YOUR DESIGN COACH

Chou-Tac

Your Messages & Questions

I‘m from China,I am a student majoring in industrial design...
I'm from cameroon and i built houses...
I am from Algeria , I am first year industrial design student...
Minimalism is simple but often not easy to find the right curve or line. That is the beaut...
Hi Nicolas, You don't need to change any of your cables. You just need to buy a travel ad...
As another artist travelling US to france with a fat cintiq, a simple question: how did yo...
Like minimalism designs in my crafts...
sadhique from kerala, india...
Hi Mikhael, How are you doing? Thank you! The cover changed, but the guide remains the s...
Hello Rabia, Glad you are looking for sketching improvement besides your school :)...
Hi Marion, I made a beginner introduction to start drawing from imagination. It will help...
Hi Roy, You are starting an amazing journey! Congrats!...
I am Ajayce Roy From India Right now I am looking forward to study product design....
I love sketching but I would like to have more use of my imagination...
ı want to learn draw,ı am a student...
I see a new cover, then I'm curious to download it again, because the book is very solid a...
Hi Dalila, After you go through the Designer Starter Kit, I invite you to try this tutor...
Ola Ruben, If you want to receive the designer starter kit in Spanish, please send me an...
Hi James! Lack of patience is a double-sword quality! I am glad it brings you here. :)...
Hi Julius, awesome! Hope you will find valuable tips and techniques in the blog....
From Rwanda, looking forward to becoming an industrial designer...
USA. Art has always been in my life is various mediums. MY LACK OF PATIENCE seems to bring...
Hola, soy de México, me inspira mucho tu forma de enseñar a dibujar, tus videos y la inf...
I am from Algeria. Want to get better at sketching objects...
Want to get better at sketching objects...
Hi-I'm Terri. I want to learn to draw...
My pleasure Marcos. Estoy feliz para ayudar te a dibujar mejor cada dia. Hope my Spanish...
Superbe Shammi, Glad you are back in track for sketching :) Bravo!!...
My pleasure Sven, I hope you find helpful content for your drawing journey! Cheers, Chou-T...
Hello Eliss, Glad you love drawing and spend time to learn. Awesome! You are gonna do gre...
Hi Estelle, I am glad you enjoy the blog, and that it helps you in your sketching journey ...
Hi Chou-Tac, Your site on sketching is SO Inspiring! I am Estelle, I live in China. I am a...
Kelantan,Malaysia I want to learn to sketch because I love drawing.I always drawing when ...
Thanks Chou Tac for sharing. Love to improve my skills....
thanks, Chou-Tac, your tutorials are exactly what I needed to start sketching again. The b...
Eu sou do Brasil, gostaria de aprimorar minhas técnicas de desenho, muito obrigado....
Hi Vinicius, thank you for sharing about Worldskills. https://worldskills.org/skills/id/5...
Hi chan. My name is Vinícius Arduino, from Brazil. I'm a worldskills competitor, do you k...
I want to get book...
I am glad to accompany you on your learning design journey Gabriele :)...
Hi Musab, The book is free and it is delivered to you by email. Did you well receive it?...
Can I order this book?...
Eu sou do Brasil, e quero aprimorar e aprender mais sobre design. A artes me fascinam...
Hi Adrian, Oops, just saw your messages by chance. :) Please say hello to the team Creapo...
I'm from central California and have an interest in urban design. My goal is to design wal...
Thanks for sharing good information I read this post I really like this article....
I have always been interested in industrail design....
I'm from Japan. The reason I want to learn sketching is because I want to be a product de...
*Cheap*, sorry!...
Because of you I bought A5 Fabriano sketchbook and a couple of cheab BIC roundstick black ...
Thank you for sharing these awesome books for free. I’m from Myanmar. I always intereste...
I saw your Youtube tutorial...
Hi, I got my BA in 2010 at the age of 50. For my final project I wrote a short story and i...
ola a todos. sou do brasil....
brasil....
I was able to find it. Thank you! :)...
I was able to find it. Thank you! :)...
I'm ami from India and I'm looking for best technique and better skill for my design...
Hello! Maybe the beginner guide play hide and seek in the spam folder. Can you have...
Hey, I really appreciate it that you're able to provide beginners a free guide but I still...
Hi Sanjay, Glad to have you on board! You will get tutorials in the upcoming days and we...
A Mechanical product designer by profession learning to draw perspectives and human figure...
My pleasure Zahra. I am always happy to help, and glad you wanna improve. I learned s...
