Lacking imagination

Hey Everyone!

Recently discovered this forum, and i have to say it’s brilliant. I’ve found a huge liking for this board in particular.

Since a few months back i’ve been sketching just about every day, mainly just for practice. But recently i’ve encountered problems with lacking imagination. Some days i’m having a really hard time to think of things to draw when i’m practicing. Not just what objects to draw, but also interesting shapes etc of those objects.

As i pretty recently became a design student (i’m actually in a school that’s ment to prepare you for the design schools) i’ve just been focusing pretty hard on just sketching better, but now i’m finding myself also wanting the ability to design better.

This gets really frustrating sometimes when im trying to draw mainly for practice and not because im trying to visualise or develop an idea.

This is a problem that my fellow schoolmates who are passionate about car-design don’t seem to be having at all… but unfortunately i’m not that interested in cars or bikes, atleast not to their extent.

Do you eventually get this dilemma? And how do you go about it?

And do you perhaps have any advice on practicing/ improving “form-creativity”?

Sorry for the long read!


Doodling and coming up with ideas can be a challenge. It may help to give yourself a theme or a problem. Like maybe “what would an alien bug look like?” or “what do I think a beautiful chair would look like?”

Looking towards yourself and asking questions can be a great way to come up with ideas.

Check out what Scott Robertson has been doing lately, using hand and computer techniques to generate new forms and ideas that he then develops further.

I did a quick search for what you’re referring to…but I didn’t find anything on his blog, etc. Where can I find this info about hand ad comp techniques?

I think slippyfish might be refering to this:

One thing I noticed in your OP Simtur is your mention that your colleagues easily channeled passionate subjects like automotive into sketch inspiration. So the question you need to ask yourself is: what makes me excited? Shoes? Furniture? Architecture? Electronics? Outdoors? Tools? Sports? Nature? Art? Begin there.

Another tool you can use is to just get a bunch of vocabulary cards with single words on them. I remember doing this in one of my freshman core classes. Then you pick a specific product category, like cameras. You can use the vocabulary words to stimulate fresh perspectives on a familiar product category. EG if you got ‘fork’ what would a ‘fork’ camera look like? etc.

The internet makes inspiration easier than ever. Hundreds of image categories are at your disposal in seconds! For instance, The back of the Prius V reminds me of a scary deep-sea fish with a big jaw. Not my cup of tea, but it could have been inspired by that!

Cameron brings up some good points. What is it that inspires you? Why do you want to design? Find those things and explore. I can sympathize , I was never really that into cars, but as I started sketching more and developing forms, some cars, forms, and details became more interesting to me. If there is a product, object, thing from nature, or anything that inspires you sketch it. Your understanding of the forms and relationships will improve as your do so, and your brain will have added vocabulary to draw from in the future. Also, sometimes you need to let inspiration find you (while you are already working), so the simple matter of continuing to practice and trying will make it more likely that you do improve and become inspired.

In his recent book ‘Blast’ Robertson and some of his colleagues describe the non-linear methods they use when ideating, to avoid drawing the same things over and over. These included virtual ‘kit-bashing’ in modo, using downloaded (free and paid) CAD models, starting with a gray marker doodles, or abstracting photographs or imagery to jump start ideation.

i think what you need is some inspiration i attached the three most inspiring pieces of art I’ve ever seen.