Hello ! It’s Chou-Tac,

It’s 5pm. I am writing to you from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
I landed in the country 7 days ago.

We have just found a cosy place to stay !
We started to moved in already.

Many things are still missing.
But I feel excited!

It is a new fresh start for the Design Sketchbook blog. 🙂
I am setting up our new sketching room! 

I will create happily plenty of new tutorials, articles and courses for you !

I am moving here in Vietnam with my dad.
We are doing a Dad & Son travel journey. : )

For the little story,
my parents and 2 eldest brothers used to live in Vietnam
40 years ago (before I was born).

My dad speaks Vietnamese. I can’t.

Since I am here for an undefined time,
I decided to start learning Vietnamese too!

It is no easy.

And I could find myself plenty of excuses
for not doing it like most expats here.

But I feel I should do it.

I could talk and learn from local culture so much more.
Vietnamese are very kind and supportive.

If you want to learn a language, learn playing piano,
guitar or practicing a martial art.

You need passion and patience to succeed.
And it is the same for drawing. 

It looks tough when we start something new.

But the good news is there is a first stepping stone
from where you’ll start an exponential growth.

But many will give up before reaching it. And regret years later.
The biggest reason of failure is from making Excuses.

My aim is to show you that EXCUSES are ILLUSIONS.
These illusions distract you from the succesful designer you want to be.

Let’s look at the most common excuses beginners do.

I have prepared some TIPS to help you
overcome them, stop procrastinating and start making your dream a reality. 🙂

late no time rushing
Running all day,

1. “I have No time”

We all have 24 hours a day.

Yet, some will succeed,
while others won’t allocate enough time for sketching.

Most will allocate none. Thinking they have more important things to do.
They will delay their dreams for the daily routine – so-called obligations task.
Running from a task to an other.

Have you ever said: “I don’t have time for sketching…” ?
If yes, I invite you to think about it twice.

Do you have no time, or don’t you create the time for it ?

To me, it doesn’t matter how busy we are.
It is about how much you want it.

If you meet your soul mate. You won’t tell him/her :
“Sorry, I am too busy. Maybe an other life ?”

No! You will for sure make time.
Why ? because it matter to you.

If you feel sketching, drawing is in your heart and soul,
you will make time to become a designer.

Remember, design sketching is not just a hobby.
But your life career.

TIP 1: Always bring a pen and paper with you.
Any waiting time is an opportunity to sketch something: Waiting for the dentist, taking the bus or subway, waiting to be served at the restaurant, the little break you have before kids come back from school…

TIP 2: Set up your priorities.
What is most important, a series of Netflix, or enjoying sketching ? Stop being a “zombie consumer” of content. I know how great are the series of Netflix. But if you have to become addict at something, become addict at creating your own stuff.

Make a list of all the task for doesn’t provide value during the week. It could help you better manage your time schedule.

TIP 3: Learn to say “NO”.
Your friends will ask you out,
your boss will ask you out,
your family will call you… Learn to say STOP !

Following your priorities, you got to learn thinking about you first. Better you can take care of yourself, better you’ll be able to be present for others. Your friends, boss, or family may see you lesser, but they will see you happier and more volunteer.

TIP 4: “Don’t disturb”
If you decide to allocate a proper time schedule for sketching.
Switch off your phone.
Tell you family to do not disturb you. This is YOUR TIME. 

i have no talent i am passionnately curious albert einstein.png

2. “I have no talent !”

This is a pretty common excuse from the mouth of an adult.
While a child would just draw and enjoy.

A child draws even if he doesn’t know how to write.
It’s a natural way of expression of human kind.

Then the school will teach how to write the alphabet,
how to make sentences correctly.

But nothing about drawing…

We are all educated with a literature and scientific orientation.
The artistic education remains unimportant and unknown from the mass.

No wonder we can’t draw !
(I started to learn sketching at 22 years old)

Remember, there is no innate talent.
Talent is a skill. Talent can be learnt.