Hi Chou-Tac Chung, im so happy to find you again,my major is Industrial Design but im not ...
Hello Titi, Please thank the person who recommended the book to you. :) Feel free t...
That's an awesome goal you have Ruan! The gaming industry never stops growing. Bravo!...
I'm taking an animation degree and was referred to your book. I caught a glimpse on how to...
i like scathing...
I'm learning myself programming and game development on my own. And I want improve my draw...
I'm glad you enjoy David! By the way, in case you may be interested, the registration...
Hi, Chou-Tac Chung - Just wanted to say hi, and thanks for doing the videos. They're all r...
Estoy feliz porque te gustas la video de tutorial y ayudarte a dibujar las formas del arte...
Excelente contenido para aprender y para enseñar .Muchas Gracias por compartir...
Hey. How to determine in which scene I should be drawing a parallel source of light or a d...
Hi Daniel,  Yah, these days, it is better to rest if you feel any pain from your injur...
Hello I am from Montreal Canada, I've been sketching on and off for a while but more often...
I also hope you will find valuable content on the blog during your journey Deep. You sa...
Hi Stefan, I like your expression of a Chronic overthinker. You can find multiple vid...
Hi :-) hailing all the way from Denmark. I´m getting into portrait drawing and I was hopi...
Hi from Portugal I want to improve my drawings....
Hey, I am a Mechanical engineer, I like solving problems. But I want to explore my care...
Hy I'm Sabareesh, from India, basically I'm a graduate naval architect, who designs ships ...
Hi Mr Smith, I hope you find plenty of content that helps your high-school students....
Mr. Smith from Buffalo, NY I teach high school Architecture. I make every attempt to inc...
Hi i'm Jorge from Colombia and I need to improve my skills...
We can feel your high motivation Ian, awesome!! If you are a beginner, you may try this t...
Hope you find helpful content on the blog Salim :)...
Why the quality of image is decreasing when I'm posting on Instagram?...
Why the image quality decrease when I post it on Instagram?...
iwant improve my draeing...
i want improve my drawing...
I didn’t get a book yet please help me...
I WANT TO CREATE MY DESIGNS...
Hi Deanna, Do you mean the Designer starter kit? It is free. :) You can download ...
how much is the book?...
Hi Kathleen, I'm happy if it can be helpful to your art students. :) Thank you for s...
Great article. I'll share it with my high school art students! I always appreciate your ar...
Keep up Emmanuel! :D It is always worth pursuing what matters to you....
Thank you Chou-Tac. Your words inspire and give me hope....
Welcome on board Javier! :)...
Hello, I am Javier from Spain...
Hey Josh, Thank you for being an inspiration for the Design Sketchbook family and ...
Heck yea! I'm glad my question ended up making it as a full post! Hope it helps others as ...
Hi Asti, (Your name reminds me of a place I visited in Italy, where they produce amazi...
I am an Urban Sketcher and I want to improve my skills...
Hi Summer, Oops sorry for the late reply! Do you mind sending me an email at choutac@t...
I dont udernstant how you drawd your sphere and his shadow its says that you "will create ...
Hello! I’ve always loved to draw, and after observing how a lot of the artists I admire,...
Hi Graham, I do believe in "Quick wins". Basically about giving simple exercises th...
Hi I teach design in high school and I am looking for an easy way to teach my students to ...
Oh yeah, it's not free anymore. It's about 20$. I remember seeing a post from them on Fac...
Congratulation Ana for following your childhood dream. That's a great action you can def...
Avec plaisir Tania! N'hesites pas a partager dans les commentaires du blog, ou m'envoye...
Thank you for sharing Chris about the XP Pen tablet! :)...
Great article, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I was looking to get a screen...
Bonjour ! Je dessine en autodidacte mais cela fait des années que j'ai arrêté. Donc app...
Thanks for sharing! But Sketchbook is not free anymore for Windows and Mac OS. I use Krit...
Hi, I'm Brazilian, my name is Ana, and i am an frustrated adult how quit drawing as kid be...
Hi, My name is Leon, From Liberia living in Nairobi. I love sketches and would love to lea...
hola yo vivo en Guyana, siempre me ha gustado dibujar, pero necesito mejorar....
hey.. hey,i am form india i love sketching and your words motivate me thank you sir...
Hi Oliver, I am glad you enjoy the drawing tutorials :). Sure, keep going learnin...
Hi, I really like hoe you teach drawing. Some time I started by using some book on techni...
