Am I "unprofessional "?

Hello everyone, long time no see.
I gave up a couple months ago on drawing courses, right after the first 2 days (6 hours/day in the weekend + 5 hours/day homework from Monday to Friday seemed too much for me.) I still have some raster and vector image manipulation skills, and whilst they’re not very well perfected, they’re decent.

I decided to go and study Computer Science, and I’ve been asking myself: is it possible to learn the craft of product design alone, in parallel to my Computer Science degree? I might try a different, more light approach to drawing, and start learning slower, and I was wondering if I’m being very unprofessional about the whole thing. 3D modelling shouldn’t be a big problem (for me).

Anything is possible if you put in the time. However, I’m under the belief that in order to get good at something you need to put in the hours. So drawing 6 hours a day is going to get you 6 hours better everyday.

I remember the quote of 10,000 hours to mastery.

at 1 hour … you know some basics
at 10 hours … you have a pretty good grasp of the basics
at 100 hours … you are fairly expert
at 1000 hours … you are an experienced expert
at 10000 hours … you are a master

Sure you can learn product design on the side. But are you only going to put in a few hours a week? Then your only going to get marginally better every time you do it. Theres tons of people who study product design and devote years to getting better. Are you going to out preform these people? Possible, Yes. Likely? Prob not.

If your passionate about Computer science, then put all your efforts into it. I remember hearing this growing up. “It doesn’t matter if you grow up to be a shoe shiner, but be the best shoe shiner there ever was.”

Also with computer science, UX and UI design pair up very nicely.

If you hate the investment required in visualizing your ideas then you’re really going to struggle with the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears necessary to make/build/fabricate anything real.

This job is not for the faint of heart. The people that are good at it aren’t good at it because they picked it up on the side.

2 cents.

Both are demanding in terms of problem solving, but there’s a whole other can of worms to consider. I think it just comes down to what type of product designer or programmer (Or combination of the two) you want to be . The most obvious intersection I can think of is algorithmic/generetive design.

If you are bouncing between the two, I can only suggest finishing your computer science degree and consider some sort of design school for a masters program. That way you can focus on one thing, and have the option of viewing design through a different lens once you are done…in an effort to not spread yourself thin.

Are you being unprofessional in not taking the time to learn the skills need to be a great designer and expecting to be hired based on you doing it on the side….? I would say yes. As a hiring manager I would expect you to put in at least 6 hrs a day sketching as a Jr Designer. To be frank, being a successful industrial designer and design leader is a job, not a hobby. I takes dedication and hard work and if you aren’t going to put that in, don’t waste my time.


If design was your passion and where you wanted to take your career, you should have stayed in design.

It sounds like if you weren’t enjoying it, it really isn’t in your blood. It’s not to say you couldn’t learn how to make things on your own (there are plenty of self taught inventors) but design is about more than just making the thing. The sweat and labor is what takes you from making something, to making something great.

Hey Deformat,

Dont discourage yourself. I don’t think you are being unprofessional by any means. Instead, I see no problem in you dabbling your hands in different things. See what you like, see what interests you, and ultimately see where your passions lie. But once you do. Remember, 50% of one thing and 50% of another thing = 100% of nothing. :wink:

It’s alright to have multiple interests, but you should have a core passion.

It seems your heart’s not in it? As someone who has done quite a lot of design student mentoring at uni, I have to say that sub-6 hours per day on design would not go down well with many of the hiring managers I have come across. Definitely don’t say that even in an off-hand post-interview discussion with design professionals… good way to not get the job.

This is true. If you want to be a designer you are going to have to put in the effort. You can’t expect to get a job and not be all in. There is way too much competition for that.