with Product Design Sketching skills all around the world!

Your design sketching skills are your passport for working all over the world.
Your visual communication skills are a universal language. 🙂

Whether in the context of studies, an internship, or a career, your best drawings can be a precious password; a sort of “open sesame” that unlocks foreign cultures and opens your life to positive experiences. In my case, this happened when I decided to travel.

“Open your life to positive experiences”

FRANCE: While in my 4th year at Créapôle-ESDI a Parisian product design school, I discovered the school’s foreign exchange program.

LOS ANGELES: From there I departed for Hollywood, where I swapped my summer vacation for a renowned fashion school: the Fashion Institute of Design and Management, also called FIDM, in Los Angeles.

JAPAN: After that, I traveled to Japan for an internship with Daihatsu (Toyota group), where I dreamed up the cars of tomorrow. I was actually in an internship in Paris for Airness, which let me fly to Japan and come back fresh with more experience!

GERMANY: After graduation, next was Germany, at Herzogenaurach where I entered the world of sneakers while working in the design department of Adidas Performance.

CHINA / SINGAPORE: I then carry on traveling to China and Singapore working for a famous Singaporean shoe brand Charles & Keith.

“Do what is important to you.”

Create your Industrial design career opportunities

I’ve been lucky, but I’ve also done everything possible to create the favorable conditions that allowed for these privileged experiences.

I like this quote: “Luck is a skill”. If you want to attract luck, put in the work towards realizing your passion.

Drawing on Digital tablet (Samsung)

For instance, while simultaneously completing my studies (and the tons of coursework they required), I trained myself in the intricacies of shoe design in order to prepare a substantial personal portfolio.

At that point I traveled to Singapore and China, joining Charles & Keith* here I work on the designs of shoes worn by thousands of women across the globe.
* Partly owned by French luxury Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH)

I applied and I took the initiative to create a special collection of shoes for them to show them my passion, creativity, and skills.

Draw anytime, anywhere, anything!

Drawing product design daily becomes your lifestyle.

It is while sitting in some café, scribbling in a sketchbook,
or on the back of a receipt that my best ideas begin.

What these ideas have in common is their start in this sort of sudden improvisation.

Product design sketching in the streets

“Together we can make progress and take steps forward.”

I’ve been traveling for nearly the last seven years with my portfolio under my arm like a second passport.

If the artistic 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 art is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.

The internet is an ideal platform for both you and me,
where together we can make progress and take steps forward from learning to sketch online.

If you have any questions to ask me, feel free to tell me in the comments. 🙂


PS: By the way, if you are a beginner in design sketching,
and want to make your first steps, I created the Designer Starter Kit. 

Let me know your email below and I will send it to you!
We will also keep in touch on the daily drawing tutorials and articles for you to keep making progress:


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  • Hi Chou-tac, nice videos and website. Cheerful and well explained. I registered to receive the free book but never received anything!?
    Keep on I follow you on YouTube

  • Hi chan. My name is Vinícius Arduino, from Brazil.
    I’m a worldskills competitor, do you know? is the biggest professional education competition in the world!
    I was national runner-up in Construction in Masonry and I am currently representing my state in the area of ​​industrial design. I’m getting ready for tryouts to compete against the best in the world!
    I loved your page and its contents, I would like to know when you will release some of your courses, because I can’t access the link above.

    • Hi Vinicius, thank you for sharing about Worldskills. I saw their section about Industrial design, and have so many more fascinating fields covered. That is inspiring. 🙂
      I do not know much about Worldskills, and I think it could interest many more people. Would you be ok if I send you some questions, we could publish your responses on the blog?

      About the course, I haven’t set a date yet.
      Which link do you refer to?


  • Hi there,

    This is Summer from the XP-Pen team, I am reaching out for a cooperation chance.
    Please allow me to introduce a little bit. XP-PEN is one of the top drawing tablet brands, with more than 15 years of history.
    Here is the link to our website:

    Knowing you are focusing on art here, we would like to invite you to have a try our news tablet like the Artist 22nd Gen
    or the Deco Fun that’s been released recently, we believe the performance won’t let you down.
    If you have any other creative ideas about the cooperation, feel free to let me know.