Hi Gordon, It's all my pleasure. I am happy if the blog can help you during your a...
Hi Chou, Just wanted to say thank-you for all the work and wisdom you share. I am 54 a...
Hi! I'm not sure I see the difference between B and C. Are you just resting more lightly...
Soy de la ciudad de méxico, me interesa y me gusta mucho tu forma de exponer cada uno de ...
Soy de la ciudad de méxico, México es mi pais, y me interesa la información de tus libr...
Australia, For self paced learning for my kids at home....
Hello from Brazil! I wanto to learn the sketch to ilistrate n eBook on elkectronics! Best,...
I'm from Portugal. Need to learn more about perspective. Hope your book help me on that. C...
From California. Engineer who wants to learn to quickly sketch product ideas....
Me gusta dibujar desde pequeño y quisiera aprender más....
Yeah! I am happy it helps you refuel your motivation tank! :)...
hey, thanks a lot for this article! i got my college results recently and was feeling do...
am a land surveyor and love designing.......
am a land surveyor and love designing.......
Hello from Hawaii!...
Don here, from Hawaii. Always wanted to be able to draw, looking forward to learn here....
Actually I try to know and learn the systematic technique for sketching. It will help and...
Hi Susan, Thank you for sharing your creative apps selection on iPad. Do you draw ...
Hi there, I've been a professional fine artist for over twenty years. Before that I was a...
My name is Pablo and I'm interested in improving my art skills....
Hi, I'm Julius from Ghana. I've just started drawing and I'm looking for resources online ...
Hello, I have just sent an email to you :)...
I a brazilian and I want to improve my technique...
Is the “37 Secrets of Sneaker Designers'” book still available??? I sent for it, got t...
Hi Chou-Tac! I've been trying to get the book but it's not been sent to my mail, please c...
Hi Gino, Oops! Thanks to you, I realized I forgot to unlock the book delivery. Let ...
Is the "37 Secrets of Sneaker Designers'" book still available??? I sent for it, got the l...
My aim and passion to be designer I'll achieve this surely...
Hello Janet, Yes, the basics are perfect to start sketching the "correct way" as you...
Superb! It's definitely great to explore different styles and methods. :)...
Hi Kamil, As a carpenter, you may like this interview with Guillaume Bouvet. He's a ...
It is my pleasure to share! I also love illustration. Art and design are so interlinked....
Welcome on board Sam! Let me know how it goes, and do not hesitate to leave a comment or...
I'm a self trained set designer Wood worker from Lagos Nigeria Thanks for sharing I real...
Learning to sketch as a hobby and past time....
Hi from Belarus! I'm after illustration. I hope learning to sketch would help me to get i...
Hi! I come from Poland, but I live in Germany, Berlin. I am carpenter and want to learn sk...
Hello my name is Jan, I live in Perth, Western Australia. I am 72 years old and now disabl...
This is a great reminder to half things.. thanks...
I’m design garments and just expanding on sketching....
I’m looking forward to sharpening up my sketching skills for sneaker design. Thank you f...
i Come from Les Baux de Provence. Thé lockdown five me Time to draw and now i love it bu...
Thank you for sharing this with us...
Hi! I live in Mexico. Im arquitech and i want to improve my sketching styale. Thak's for g...
Hi , I’m trying to take my drawing to the next level ....
My name is Chris Richards from Asheville NC and I need to improve my skills to better pres...
I work as illustrator, I'm very curious about design techniques....
I'm from Arizona. I just started teaching myself how to draw because I've always wanted to...
how is you learn design product ?...
M a french student in a design school, i wish that you're book can help me in my work...
I'm from Brazil and sketching is my favorite hobby....
Very enlightening article. Been reading your blog little by little for some time now but ...
I want to crack the nid exam (National institute of designing)I am preparing for the exa...
Thank you so much for making this content and for your fantastic YouTube videos! I hope to...
I want to draw to open my business and as a hobby...
I'm a landscape architect and want to polish up my landscape drawing skills....
I'm theater design student and want to learn more about sketching....
I want to learn how to design for the industry....
I want to learn it so I can design environments for the industry....
Hello, I've tried signing-up several times for the book download, but no success. Nothing...
