Pursuing Dream of Design @ Auburn

Hello all!

I earned my undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering a year ago. ME hasn’t ever REALLY interested me, yet I decided to go for a graduate degree anyway. HUGE fail… I simply have no desire to pursue this field whatsoever. I’ve wanted to do ID since 2007 (HS), but decided to follow money instead of passion (engineering schools offered full rides, schools for design did not). Now, I have finally decided to make the decision to pursue ID at Auburn. The way the program is set up, I will do a summer session (where I have to perform in the top 45 in order to progress), followed by a year of undergraduate study and two years at the graduate level. I am more of less worried about the summer session, as the part that I will have to do well in is a “Synthesis of Drawing” class. I have been drawing all of my life, but have had very little training. What can I do in order to prepare myself for such a class?


The best thing you can do is just sketch your a$$ off. Everyday. 25 sketches a day, 0 excuses.

Do that, and you can’t help but get better. Also start a discussion thread in the sketching session and post your work. The accountability will build momentum and you can track your progress. Side benefit you can send a link to the school so they can see.

Also, there are lots of online spots for inspiration like idsketching.com.

It sounds like you’ll be fine, to be honest. A good sized portion of my class came in with little to no art experience, and a huge part came in as former engineering students. It’s not surprising; Auburn is known for engineering, and you’ll meet a lot of students who got pretty far into engineering before realizing it wasn’t what they wanted.

I went through summer op three years ago. It’s an exhausting summer, but you’ll learn a lot. Both the faculty and the student TAs you’ll meet want you to succeed – don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Expect some rough hours. Expect some REALLY awful grades in the beginning. Expect to really hate hand drafting.

yo is right; start sketching now. The perspective section of the class uses a lot of Scott Robertson’s approach, and his book How To Draw is worth getting and using and keeping as a reference. I keep that and couple other books on my desk in studio.

It might be worthwhile to talk to one of the faculty who can maybe connect you with one of the other post-bacc students and talk to them about their experiences. And one of the professors also did ME in undergrad, ID grad.

Best preparation right now is not getting caught up in worry. Consistency and time management are the key components of summer op. Know going in that you’ll be spending long stretches of time in studio. Get headphones. Do your work. Ask how your work is looking, and don’t be afraid of criticism.

I’m just now seeing this, but thanks for the responses!!!