    Any response would be highly appreciated, thanks.

  • Hi Chou
    Great page, congrats. Im an industrial designer from Brazil and design curator online since 2009. I added your page to my Design Sketching page, I hope it is help to share the word.

    Kind regards, good luck!

    • My name is Herman I’m for Washington, DC. The reason why im learning how to s ketch (again) because I love to draw ever since I was a kid and I lost my drawing Mojo as I got older(43). I’m trying to get that back.

  • How do you draw a handle for a cup? I’ve seen someone do it by dividing it into small consecutive boxes, but when I try it myself, the results is no good. Please help.

  • HI Chou-tac

    Is your course appropriate for interior designer? I need to learn how to draw rooms and internal finishes and furniture.



  • Hi Chou-Tac,

    In regards with the ‘Sketch like the pros’, the self-study which you are offering, I have few questions. How can i reach you via email? or a Skype chat? My email is … Looking forward for your reply, as am looking to buy the self-study.

  • Hello ,
    Will you open course again(Sketch Like Pros) or how can I buy Sketch like the Pros 2017? I am Industrial design student but I have problems with sketch.

    • Hello Orkhon,

      I am thinking about it actually as there will be students that will be back to school. 🙂

      I may reopen in the coming weeks !

      Let’s keep in touch about it, so I can give you the confirmation an all details on this.

      If you have any question, let me know. Ok ?

      See you !


  • Hey Chou-Tac,

    I was just wondering when is your next course sign up date? I don’t want to miss it.


  • Hi Chou, I am a Graphic Design student and I wish to improve upon my sketching. I only recently stumbled upon your website, and I am trying to download your free guide, but I am not receiving the email. Also, when would be your next beginners class for which I could enrol? Thank you 🙂

  • Hii chou tac.. i like your blog. and iam very enjoy with that..

    greeting from indonesia 🙂

  • Hi Chou, thanks for the hint you gave me with the 4 lessons books, great. I would like to keep going with your lesson, there’s a way to get/buy others chapters of your guide? Thanks a lot

    • Hello Matteo,

      How are you doing ?

      There is no more chapter for the Designer Starter Kit guides. Maybe yes in future? I will think about it 🙂

      Currently, I have opened the registration to my Premium Class Membership. It’s a Private group where you receive new courses and design sketching projects monthly.
      To progress faster and keep up your motivation, you post your sketches in the group – so you’ll receive feedbacks from myself and the other students as well.

      There is different levels in the group, from beginner to senior, so it offers great interaction between members where all can learn from each other. 😀 It’s a place where students care each other and learn with fun and confidence.

      Is it something that may interest you ?
      If yes, let me know and I will send you the registration form. 🙂


      PS: All new members with beginner level start with a beginner Pack !

  • Mate, You’re insights to sketching are an inspiration, thanks a million.
    User insights are a very important part of the design process, can you walk us through your though process when banging out ideation sketches.

  • I am a Mechanical engineer I want pursue my career as product designer I have been following steps of basic sketching less of practice but somehow unable to gain confidence in my sketching and main problem arises when I am trying pen down my ideas of solution in from of product that is in my mind most frustrating part when I am unable to draw that .

  • Hi Chou Tac, great blog! I’ve been a regular visitor for a while.

    I just need a quick piece of advice. I am preparing my footwear design portfolio to apply for an internship in a specific brand and I am wondering if the projects I will include should show other brands (for example, if I were to apply to New Balance, should I include a project for a Nike shoe among other brands?).

    I believe that designing for a certain brand influences the silhouette, materials and overall attitude of the shoe, and showing that you take those things into account can tell a lot about the designer behind that portfolio. The alternative of designing brand-less sneakers and specific sports footwear doesn’t sound as attractive to put in a portfolio, but the option is there.

    Can you shed any light over this subject? Thanks a lot for your work and concern about all our coments.

    • Hey Al,

      No problem having competitor’s brands in your portfolio.
      If some more you can tell your thinking of each brands’ specificity, it will be very very welcome!