My major is industrial design. I'm a design sketch teacher. I'd read the book to improve m...
Gostaria de aprender outras técnicas de desenho porque faço Design de Calçados....
Hello Chou-Tac, I am Marina from Serbia. I study graphic design. Thank you for sharing thi...
Oroville, CA I want to learn it so I can design environments for the gaming and film in...
I've always loved drawing but geneRALLY REfused joining a course. I've always wanted to be...
I’m teaching designdraxing myself and want to have indpiration for my lessons...
Sacramento, CA...
I am a student of Design... but my drawing skills never developed well... when I was 12yo...
I want to improve my skills to better support my students when working on sketching design...
I’m learning how to be better at illustrating for animations...
Hi me prem...
Hi, I’m from Singapore. I am a teacher ,teaching design and technology. I want to be a...
I am a Mechanical Engineer. I do a lot of computer drawing every day, but I would like to ...
i want to be a product designer, sketching is the first building blog to be...
I want to learn how you learn how to draw what you see....
I am an art teacher and want to learn from other artists. I work in USA in Washington sta...
I am an art teacher and want to learn from other artists....
Hi Manuela, Yes there are some tutorials about straight lines. You can get them here...
Hi Nadya, I have just send it to you by email :) Chou-Tac...
Tried downloading book nothing happening. Can you please send me a copy. Thanks...
Hi chou-tac I love your videos. I have a question i always drawed feather lines. I am now...
I've always known I have the talent for drawing/sketching plus I love art but I didn't tak...
Well, I want to learn how to sketch so I can be a animator so I can make this animation fo...
I could relate to this post quite a lot. When I was in my third year I found myself questi...
I'm a student in 3D computer graphics for games and film, but want to improve my artistic ...
My pleasure Jan!...
Totally agree Bryan! :)...
Hi Greig, Hope you find plenty of helpful content on the blog. :) Please let me know...
Awesome Albert, Please, let me know how it goes with the students. :)...
Hello Sam, I am glad that you could correct your elbow position when you draw ellipses...
I have been drawing since I was a kid but never took it seriously enough to learn/study ho...
I would like to use the book for students who are having difficulties with drawing. Tha...
Awesome Usamah, It's such a great feeling to solve problems helping people (even if we...
when I studied mechanical engineering, it was very difficult because of the many calculati...
studying product design...
Trying to get back into sketching, I teach high school design technology and am looking fo...
I am a student and a freelancer, looking forward to be very good in design sketching and t...
Hello, I'm from Oklahoma. I'm interested in sketching because there are times words simp...
Thanks for the help and book to help and practice...
Congrats on your choice of the creative path Teertha! I am glad the sketching videos hel...
Just a student interested in design and wanted to know where to start...
Thank you. I'd like to learn to become a better sketcher....
Hello! I am going to apply for master's degree and found your videos to helpful for me....
Hello Richard, I am glad you enjoyed the video tutorial on perspective and found it be...
Hi Chou-Tac, Greetings for the day. My name is Mahendra and I'm from India. I love to dr...
Hi Dev, PLease find my reply on your email. :) See you there! Cheers, Chou-Tac...
Salut Paxon, Bienvenue a bord! Je serais curieux de ce que tu fais pour les scenogra...
I want to sign up for the sneaker sketching course . Vould you help me with that?...
Bonjour! Je viens de lire votre introduction et je voulais vous dire bonjour d’Austin a...
Chou-Tac I went through your 2 point perspective tutorial. You've done an outstanding job...
from Switzerland, Suisse romande, et je parle français, I live near the lake of Neuchâte...
I am a beginner at 68 and want excellent help....
Am darhnyell from Nigeria . I love art and am passionate about it right from childhood...
Hi, i´m glad to meet you, whith us I had the necesary I need learn to draw better. thanks...
Hi, I did not receive the book till now. I am very interested to learn sketching. I am sea...
I want to refine my skills to be the beat artist I can be. Always learning...
Design Technology Teacher Qld Australia teaching Design...
Hi Sandi, You got a great initiative. Handsketching will help you a lot in your journey...
Hi, I'm a product design engineer student. So I would love to be skillful at sketching not...
