Female designers that never learned to sketch:

Hello, just wondering if anyone has ever worked in a place where special exceptions were made to a job candidate because of a particular gender. I have seen directors not require sketching as a kill just so he could hire a female into the frey and get his little incentive.

Does she look like a man?

It is not common, but I have seen it happened.
There are basic requirements that are including 2d skills and 3d skills applying to all the candidates in getting a job.

I know a classmate who got a job at the major big-time corp. without
any 3d skills or photoshop rendering skills. She could sketch, but she
did not have enough digital skills to get a job at a company as large as
that… ( normally, you would have to have at least 2yrs of experience and
sufficient digital skills in that company.)

so I do think while exceptions are rare, it does happen once in a while.
You just have to be at the right place at the right time to be that lucky.

For all of us who are still looking for something better and bigger,
just do the work and wish…there are no royal road to worthwhile things…

Sometimes people do get hired just for their actual thinking abiilties with no real standout “physical” skills. That ability to think is often overlooked for those that just have real good skillsets. Could it be possible she was hired because she comes up with good, unique, out of the box concepts that nobody in the firm does to the same level? She just may not be the best at physically showing those ideas, but the ideas and right thinking are the most important part for design. You can direct a sketch/cad/shop “specialist” to get to the appropriate output.
I don’t know the specifics, but there are always reasons other than the obvious. And people sometimes think that design is just about who draws or models the best, so they may not understand the significance of having someone there who doesn’t have those same skills. Being able to come up with the most appropriate concepts is extremely valuable, I’d bring on that person any day.
Also, maybe they brought her on for her ability to sell the concepts. Men generally do tend to cater to an attractive woman more than others, could be an important asset to help land / keep jobs. Sad but effective nonetheless.

Happens all the time. That is fact, a fact freely admitted by many recruiters.

Design incorporates many different skills and talents.
A studio needs a good mix of these talents.

Yup, one of my previous employers hired a female designer…but she ended up being more of a project manager/ client liason. In short, it was important to the client that a female influence was part of the project. We did the work, she presented the project and briefed us on the feedback. It worked and the client was happy.

I worked with someone who was awful at sketching but got all the best sellers. i’m not fantastic at sketching myself, although I try…

I don’t know how to do those fancy renderings that are supposed to be a requirement, but it has never been an issue at all. My main worry is how we are going to cope with our workload.

I guess it depends on your trade…

After all are we selling products or paintings? As long as you are good at getting your idea across to whoever needs to know then I don’t see a problem.

In my trade it’s common for someone to get a job purely on the strength of their interview and their sales history (as in can they / did they get winners i.e. best sellers). All they want to know is if you can design shoes that sell - the rest is just extra…

Being able to come up with the most appropriate concepts is extremely valuable, I’d bring on that person any day.

I only wish the employers have the same mind set as you do.

In reality, people look for the skill sets that are immediately usable.
I have been frustrated as well by such myopic vision of many design managers and employers when I was starting out… but, that is the reality.

The case that I had posted earlier was the one in a million.

Try to get a job that pays 50-60ks for an entry-level at a major corp without
having any experience and skills that they use on a daily bases …WITH
your original thinking ability…

Give me a break!

No sketch ability = lazy person with lack of discipline.

guest69, are u deez?

No, I am not deez.

Here is a scenerio, how about hiring a computer programmer that never learned how to type. Or a surfer that never learned how to paddle out past the breakers. A waitress that never learned how to work a cash register. A librarian that never learned to read. A photographer that never learned to develop film…

the list goes on, my question is: why is it so different in the design proffession.

This is why the proffession has no credibility!

agreed.

when you see somebody who worked so hard to get his/her
dream job gets knocked down by a newcomer who has no experience/skills
but some qualities considered fresh – which by the way all depend on
the company’s standards… it sort of makes you …

hard work often doesn’t pay in this industry… it is sad but often true.

is female considered “fresh”

How about a pitcher that never learned to throw a fastball.

A construction worker that never learned to read a tape measure.(but still can get things “Close”)

any other scenerios are welcome… wow, this could be a new thread topic!

one day maybe the industry will be over saturated by women and we will be hiring men for just the same reasons… give it a break.

so are you saying that skills will no longer be needed in this proffession?

I disagree. I think sketching ability is incredibly difficult to teach as it’s a gift that you are born with, or you don’t have . I practise, practise, practise, but I know I’ll never be as good as some of my friends who have more innate talent, than I do.

But I also know that being a fantastic artist is not the same as being a fantastic designer - sure it will help you get your ideas across, but it is not the same as creating a fantastic product.

I worked on a Gynecological device project for J&J in an all-male firm. Finding a female engineer with up-to-date skills was a needle in a haystack. We ended up relying on a female project manager via J&J. You can imagine how uncomfotable it was. So many questions went unanswered just based on courtesy. I could right a book on my cadaver studies. (maybe I should. I’d probably make more money than with this design thing…Designer For Hire!)

I disagree. I think sketching ability is incredibly difficult to teach as it’s a gift that you are born with, or you don’t have . I practise, practise, practise, but I know I’ll never be as good as some of my friends who have more innate talent, than I do.

it is difficult to teach, so is calculus…but it is all about dedication, interest, & practice, the more you do it the better you get and it is a much easier process if you genuinely enjoy it. that last part is where i think most veer off because they never really enjoyed doing it so the time spent seems like a waste…

But I also know that being a fantastic artist is not the same as being a fantastic designer - sure it will help you get your ideas across, but it is not the same as creating a fantastic product.

i talked about this with some designers when i interned, and they consensus was pretty much the same, isn’t that a problem? because then where is the seperation between designer, engineer, businessperson, etc. especially when their skills are (or at least sem to be) more tangible? maybe it gives credence to this statement:

This is why the proffession has no credibility!

i think about this a lot (probably too much) because i think to myself what it is that designers do? is it making pretty sketches and renderings? is it doing background consumer research? comparison research? is it problem solving? (visual) communication? quasi-engineering? synthesizing all these factors?

as you can see i am pretty confused!?

I think that being a fantastic artist isn’t really an issue in the footwear trade (I’m talking from my, European POV here BTW), because you are generally trusted to work on your product until sample stage with the factory, you don’t always present renderings to customers, they usually see just the finished samples.

Customers I work with are not really interested in seeing amazing artistry, a sketch is fine for them. Most of the buyers sketch also (pretty scruffily) so they are able to read quick sketches quite well.

Also with the volume of product we design (about 200 or 300 styles per season at least) I can’t spend too long on artwork or I’d be seriously behind. I spend more time on spec sheets than anything and it’s usually these or samples that are shown to customers.

I guess it’s different in different trades, a shoe sample is quick to make, so customers can wait for the finished item and don’t need to visualise through renderings.

I have one customer I sell sketch packs of designs to, but they expect to see fifty sketches in a pack that takes me one day, so again, the time I have to get them looking great is limited.