      Remember that: when you present your project, you got to tell a story. Don’t create a shoe just for the aesthetic, but your STORY. This is what will justify your lines, material, functions, innovation…

      TIP: Don’t be afraid of pushing the limits of the possible in your portfolio. It’s always good to have some “extreme” design and research to show. In real life, there is always room for making a creative project more down to earth along the project. The opposite way is much tougher. Let me know if I am not clear.

      Once again, during the interview, your story will be as important as your design. 🙂

      All the best for your interview, let me know how things going! You can drop me an email anytime. :).


  • Hi Chou!

    I’m really passionate about design sketching and your work is so inspiring. I love your fast and fearless drawing style, and your tutorials have really improved my sketching confidence.

    I study Creative Product Design and will be graduating next year, so I need to start planning where I can apply for a design job. Some of the local companies I have looked at seem to work on CAD software all day long, with very little emphasis placed on sketching. I want to work for a company that utilises design sketching, and doesn’t just rely on computers. Are there any design sectors that you recommend where sketching is a must? i.e. toy design, footwear, home and domestic products, general consultancy/agency.



    • Hello Joseph,

      Using more or less sketching and Cad software is specific to every company and job scope that will be given to you.

      Till today, I had the chance to join a variety of companies (from different fields) where communicating through sketching was important. Sketching is a must for most of companies for a creative position.

      I would recommend you to choose a company according to your interest, and the philosophy. Then, double check about the process, your job scope and show how much you believe sketching is important.

      TIP: look in to some portfolio of designers who work in your targeted company or sector. So you could get an “insider” view.

      Hope it helps!


  • Hello! I really love your tips. I was just wondering how I can apply to your Sketch like the Pros course and how much is the cost. Pls update me. Thanks!

  • Hi Chou-Tac, do you have any tips for sketching cubes and other shapes with rounded corners (like ipod shape or rounded dice) in proper perspective? I find it difficult to get the curvature of the corners right, they always look distorted. 🙁

  • Hey man,

    I am following your Blog a couple weeks now and I spend 4hours a week in order to improve my skills based on your tips. The way I did it is to go to the last page of “learn a tip a day” and move my way to the present. when you changed that part of the website to the new design I used the list of articles since that was the only one organized that way. Now I find that even the list lost this structure.
    I find this highly inconvenient. How do you recommend going through your list assuming, that I want to build it up day by day?

    Maybe I am missing something here.
    Appreciate your help.

  • Dear Chou-Tac,

    Thank you for the design sketchbook it has helped me a lot! I’m trying to get better and i’m still at the beginning but I’ve been practising straight lines for a while now and I still get the same problem: The line I trace connects the two dots but it is slightly curved. my arm isn’t touching the table and I try to draw as straight as I can but I often get this result. Do you have any tips or tricks to try and draw better?
    Thank you,

  • Hi,

    I like your blog, and your approach to guidance. Thank you!

    Can you tell me, or point me to the answer to the following question:

    How do I draw a box that is 19.5″ wide by 6″ tall, on a canvas that is 22″ wide by 8″ tall?

    It seems like it should be simple, but I can’t find the answer anywhere.


    Peter Crowell

  • Thank you Chou-Tac for putting together all of this informative and useful content! I am a novice and am still practicing the exercises in your four guides. Though I have been spending a lot of time practicing, I unfortunately have not made great progress with my technique.

    A friend tole me that there might be a problem with my mechanics. I tried to follow your instructions of sitting up straight, ghost drawing and using my entire shoulder and arm when sketching. However, I am not sure I am doing it correctly.

    For a future video tip, would you consider pointing the camera at YOU while you are sketching so I can see precisely what you mean by drawing with your shoulder and turning the page, etc.? In the meantime I will keep practicing and hopefully get better and not develop any bad habits!

    • Hello Jenn,

      When you draw, do not think too much about your arm or shoulder. Make sure elbow is free and your arm is relax. Then focus on your line.

      I guess you are trying to do so well that your movement doesn’t look natural anymore hehe.

      Make a try 🙂


      PS: I take note about the video. 😉

  • Hey chou,

    Your beginners course is really a great news! Ive already sign up for the waiting list. Hope this course can really get me back to track! My problem is that im losing the habit of sketching everyday especially when our semestral break in college is over.