Hi Uyen, If you use a screen tablet like a iPad or Wacom Cintiq, it gets very similar t...
Hi Matthew, I am glad you enjoy sneaker design so much! I have just finished writing...
Hi Chou-Tac, it's nice to meet you... I came across your website by vigorous researching. ...
I also need to know moreabout technique. I watch video and the Pro Designer is using Ipad ...
Me too. I watch video and the Pro Designer is using Ipad for sketch book, I wonder do we d...
Hi, I studying at Art and design University and I want to learn more about sketching. Than...
I did not get the book. I asked for it Again today....
I checked spam every day but, no, I did not get the book. I asked for it agin today....
Hi Ojo, Happy you are back with your passion for drawing! I have sent an email to you ...
Hello Chou Tac. I'm a former student of yours I started the sketch like the pros course ...
HELLO! I'M GABE. I'M FROM BRASIL. I'M AN ART TEACHER AND UNPROFESSIONAL DESIGNER. I WAN...
WANTED TO LEARN RENDERING TECHNIQUES...
Hi Miguel, I agree, being able to draw the products you have in mind will drastically ...
Hi Alexandra, Your teacher is wise. The world is generous of discoveries! For us t...
Hey Kym, You are totally right, for a concept artist, the key is a good understanding ...
Hello Aquilla, Glad to see you here and explore how to keep improving your art skills....
Hi Andreas, The book is sent to your email. Did you receive it?...
Thanks Praveen, I am glad it helps you!...
That i s great you go back to your passion. Your ideas and concepts will definitely take...
Thank you for the update Michelle. I am glad you received it. Sometimes email like t...
I was able to download it today using a non-gmail account. I put in a temporary email and ...
These tips and tricks are so amazing and easy to follow. Great explanation of drawing sket...
Hi, I am from India and wanted to learn to sketch because currently whatever I am thinking...
To the ones who didn't get the book, i tried with some diferent mail accounts and i only c...
I’m a Production Engineer, I need to be required basic drawing skills....
Hi, I'm Michelle from the US and I am unsure what direction to take when it comes to studi...
Thank you, Great method's; and very professional....
i love sketching but never was good at it....
Have tried to get the workbook several times but not received it via email. Can you please...
Hi, I'm Daniel. I'd like to design sneakers also but I don't know where to start. I've see...
i dont think there are a lot of design studios in turkey...
Hi there, This is Summer from the XP-Pen team, I am reaching out for a cooperation cha...
I am studying Design and Technology teaching at University and I need to learn how to draw...
Hello, from the US. I've always loved drawing and doodling as a kid. Drawing allowed me to...
To improve in drawing...
it is a fentastic book...
I love drawing and because I love drawing I want to improve on my drawing....
I'm a mechanical design engineer and want to do more industrial design. I love seeing thes...
Hi, I'm John From Colombia. I'd like to learn how to sketch like a pro like you because I ...
Hi I am from India, I need sketching for relaxation and improve my design thinking purpose...
I was very keen to learn the drawing from by 10th grade.But I cannot draw a proper one....
Hi I am Denisse from California I am a interior design student . ( technically I still hav...
I just think I would enjoy drawing trees and Mountains etc,...
I'm from Sweden. I want to draw for my own sake, doing fanart of games and comics I enjoy...
Hi I want to know how do design sketch. I need help in drawing. I’m from Japan. Thank y...
Apparently it just doesn't download anything. No sketchbook here....
Do you have to leave a comment to get the ebook?...
Hii... I am 21 and doing civil engineering and going to complete my graduation in June 202...
Hey, I draw a lot with ballpoint and my drawings and the ink keeps getting pale and yellow...
Hi I want to know how do design sketch. I need help in drawing. I’m from Guam. Thank yo...
I want to be able to think visually and share sketches that people can understand to explo...
I love to draw so when I saw this sketchbook - it will add some much needed structure :)...
Hello. The drawing subject is new to me. I am interested as a hobby....
I'm a student of Computing and IT and Design at Uni. The design half of my degree is stric...
Hi I will be a Industrial Design student in fall of 2021. I want to get a head start on my...
Hi it dgj...
Hey! I’m from France. Very valuable stuff. I’m improving by the minute with these guys...
Hi, I'm from Germany, I just finished my studies in industrial design and finally feel rea...

