Need Advice!

Long story short I’m going back to school and would like to try Industrial Design. In the next year or so I will be taking my basics, but in the mean while I wanted to get some experience under my belt before going in the program (don’t want to look like a complete newbie). I would like to know what you would recommend me working on for right now to sharpen my skills. Maybe taking a sketching class? Also are there any software you would recommend me getting familiar with before going in? I see photoshop and illustrator are big on this board. Please help me out. I would like to hear from people still attending school and the already PROS!!! Thanks in advance!

Sketching is always the most difficult skill for new comers. What is your current level?

A sketching class is always good, but it’s like learning guitar. 10% you learn in class, 90% is practice. It would be great if you could give yourself a target and stick with it. Like sketch an hour, 5 nights a week.

Especially if you are a novice, tracing helps a lot! It sounds like cheating, but if you trace 100 excellent sketches, you will learn how to sketch well. Just the act of moving the same way somehow stays in your head when you sketch on a blank sheet.

yes yes, sketching is important. needs to be learned and all that. I absolutely agree.
But the unproportional emphasis on sketching on these boards is aggravating.
I would like to stress that it doesn’t hurt to actually sketch something you thought about. Your design. How you figure it out.

design is not just about pen and paper (even if it sounds like that here all the time).
It is a way of thinking, looking at the world and connecting dots.

One of the big issues in the lower level classes is that there is absolutely no sense of concept and form.

You can sketch a chair somebody else designed, good for you but design is about a lot more. The earlier one starts to think in those terms, the better your projects will be.
Students don’t suddenly start to have hot projects in junior year because their sketches are getting better but rather because they learned how to think.

I would maybe recommend to look at a competition brief and follow it (this of course includes sketching) or hear what some of the assignments are at the school you’ll attend and wrap your head around it.

Open your eyes, and take a long look at everything you see. Determine what you like about the things you like, aesthetically, functionally, etc. At the same time, determine what you dislike and why.

Sketch like crazy, familiarize yourself with almost every computer program imaginable, and be ready to think… at all times.

That’s my advice. For what it’s worth.

My current sketching level is 0! So I have to start somewhere but dont know where. I was looking for local(houston, tx) sketching classes and didnt find anything worth the time. Do you know of any other options for a newbie like me to get started with sketching? I want to begging from the very basics.
Thanks in advance!

Thanks alot I will keep all that in mind. I will also do some research to find out which competitions are going on and follow them.

Thanks alot! I will get my sketchign down asap. I have played around with illustrator and photoshop only, any other program I should keep in mind?

well, I wish I would have known how to model in solidworks when I started…
but don’t try to do all at once.

you’ll figure it out. If your process is strong, the rest just follows.

please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but is solidworks the most used software in ID?

idnoob: Just take a life drawing class or something. Any class will be better than none. The basics are all the same. It’s just a skill.

SolidWorks is a CAD program. Don’t worry about this until you are at school and have a project.

Hey mr-914, thanks for the reply. I google drawing or sketching class in Houston, TX and all that comes up are results for Art institute and other institutes. After looking in to those all they offer are programs all I want is a class. I will keep on searching.

I wont be looking to learn SolidWorks right now in that case…

There are also several good books out to help with sketching. I got Design Sketching and couldnt tell you how many times I looked at it when starting out.

Looking back, I wish that I knew exactly what NURB described. Everything I did was so basic, and not thought out. There were so many flaws, and the detailing was crap. All it too was a constant analysis of what was out there, questioning the details and building a library of things that I liked (cell phone cameras work well for this!)

I have found that thegnomonworkshop.com has some great DVDs on how to sketch and shade. Look for Scott Robertson.

Check out a junior college.

I will try to do exactly as he described, before I jump in there I want to get my sketching skills down and try to familiarize myself much more with the computer programs used. I do practice in photoshop and illustrator from time to time. I know those two are not the only programs IDs use but that what I have right now.

I will, thanks alot!

I did find a junior college that offers a drawing class, and from my understanding it will count as an elective towards my degree!!!

That’s not the point… there is much more to being a designer than being really good at Photoshop, or really good at sketching. Get your mind working in the right direction first. That’s why I said take a long look at everything you see, from computer speakers, to silverware. Start with things you like or you think “look cool”. Why do you think they look cool? Is it something about the form? Something about the colors or materials used? Or is it because it’s new? These are just some of the questions you need to start asking yourself.

There were plenty of amazing designs done before the age of computer software. It should only be a tool to convey your idea, like a pencil on paper. We’re talking big picture here…

From my experience I wish I had of sketched more and found out about marker rendering. I am ashamed to say i did not even know about rendering with markers till university. So sketching would be on the top of my list.
Second would be time management and organisation which to this day im still not so great at.

Thanks alot! I want to start looking at things like a designer does, and ask myself. what can I do to improve the design?