    Usually when i try to sketch im focused in trying to get a good quality sketch, that i spend more than an hour trying to get that kind of quality that it gets frustrating everyday to the point that i will stop sketching for weeks and up to months.

    Do you think sketching for maybe 15mins a day even though its really ugly will create a habit in me?

    Looking forward in your course! Really excited to be in that class. Cant wait for november 4 to register!



    • Hello Rogelio,

      I see what you mean. Spending loooong time on one sketch at changing the details and sometime trying to “save it”. We have all been through that, and I still do sometime :).

      Let me share with you few tricks that may help you for your daily habit.

      1- In design sketching, there is a good habit to take is to do many rough sketches first.
      Then you select one or few that you feel deserve going further.

      2- An other trick is to do not spend long time on details as long as you dont have a general shape or idea.

      3- Then an other habit is to stop thinking that our sketches are valuable. Sketch for experimenting and do research instead of making a piece of art. It’s a mindset change that will help you be more productive as a Designer during your phase of research.
      Then only when you got something you like, you can afford more time at the phase of presentation.
      Design is about creating by iteration.

      Hope it helps !

  • Hi Chou,
    I think you are doing exceptional work here with the blog to help people get into design.I tried registering for the Sketch Drive waitlist but it gives me an error 404 when the enter my email. PLease help


    • Hello Zaid,

      I have just forward your message to the technical team. We’ll try to see how to solve this.

      Thank you for your patience. Feel free to try again though. 🙂


  • Dear Chou-Tac,

    I love what you do and appreciate so much that you share it for others to learn from.

    I’m an Industrial Deign student and heading towards my Final Project. Do you have any tips for me? I don’t have a clear direction yet. What’s the smartest thing to do when choosing what your project will be about? I’m anxious and would love to hear some advice.

    Thank you so much!

  • Hey Chou!

    I really love your Website!
    I’m an Industrial Designer from Austria Graz.
    Me and two friends are going to run a Website that’s also (Industrial) design related.
    Please contact me.

    Cheers Nils

  • Hey Chou,

    Great website, good tips on sketching. i am a product designer myself and i find these really useful.

    i had a question for you. Can you tell us the importance of knowing/learning human anatomy(figure drawing, anatomy, dynamic poses etc..) sketching as a product designer? will it help in designing better products? if yes, then how & where to begin.

    Thank you

    • Hello Samarth,

      You have a great question as many student designer neglect this. To me, as a product designer, basic anatomy is good enough. You don’t have to study every single muscle, however, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the skeleton and joints to draw human poses.

      1- Show the scaling and proportion of a vehicle, house, furnitures… compared to the user.
      eg. If you draw a user with abnormal short legs, you may draw an abnormal motorbike ahah.

      2- Showing some scenarios of product usage.
      Many students draw a product only. They never showcase it in its environment. You could even prepare a story board. If you do that, your clients will love it !

      3- Give life to your product !
      eg: Imagine drawing a slide without kids playing on it. Pretty sad right ? Weither you draw architecture, cars, products… try to include people in your research and presentation boards.

      Bonus1: If you want to study further such as dynamic poses, it’s all beneficial – especially if you design sports goods for example.
      A good way to start simple is to draw people with sticks. 🙂

      Bonus2: You can cheat using photography. Take some pictures, and import them in Illustrator where you can draw some silhouette.
      Eg: A project I did when I was student where you can see some white silhouette.


  • hey Chou, your knowledge and experience when it comes to a designer’s life is great so i thought you’d be the best to answer my question. I didnt get into the design school i wanted to, so i’m planning to take a gap year to enhance my drawing skills and portfolio and try again. to make the best use of my year towards my design future, what do you suggest i do ?

    • Hello Adwait,

      Please let me reformulate to make sure I understand.
      Do you mean you applied for a school, and they unfortunately didn’t accept your application? (+ you don’t want to consider any other ?). So you aim to improve your skills for a year by yourself, and reapply again.