Categories

The designer starter kit chou tac chung
Sneaker sketch book chou tac chung

Do you think of a career as a Product designer? But you wonder about the competition?
I share with you the Competitive Edge to Becoming a Designer.

Competition designer job cover
Is it competitive to become a designer

Is it competitive to become a Designer?

  1. Legit question.
  2. Aren’t you afraid of the Bullshit job?
  3. How high is the competition to become a Designer?
  4. How to be among the best?
  5. Mistake 1: Compare yourself to the majority.
  6. Mistake 2: Be the best in the group.
  7. Apply with a custom-made project relevant to the company.

“Is it competitive to become a Designer” is a legit question.

But…

It also means: 

“Is it risky to become a Designer?”

Alright!

I will answer this.

First, 

I want you to reverse this question to trigger something important.


Aren’t you afraid of the Bullshitjob?

Is it risky to miss your chance to become a designer and trade your passion for a meaningless career?

In other words:

Would you accept to trade your passion for a “Bullshit job”?

*A bullshit job is a modern term to define an activity that has no meaning, considered pointless such as some finance or administrative position for example.

One of the effects that appear to the employees of these types of jobs is Brown-Out. 

The brown-out is when you feel disengaged from your tasks at work, and feel empty of energy.

Imagine you wake up every morning and have to go to work with no motivation… day after day…

Bullshit job statistics
How fulfilling is your job

I know my question is a bit extreme:

Would you accept to trade your passion for a “Bullshit job”?

But that was my real personal story.

For university, I started to choose the corporate path.

I graduated with my 2 first degrees as an average student in Business, marketing, and IT (Information Technology).

I thought I would like it, but I didn’t.

The class was boring and theoretical like a dictionary full of dust.

On paper, I was ready for real working life.
The period of your life you are supposed to get your independence, your freedom!

But…

  1. I could foresee a meaningless career full of boredom and maybe depression (?). This is why I decided to pause and think about my future.
  2. I choose this corporate path because my family and entourage did. It was my answer to doing the “right thing”. But was it the best thing for me?
  3. I love drawing since I was a kid. I love creativity. Most of my entourage doesn’t. Comparing myself to them had no sense.
  4. So I stopped thinking “What they would do”. I took control of my destiny and decided to become a Designer. I would be different. I would be “ME”.
  5. I rewind my university level to zero and enrolled in my design school. I was 22 years old. And to make it short, I graduated at 27 years old with a Master’s degree with honors. 🙂

Just saying we perform so much more when we do something we love!
I prefer to do something I love in a competitive domain than something safe in a boring job.

You know what?

This love for design, creativity, and drawing is what gives me a higher chance of success. I felt empowered.

If I didn’t follow/create/build my new path, I would maybe be a white-collar by now working among thousands of other white-collar eating Donuts. : 9

Remember, you become who you believe in.

It took me more years than my friends to build up my career, but I never regretted my decision. Because I am now happy at doing what I do: Create : )

And my friends and family are also happy to see me beaming daily.

Bullshit job chain office't be trapped in a bullshit job
Dont be trapped in a bullshit job

My point is: Make sure you ask yourself the right question. 

You don’t have to fear competition till it paralyzes you.

Do not let difficulties kill your dream to become a designer in the egg.

When you take an important decision for your life, do not act of fear.

Living in fear is no fun.

Living with regret is the worst

Only you can decide what will make your life meaningful.

No one else will.

Your parents may choose safety for you over passion to protect you.

The last call is yours to activate (or not) your courage.


