but I do enjoy sketching and don’t think i have a problem expressing my ideas on paper and in words. but, being a sophomore in pratt id program i’m finding it a bit frustrating. i have a very strong background in problem solving and coming up with new ways to handle issues and make things interesting. but, i don’t design on paper by randomely shapes and parts and throwing them together. i’m not good at creating for creations sake, better to have a problem to solve. otherwise it just feels like decoration to me. i work things out in my head, do a quick sketch then go hands on. i’m pretty good with cad and 3d programs, so i’m hoping this can compensate for my lack of enthusiasm for drawing products at various angles on paper.
anyone have any thoughts on how this will effect the rest of my education and possible career?
I went to Pratt, and was the same way - unfortunately you can get away with that at Pratt, sort of ducking sketch requirements for classes, I always had solid models, great ideas, even blueprints for my stuff, but just doodles for sketches…
I graduated and then had one HELL of a time finding a job, I had to go back and redo my entire portfolio with tons of new sketches, the summer after graduation I isolated myself in my parents basement and did the sketching I never did in school - I won awards at Pratt, had awesome ideas, but in the end it is the sketches that get you the job. it took me 6 months to get a gig out of school, and it was not the one I wanted - I had to do crap giveaways at mcdonalds for a year, then went on to find the perfect job.
I can’t stress it enough, if you have nothing else out of school make sure it’s tons of beautiful sketches, there were many who weren’t as determined as me to get their portfolio together and they are not in the field, and never were after school. get blue pencils, and even if you don’t have a sweet model (of course you want that) have tons of nice sketches, I am not a great sketcher, it takes practice, but if you stick with it you will get to a good degree of sketching and get to see your ideas turn to reality!
Thanks for the replies. I guess I better just suck it up. Maybe I can get some after class help in my non-existent free time…lol. It’s true about PRATT though, I feel like I’m not really getting any crap for not completing my homeworks, etc. One of the biggest issues is that there is barely any time alotted for the class. We spend two three hour classes a week staring at garbage sculptures and on rushed three hour class trying to learn to draw. I feel for the professor, he’s trying to do a lot in a little time and trying to compete with more involved and interesting homework assignments from other ID classes.
i’m really sick of most people talkining about sketches in interview. beautiful sketches without any thoughtful, new ideas mean shit for me, but mean a lot for most of the consultency firms. so sick of it. as long as sketch has communication level, it should be fine. We are designers, not ARTIST!!!
Maybe so. But the fastest way to get something out of your head and into the world is through sketching. You absolutely MUST have the ability to draw things – maybe not render them by hand, maybe not draw from life, but the ability to create an accurate representation of what you have in your head using pen and paper.
If all you have is garbage sketches that only you can understand, they’re useless to other people. I’ve found some of the most useful comments come from someone who just walks by and says “oh, that’s weird” at one of my sketches – it means that I have to re-evaluate it, for better or for worse. If it’s just a bunch of scribbes on ruled paper, people don’t even bother looking at it.
Luckily for those of us hiring new designers there are more than enough graduates these days that can sketch and have thoughtful ideas. As a result I would encourage all ID students not to overlook the importance of good sketching. Sketches don’t have to be perfect - quick is fine. As long as they effectively communicate your ideas.
Also… While working things out in your head is great. Putting it down on paper allows people on your team (you likely won’t work alone once out of school) to see your process. In that scenario your mistakes can be as helpful as your best ideas.
Sketching is of paramount importance. It always will be. It can also be learned so practice and you’ll do fine.
I would say if you’re in school and don’t want to develop your sketching and turn out tons of them for your portfolio - be prepared for a job as a CAD monkey, shop monkey, or starving designer - a few years ago people could get by with so so sketching, but no more, it is too competitive to not come out of school with tons of good sketches in your portfolio. this is not to say you have to be born with it - I was not born with it, but did it enough to get good and stay good - it requires practice to stay in form (not to say I get up at 5 am and bang out tons of drawings - I try to practice when I can, sometimes I don’t have the time, sometimes I do).
also, what if i have absolutely no desire to work for an agency? how important are your drawing abilities when you are dealing directly with your clients? other posts i have read say that clients are shown renderings far more often than drawings and that models are barely ever made. i don’t know if this is true, but if it is then am i really doomed to being a “cad monkey”?