      If yes, the first thing I would try to know is WHY they didn’t accepted your candidature (Sketching ? Motivation? Creativity?…who knows ?). Different schools have different criteria.

      One of my friend has been first rejected from London College of Fashion. They told her to improve her drawing skills from live drawing. (Like many fashion students, she learned drawing models with a “2D technique”. Somehow closer to illustration – but that school promote a more “3D technique”, I would say closer to animation). The she took some Live drawing courses, and started to better understand how clothes react on body curves. She came back, reapply and was admitted (without waiting an extra year).

      To get a chance to save a year, show them how motivated you are. Knock there door. Ask why, see what you can improve and reapply asap if you can. If you can’t, still apply ahah ! Sometime daring make you pop out from the crowd. And it cost nothing to try.

      Hope it helps, and let’s keep in touch.

      • Hey Chou, As you advised I talked to the authorities of the college where i was rejected. Their student entry is based on the marks obtained during the Design Aptitude test the college conducted earlier this year and that i hadnt scored the cut-off.(I got a 37.5 wherein I needed atleast 45). Thats the most help they could do . Its more of self analysis i guess, and i guess its upto me. They also dont accept anymore applications untill next year.
        Thanks for your time in trying to help me out, now I’m ever determined to make it into that college.

  • Dear Chung, I’ve been searching for a website, a book that can help me better understand the sketching techniques in product design, now after several years I found it! Thank you very much for the time and effort you put to help someone like me realize his dream.

    Best wishes.

    • Your words are very touching.

      I am always glad to discover that the blog and the Designer Starter Kit give value to you guys.
      Thank you Alzaidan.

  • Hey Chou,
    thank you for sharing your great experiences and your artworks with us…
    I am so into digital designing and using technologies alongside my experiences. .. I just wanted to ask you about a good graphic tablet which can be great as a traditional sketchbook (is there any? Lol) Tnx for all of this blog and your very great support on ur blog 🙂

    • Hello Aleemir,

      There is multiple criteria to choose a tablet. It mostly depends of portability, budget and wether you want to use Adobe software or not.

      I recommend Wacom brand for the tablet. You can’t go wrong (Except for the Cintiq Companion that I do not recommend: Heavy, expensive, pen precision average at the edges of the screen, length of batteries limited).

      If you have:
      – Small budget: Wacom Intuos
      – Medium budget: the screen tablet medium size. I tell you more it here. Not easy to get ! To me the perfect size is 15″. I am not fan of smaller size.
      – Big budget: The Cintiq 22″ (24″ is too big and you can’t rotate the screen)

      If you look for portability like a sketchbook:
      – NO Ipad. The palm keep touching the screen. The software that allow the palm recognition are not that performant. Plus I havn’t found yet a pen that gives me full satisfaction. Some people do great stuff with Ipad, but honestly, good luck ! 🙂
      -Samsung Pro Note 12.2 gives great results with Sketchbook Pro (many product designers love that software, including me) But, the system is Android, so you won’t find Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator on it. Note that the pen is ultra thin and the screen a bit small. Ok for portability anyway. Not that comfortable. But it’s ok. More info here:
      – You could consider Windows surface, but I havn’t try it for drawing. So I can’t tell much. The pen is less sensitive, but the TRUE test is not the number of sensitivity, It’s to test by yourself. Low sensitivity may be enough, especially for a beginner. Before buying, make sure that the pen won’t lag if you open a big file on Photoshop.

      Hope it helps !

  • Hello Chou i suscribe to design sketchbook last year but for some reason guide 2, 3, 4 won’t load. I’ve try to open them in different browsers and on different network please let me know what i can do to fix the problem.

    • Hello Daniel,

      I guess something wrong happened during the download. I have just tested the link, it’s working well. I invite you to download again the eBook. Check your email, I send it to you.

      Let me know when you have it. 😉

    • Hi Deepak,

      Oh that’s a very annoying situation. Thank you for letting me know.
      I have opened the email and checked the link. It’s the same as the one I send to other subscribers. I guess, something wrong happened during the transfer or there is a software compatibility issue. Do you mind download it again ? Best is if you try with an other computer.

      Let me know how it goes.