Now we are ready to go back to the question:

  •  How high is the competition to become a Designer?
Work competition

One of my teachers said: “Only the best (students) will succeed.

He said that to warn 1st-year students to add in more implications to our homework. Since the outside world is a competitive job market. 

My design school had thousands of students, hundreds graduated each year from:

  • Industrial design, 
  • Transport Design, 
  • Fashion Design, 
  • Interior Architecture,
  • Visual Communication, 
  • Art Design 
  • and Video games / Animation Design.
Messy but creative brain
Messy but creative brain

Imagine all the fresh graduates coming out at the same time from all design schools in your city, country, continent… 

Thousands of them!

My teacher was right. 

The competition is huge.

Yes, it is if you look at the global numbers.

However, when you think twice you realize there is a nuance.

Think of a pyramid.

At the peak, the top 10% are the great students, 

and 90% below are the average, so-so students and “tourists”.
*I call tourist students who enroll but have no passion for design at all.

Most of the 90% of students will pass.

Get their design degree.

But how about their portfolio?
How about their value to the market?

What I mean is if you are ready to put in the work, your real competition is not thousands of students.

But the best few best students compete in the top 10% only!

In other words, keep up the good work, and target to be among the top 10% to drastically reduce your competitor’s number.


How to be among the best

Design tips for non designers eebfcce
Designer working with a graphic tablet at her design studio

Avoid this mistake 1:

Compare yourself with the majority.

Compare yourself with the overall and average level of students.

And feel satisfied to be at this level. 

  • You are no great, no bad. 
  • Your classmates do pretty ok, and you too. 
  • You get a good mark on your projects, you pass, and soon get graduated.

Cool! 

But your portfolio is also average and looks like other students from your class.

  • You have zero personal projects.
    Too bad, all of you get into the job market at the same time.
  • And your profile has nothing more than others to offer.
  • You blend like a drop of water in a river.
    (Wow, I just came out with this poetic comparison. : P)

Now you face rude competition.

Once again, to succeed you need to target to be among the top students.

Become a reference for your classmates,
till some of them may want to copy you.

Do not target at becoming average like most of your classmates.
Target to stand out and become better than anyone. 

A great designer inspires others.


Avoid this mistake 2:

Be the best in your group

A mindset to have is: “Never be the best in your group”.

It is pretty counter-intuitive.  

But if you hang out only with people who have a lower level than you. Great, you can help and support them.

However, who will help you to raise up?

Surround yourself with higher skills people than you.

  • Look for mentors.
  • Learn from them.
  • Ask them questions.

Keep being hungry!

  • I personally sat with the best students in my class to see how they draw and absorb their positive energy.
  • Take also as model students from years above you.

Keep challenging yourself.

Progress like a rocket
The vertical ascension target the top

Ok, this is great to stand out by being among the best. 

This “strategy” is using a vertical ascension.

But there is another parameter to succeed, even if you are still junior.

It’s to have something special that makes you unique.

This is a horizontal approach.

You may not be among the best, but you have something that differentiates you from your pairs.

That something special is what Design companies may “fall in love with you.”

It could be:

  • Your sketching style,
  • Your rendering techniques,
    Maybe instead of the classic Photoshop, you come up with watercolor.
  • Your storytelling
  • Your presentation
  • Your energy…

That thing can be anything!

Find an original way that no one else do to get spotted.

Print
No point running to compete Be original

For example, when I was in Design School, the career department created a yearbook of all students for companies to refer to. 

One of the students bring a feather and stick it on her page as a bookmark.

Smart move!

If you want to compete with others, do things no one does. 

As you can see from this example, it doesn’t always require a huge amount of work, but a bit of originality.


Apply with a custom-made project

Let me share with you an example from my own experience. 

After working for Adidas, I flew to Singapore to look for a Designer job.

I applied for Charles & Keith, one of the major shoe and accessories fashion brands in South East Asia. (Partially owned by LVMH, Louis-Vuitton-Moët Hennessy group) 

Before I applied, 

I did my homework. I did research about them, went to their shop, and asked questions to my friend about this brand.

I tried to look at what I could do better, improve or innovate.

Designer ask question
Thinking about how to be special

I came up with a small collection of shoes I draw on Sketchbook Pro.

