a cry for help

Without trying to sound too wound up in my self pitty, i am at the end of my tether. I am currently on placement and am hating it. I respect the fact that we shouldnt expect to go and placement and learn heaps of useful skills and improve on the foundations of our current skills but i am doing absolutley next to nothing which relates back the 2 years i’ve done allready at uni.

My biggest worry is that im actually loosing ability. I really want to push towards doing alot of conceptual work to increase my sketching ability as this is what i love the most. However i am no way near good enough espcially compared to what you see on here, floating around the net and compared to fellow uni students. I am working hard in the evenings trying to improve by myself as at work no one can draw and they dont see the neccessity of it. Consequently this is sapping the life out of me and in all honesty im loosing faith. I have tried applying to other jobs but like i say im not good enough. I appreciate that sketching takes time and practice but when i only ever really see my own work and process its hard to move on from what i am doing at the moment.

I post here a to get it off my chest and b to ask for your advice. Really as to what i can do? I have alot of sketch books scott’s dvds but am getting absolutely know were. I really just after a shining light really to re ignite the excitment i once had about design.

I dont know if anyone knows of anywhere in the UK but are there classes which are run in the evenings by designers? like they do at Pasedenna? Or would one of the big players here offer to mentor me like they do over on Concept art?

I have included a few examples from my portfolio here.

Just any help i would appreciated i really really want this to work.

hey dude, dont get down on it too much.

I was out on placement last year and I think its important to realise that theres loads of stuff that you can and will learn from being in a professional working environment besides the core skills (sketching, CAD etc) Some of the most important things that I learnt on my year out were things I didnt neccessarily expect to like working with a team of people, presenting work to superiors and clients, working on real live projects etc, being in meetings, learning how a business works and where design fits into that. This is all important stuff that you won’t get at uni.

As for sketching, like you said it just takes time and practice, post some stuff up on forums like this one or productdesignforums and im sure you will get some good feedback. Prehaps instead of just doing sketch exercises set yourself some design briefs and work up a couple of projects in your spare time, that way you can improve your portfolio with a couple more projects at the same time.

It sounds like you’ve set your standards so high and expect so much of yourself that you might not be clear enough to see what progress you are making. Don’t get down mate, there are loads of people here at Core who are more than willing to help those in need!

I think the only thing you can do is work at it, and work at it, and work at it. There are some great books out there:

In regards to feedback for your work, I think you’ve got some decent sketching skills, but there is definitely ENERGY missing there. Maybe you should be trying to sketch faster, as everything looks like you’re drawing it too carefully, afraid to make mistakes - and reality is, you’ll never learn a thing without making mistakes. Why not grab your mobile, chuck it on your desk, and give yourself 30 seconds to sketch it, then change it and sketch it for 30 seconds again… speed and energy is key, and you’ll see it resonate a lot in your sketching. And maybe try different mediums - pens//bics/fineliners/whatever…

Also, look at the sketching forum here on Core, there are some amazing sketchers who add great stuff to them and I’m sure none of them would mind lending any advice.

sketchme…here are few suggestions…

Use only… 60 to 70 % of paper area for your sketches.
Reduce the tonal value of the sectional lines.
Give maximum contrast in your renderings…(light & dark areas of your renderings…)
Only render… your …best ideas/concepts.
Avoid overlapping your designs everywhere.

Another suggestion….if possible remove….grid background /block from your sketches ….or use them for … selected one…


Many thanks guys for the responses, i do in general set my sights quite high, because i know that with time and my work ethic i will stand a good shout of getting there as shown by my second year at uni (2:2 1st year to a First class 2nd year) However i do just need a guiding hand really. i just find it hard being ignored and patronised all day.

Crutch: ta for the advice mate i wouldnt be so worried about it as much as i am if i was being involved a bit more in the front end. Most of my time is parked in front of a computer with no tasks (despite asking) so i do SW tutorials and Maxwell practice.

Gorgeous: i’ve recently purchased the one with Yo’s stuff in it but the other one has been of my radar so ta for that.

ADD: Thanks for the critique, love your sketches in the Fu thread and quick doodles so anymore advice plz dont hesitate to throw my way.

As its sketching i really want to be strong in i think i may just start a thread over in the sketching section and cosntantly update to get feedback.

you should also check out this book too,

thats cool that your learning some new programmes 2 always a good thing. thats a good idea on the sketching thread it will also help you to keep sketching.

take it easy

ps. are you from loughborough? are those sketches from the styling module?

yes, sketching IS important but only if you have something innovative and clever to sketch…

nothing good and positive has ever come from being down, so try to find some inspiration in your life and stop focusing so much on your technical sketching skills!

look at Vignelli, amazing design, very very basic sketches!
sketches are just that, sketches… they are supposed to be fast, dynamic and most importantly communicate well.

I get often frustrated and annoyed with overworked rendering of mediocre ideas.
If somebody has the ability to make me understand a cool concept with two lines and a circle, then I am impressed.

You are only in your 2nd year of University?

Am I missing something? You’re going to be fine with where you’re at in skill level and the work ethic you claim to have.

bepster hit it. If the page that you showed is any indication, you need to work on showing a much larger variation of development sketches. Your portfolio shows me that you can draw. Now I want to know if you can design.