Sketching is still important when not working for a consultancy.
I have used both sketches and renderings to various clients and one of the things I have noticed when presenting computer renderings is the client thinks the project is “done” because it “looks” done due to the realistic nature of the rendering. It can be hard to convince a client that you still need 2 weeks of Concept Development when it looks done right at the first presentation.
Once you have worked on the computer for a few years you’ll cherish the time you get to spend sketching.
most advantagous would be if you can develop your sig sketching style and be able to transfer it to cad or other new advanced media professionally.
initially it’s very difficult because you have to study all the works of master painters and artists, then see what techniques you find in their work, what they have said about it (or most of the time not said anything at all, but you find intriguing), and what others have discovered of them that could be utilized in a modern design sense.
it takes several years, but eventually if you stick to it, you’ll find that objects you draw from your mind which have no resemblance to objects that are readily available, do not come into being without a full understanding of the product structure and its relation to use.
you have to outline your design initially considering these two important points- use and structure. if you sketch randomly you loose quite a lot of time and it can limit your view.
designer’s view does not really exist, although in design or architectural schools they teach you the opposite. what exists for a designer is the procedure. this is because when abstract art replaced classic art a lot of things got blurred out including our notion of reality.
as a result this difference between an art sketch and a design sketch has been ruled out which in my opinion is an advantage for the modern artist but not the designer specially designers that design mass produced.
thanks for the pro insight. just to emphasize, i’m not against improving my sketching ability i’m just trying to gauge it’s importance. because i have to say that my program really isn’t making it a big priority as far as time allotment. the teacher tries, but every teacher presents their class like it’s the most important thing you are ever going to do. every day decisions are made by students on which class gets more effort than another. drawing has been getting the short end of the stick in my schedule. i’m just trying to educate myself on whether or not i should re-evaluate my approach. it seems that i should!
I always tell students (someone might have said it to me once, I don’t remember) BE CAREFULL WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT, because that is what you will end up doing. If you are best at CAD, you will be a CAD jokey, if you are a great model maker, you might be un-employed as this seems to be a dying art, if you are great ideator/concept sketcher, you will be designing products. A company (whether it is a client, or an employer) is going to pay you to do what you are best at, logically, this is the most cost effective.
Of course if you can master multiple skills you will have the most control over your destiny… and your designs.
Its good you are asking these questions, instead of just shrugging your shoulders and doing what you feel like. Like someone said, you are a sophmore, you don’t have it dialed in yet, and that is totally cool, you shouldn’t. This is thee time to improve on your weak points. You still have some years before hitting the market.
Good sketch skills have let me get away with having and using average design sense. It’s easier to BS my way through something with a good sketch, and if I can draw right in front of the client’s nose they will be amazed and pay me cash money. I’m not kidding.
Sophmore year is the year I did the most sketching and renderings. It was a blast, and I got an internship just based on those things that summer.
It was all about developing the sense for form. You said you are a problem solver. Well, a product isn’t just something that works. When people buy the entire package, aesthetics is one of the elements. If you can’t draw well or with efficiency, you can’t convey your idea. If people can’t get a good perception of your concept quick enough, don’t expect them to give you time to hack out a model. In another words, you have to get people to gain confidence in your ability before they offer you with something more challenging.
With regards to “ID style”… there is no ID style. There’s only your style, and it’s something you own when you’ve sketched enough.
In agreement with Yo,
I took a job a year ago and they said “we’d like you to do the design and all the CAD for a project”
I took the job because it was the only offer I had, but now regret saying I would do all the CAD, unfortunately I’ve become very good at CAD (but hate it) and now am the go-to guy for a CAD model.
I’m obviously taking steps to reduce this trend, like making the MEs at work do some CAD instead of me - but be warned - avoid the pitfall I made! Work on your sketching kid.
sketching is major. i was always bad at sketching even my senior year, all the best students could do awesome sketches. i decided i needed to improve so we coaxed a grad to start extra sketching sessions at my school twice a week that really paid off.
ps.when is pratt going to update their website anyways…i see the same ol’ portfolios as they have always had.