I printed it, and send it with my job application.

They never asked for it.

But I wanted to be proactive and give myself the best chance.

I may not be the most experienced candidate, but I wanted to show how I was: The most motivated!

Remember, a junior designer can beat a senior designer by showing high motivation. 

Do more and be different from others, so people can’t compete with you. 

TIP: Do you know why I printed it?

Why I didn’t just join it in the email?

I printed it (on glossy photo paper), so the documents have a chance to circulate in the headquarters office. 

If I did send it only by email, only the HR and people concerned would see it and maybe forget as soon as the email is closed.

However, with a printed version of my work, it remains at the office desk.

It is visible.

You never know who would see it.

You never know with whom the HR or designer in charge would share it. Maybe the HR family wife or husband and kids could see it too!

And you don’t know how much influence the family’s opinion might weigh on the decision.

Your few-page creation could remain days, weeks, or months at their home or office. You never know!

You never know how long and who could see your work.

Your job as an applicant is to facilitate your interviewers to choose you.
Give them reasons to talk about you and defend your case.

Remember, old-school methods works.
It is the same marketing as the calendars given for free by your bank, pharmacy, or bakery.

They want to have their logo displayed in your home all year – all this for a super cheap investment.

This is an example of a fun and practical usage of marketing.

I was happily hired and invited for a Welcome meeting with important people in the company (including the CEO).

And before I left the meeting room, the higher management congratulated me on how much they loved the few shoes I made for them. : )

To beat the competition, find ways to become so good or so unique that no one can compete with you.

Remember APPLE?

Think Different.

Steve jobs think different apple
Think different steve jobs

Cheers,
Chou-Tac

PS: The last mind trick when you prepare for your interview.

Yes, it is a chance for you to be invited to a job interview.
However, keep in mind that YOU are the opportunity.

Of course, be humble.

Do not only talk about how great your resume is.

What matter is how you can help their company to get better.

What value you can you bring?

You want them to know you more. Yes.

But your intention number one is to create a mental picture in your interviewer’s mind:

You shape a positive image of the near future where the company and you are working together doing great things!

Companies are attracted by great profiles, but they mostly want to hire the best fit for their company culture and ambition.

Hope it helps you boost your energy!
And help you to believe in yourself.

Cheers,
Chou-Tac

PS: A kind message from John about how his school teacher
recommended The Design Sketchbook blog to his students. 🙂

John dence recommendation from teacher

PPS: I received a message from Shaine the night after I published this article.

Shaine shares with us his experience of how he left Engineering behind and he took action to follow his passion for Design:

“Hi, I’m Shaine a 2D animation & visual development student from Canada!

I just wanted to say that even though my field is a little different from a graphic designer, everything in your content helps me a lot and applies to me too like the article you wrote “Is it competitive to be a Designer”.

I read all of it and all I have to say is that everything you wrote in there is so real and true and I’m sure it applies to everyone, not just designers.

I also started doing what everyone was doing since I came from a STEM high school program, with the pressure of going to a university right out of high school, I thought the most reasonable thing to do was to pursue Engineering or all those years will be a waste (if I chose art).

So I did.

I got admitted so I said to myself “so this is my future…”, not gonna lie, I felt proud that I got admitted but I wasn’t exactly happy knowing that this was gonna be my future.

I did a whole term and I hated it.

I didn’t even try since I had no motivation to excel.

Luckily that time, destiny gave me an “out”.

I left the country with my family to go back to my home country, the Philippines, for some personal reasons in November when final exams were near.

I left for about two weeks and came back only to take the exam, I failed to comply with most homework and barely did good in the exams.

I decided to not enroll in the second term.

This was unfortunate at the time but without it, I would still probably be continuing that path and would regret that I didn’t quit earlier.

For the people that are in a similar situation let me just say, It is really hard to quit and always seems bad to us since it is linked to the word failure.

But it takes courage to take charge of your own life.

Don’t take the easy way.

Take the path you really want even if things get in the way.

Don’t let yourself make excuses because that’s the fear of talking.

As Chou said, don’t let fear control you.

Let me tell you, It’s gonna be worth it.”

Chou-Tac

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 choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

Chou-Tac

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