Have you watched the movie Ratatouille ?
The movie conclude with: “Anyone can cook” (even a rat).

It doesn’t say “Everyone can cook”.
As not everyone as the willing to cook.
And most people won’t do what it takes to succeed. 

The success can come from anywhere.

No matter if you are rich, poor, educated, shy, young, old…
if you want to succeed, you can make it happened.

Your passion, curiosity, work are the keys to succeed.
These are what you can control.

TIP: Be more dedicated than average.
If you are passionate and put on the work,
it will be easy to be part of the top 10%.

If you succeed to learn how to write, you’ll succeed to learn how to draw.
There is techniques for that.
And most are very simple when they are learned step-by-step.

Confidence helping each other.png

3. “I am not confident !”

Of course you are not. You are a beginner. So relax ! : )

I was talking about Confidence from beginners in Art & Design with my friend.
Her cousin seams having no ambition in life.
But still wonder if she wanna enroll a design school.

She hesitates as she may fail.

She says that the reason of the failure
may come from being spoilt by her parents.
Maybe. But there is also poor students
who find the way to sabotage themselves too.

I do believe that anyone who start something new that matter will feel intimidated. And if you lack of confidence, I want you to know it is ok.

My friend mentioned that confidence come with skills.
I agree with her. But it sounds like a snake biting its tail.

If I am no confident, how will I gain the skills to become confident ? : /

To me, we can build the confidence by showing you a Hint of Potential!

For example, I want to dive with the dolphins.
But I can’t swim. I am scared.
That’s ok.

Instead of throwing you in the water,
I will start showing you that water is a safe environment.

So you won’t sink, and float as soon as you inhale air in your lungs.
Breath, relax and let yourself float like a balloon. Here we are !

Water is no more a hostile environment.
But a place that support you.

Now you can start your first swimming move.
You don’t know how to swim well yet.
But now, you can vissualise your future progress. 
Soon, you’ll be ready to swim like the dolphins. : P

What matter as a beginner is not your actual skills, but the vision.
Remember, the first steps in design sketching are the most important !

This is where most give up. Make sure you overcome that stage. If you have any doubt or question, feel free to share them with me by email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com or leave a comment below the publication :).

TIP 1: Receive your copy of the Designer Starter Kit.

If you haven’t done yet,
I invite you to receive your copy of the Designer Starter Kit I created for beginners.

You will make your first steps in design hand sketching !
Soon you will receive your design Cube challenge by email to level up !

That will be a great start for you to show you
in few weeks how you make tremendous progress with the right method.

TIP 2: Follow the beautiful light that shine above you.

That shine is the little star you should follow with faith.
The journey won’t be all smooth,
but you have the ability to adapt and keep going.

When we have no confidence, we think small.
I invite you to dare to dream big !
Target the moon, and you’ll land in the stars. 🙂

Basically, when you dream big, you make big actions.
“More you’ll put on the work, more you’ll realise you’ll become lucky.”

Have you notice that these 3 excuses focus on “Not having” ?

While the success attitude focus on your strength and what you want.

Twist that mindset, and you’ll wake up every morning with a new and fresh mindset !

That’s it for today !

I will soon send you the Part 2 of : “Are you making these excuses to procrastinate ?”
Let me know what’s excuses you may have by email or comment below !


1 comment

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  • · I have not where to sketch, my space, nor ‘relax location’ with not disturbing or distracting elements.

    · Tools for that, like new pencils or none pens.

    · Deliberated time, I mean, how much time I want to dedicate to it: if I have two hours just to learn how to sketch, practice, or just sketching something (with not disturbs around), and just two hours, no more because my agenda BUT I WANT to finish my sketching, I’m inspired and I have not finished yet my stuff but I must to go out or change the task for the next one on my agenda. I really want these “5 minutes” as some say in the morning when they get up from the bed. $; And don’t want to pause it but keep it flowing