I’ve got a bit of a weird realisation. I think it usually happens the other way, however I’m wondering if everyone has a thought on it.
tl;dr question - How do you ‘learn’ aesthetic styling’?
I’m studying an mechanical engineering and industrial design course. At the moment I feel that my strengths are in fusing the two skills sets to innovate (proving concepts), rather than stylise (aesthetics) or realise (engineering). Bold statement, but I know that in the workforce I’m going to need all skills, so I have to start to get onto it. So step 1 is to get onto sketching (as it’s the weakest).
I bought myself a Cintiq to quickly get confident at sketching (controversial I know, but its my own personal experiment if learning to draw with an ‘undo button’ can translate slowly into real sketching skills, especially if I am able to actually reach a completed sketch.). I noticed that I’m doing pretty well at rendering technical designs. I could render all my functional components, which is meaning that the drawing skills is coming along. However I noticed that once I had done all the mechanics, I tried to draw a new form to enclose it. Being a new item that doesn’t have real legacy design directions, I found it really hard to give it a nice form. The issue is no longer ‘rendering’ - its very much ‘stylising’.
Thinking about it now, I love 3D prototyping. In most models I’ve built, I’ve usually given things aesthetics through blue foam/expandafoam (really great when you have a refined engineering solution that just needs a case)… but it hasn’t seem to have translated into 2D. At work, I’ve also noticed that I can rationalise what I like in design (surfaces, body lines, etc), both in clay and in 2D sketches. So its not that I don’t know what is ‘favourable aesthetics’, its more I can’t seem to produce 2D forms which look good.
As an engineer, I love back story to aesthetic design. Think about Dyson forms - although a designer would have had much input to it’s aesthetics, its functional forms create it’s aesthetics, and it’s colours accompany it. I love it, but some people definitely say it’s an unpolished, mechanical appearance that isn’t good aesthetics compared to a clamshell, slick vacuum cleaner. So is it just a taste issue?
Question - How do you practise your 2D aesthetic skills? Is it something that comes with confidence of sketching, or is it something that is personal taste, and I should head towards that?