Yesterday TIP 241,
we saw that if you struggle at finding time to practice sketching,
it is not because of a shortage of time,
but because of how you may spend “wrongly” your time.

Most people don’t realise how they could spend it
in non important activities (such as watching 6 hours of television per day).

Instead of sitting on a sofa “like a vegetable” for so many hours,
you could trade this time to elevate your skills at sketching!

let me share with you some examples to embrace
and integrate fully the practice of sketching in your life.



train your brain for new habits.png

I remember I started to implement new
“sketching activities” since my student time.

Every thursday afternoon,
our teacher used to bring us somewhere in Paris.

Every week was a new place, a new topic.

It could be as various as Notre Dame, or a modern architecture,
or le Louvres museum, or a furniture shop…

We had 4 hours per week to complete our task.
Our teacher came around to give us his feedbacks on our drawings.

At the end of this class,
I remember continuing my sketch in the subway back home.
(Average of 20 minutes of transit)

As my mood was still into it! “My brain was still hot”!

All these places were not all related to Product design.
But we train our observation, patience, focus, style…

And I enjoy the feeling of siting on the floor to sketch. Haha!
It felt pretty wild.



brain to keep healthy.png
An healthy brain is fed with quality information

I sketch to train my brain weekly like when I go to gym.

Remember that your brain is like a muscle.
Train it to make it grow!

Ok ok, you may have no time for 4 hours in a row.
You can still sketch at lunch time, subway, after dinner…

Most information we receive “passively” are noise.
Make sure to choose quality source of information for an healthy brain.

If you give junk food to your body, it will become fat, heavy and slow.
If you give quality food to your body, it will get fit, light and agile.

A trick is to apply a diet of information. 
Identify all the informations that the media bombared you that you don’t need.
For example: Watching the bad news on TV.

Would you rather focus on the hapiness of people who live around you?
Instead of bad news that the media want you to react from?

It is not about being egoist.
It is about focusing first on your surroundings to whom
you can actually do something or interract with.

Plus, if there is something that is really big,
you will end knowing it anyway from the waiter, your colleague or friend…

Keep your mind clear.
And decide what info you want to put in your brain to keep it healthy!



brain is a muscle.png
Grow your brain doing exrcises.

You got to train your brain to expand his observation skill,
his curiosity, his perseverance… to grow like a professional designer.

If you commit to choose design and sketching
as your top priority in your life, you have to shape your environment around it.

To get results, you can’t keep your actual routine and remain in your comfort zone.
You gotta add new habits in your new daily training, and repeat.

For example:

  1. Organise your desk to get started fast and easy.
    Always have blank paper and a ballpoint pen ready.
  2. Go to the museum with your notepad, sit and draw and stop
    no matter how beginner you are. Draw, draw and draw.
  3. Stop looking for the latest Graphic tablet to get started,
    but draw with the first pen you have in hand.
  4. Engage with the most motivated art and design student of your school
  5. Ask question to your teachers
    (instead of trying to act cool or trying to figure out all yourself)
  6. Watch design documentary on Netflix
  7. Draw in the subway, park, cafe…
    (instead of chatting on Whatssap or Facebook)
  8. Observe people around you
    (instead of ignoring or judging them)
  9. Draw while you watch a movie,
    study it such as the movement the composition, the character expression… (instead of just being entertained as an “average spectator”)
  10. Explore the books selection in the shop or library
    (instead of browsing cats on Instagram)

There is an infinity of them!
I share with you the one I did and still practice myself.

Hope it helps!


PS: Let me know in the comments or by email at what activities you practice to keep up!

By 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 : ) Chou-Tac

4 thoughts on “Grow your Designer brain like a muscle”
  1. Thanks for the article! I would like to practice more sketching in places other than in a desk, but I feel like if I still struggle with the basics while maintaining the correct body posture, I will do worse with different body posture O.o maybe I can do it later in the road.

    1. Hello Laura,

      When you draw in other places than your desk, don’t focus on perfection.

      It is ok if you don’t do as well. Because it is not the main goal of that moment.

      Actually you can do well, but it will take you a little while to get used to the posture. It may be sometime not the best or even uncomfortable. But it is OK!

      The most important is not perfection. It is to have fun and train your design observation skill.

      Meanwhile, a trick is to warm up making straight lines and circles with your “new” posture. It will help you calibrate your brain and your hand movements.

      Another trick, if you draw standing on your sketchbook. Hold your sketchbook with your left hand, and make sure your elbow is resting on your body. It will help you get stabilization.

      Have fun, Laura ! Hope it helps 🙂


    1. Hello Harshit,

      You have 2 solutions.
      If you watch the movie alone, you can pause anytime.
      It is good if you get started in sketching.

      Or if you want, you can draw on the flow.

      Watch the movie attentively.
      When you got something that attracts your attention,
      memorize it and draw as fast as you can! haha

      I was playing that game on the plane while watching The Grand Budapest Hotel and wrote an article about it.

      I give you some tricks to memorize better and faster.
      And train your sense of observation.

      Have fun!!


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