im a student designer. im working on a project right now and in an ideation stage. i know all designers hit blocks like this at some point (i hope its not just me), where sketching seems impossible and you cannot sketch for the life of you.

i mean im a decent sketcher, but its not my best ability. just thinking about my portfolio and how im going to present my sketches makes every line i put down that much less confident. i need to not think like that, hehe.

so to professionals out there, can you give me some advice about this matter? i know it varies depending on where you work, but what would be my best bet, should work frantically on my sketches, or put in an average effort into my sketches but try to highlight my better skills and my thought process throughout the presentation of work?

from my experience talking to professionals, they always say sketches are definitely important to show.

To be honest, I don’t think what you are asking makes any sense…

To get a job in ID you need to have GREAT skills, not only because it shows you sketch well, but it shows you’ve spent years perfecting that skill. So if you feel your sketching isn’t great, do something about it; practise and try various mediums. Make every ability your best ability, it’ll make your life a lot easier when you’re job hunting.

Regarding the ‘sketching block’, everyone gets it, it’s always hard to go from research stage into concept generation/ideation sketching, but once you start it’ll fire out, and then the problem will be stopping yourself.

Post an image if you are really that concerned and you’ll get some great criticism and tips etc. That’s the beautiful thing about Core77!

I understand what you are saying I think. The thought of each sketch going into your portfolio is making you freeze up? It becomes an intimidating mind f*ck?

I’d focus on the project at hand and doing your best for that design vs focusing on your portfolio. Cross that bridge when you come to it. Do great design (in everything you do, from a research graph, to an ideation page, to final models) and the portfolio takes care of itself.

Thanks for the advice. I may post sketching and/or research up to this point for further feedback on my process + sketching.

The same advice I give about this- be confident, and honest. Like Yo said, the portfolio will take care of itself if everything else is in there in terms of process. The most important thing that sketches should show, is communication- period. This is my idea, this is how I got there, this is what I mean. Not all IDers are great drawers, and don’t necessarily have to be GREAT.

Be confident in what you are good at, show improvement for what you’re not. So many facets of ID to get hung up on one part!

Good luck, let us know when you have some stuff to show!!!

I find that when it comes down to the sketching phase, I have the same problem, just a really hard time putting pencil to paper. And I think it’s cause I just don’t sketch that much otherwise, so the pressure is on high in that step. My best way to combat this has been to sketch everyday, sketch complicated things that you don’t have to sketch, it makes it easier to sketch complicated things that you do have to sketch.

I think that is good advice. You can’t wake up one day and run the Boston Marathon without running almost everyday. Sketching kind of works the same way. Simple things get you in the habit, like getting a small moleskin sketchbook and carrying it everywhere you go. Whenever you get an idea, sketch it immediately. Free time on a bus, or a train; doodle. If you get in a mode of visual communication, when you are under pressure, it becomes no big deal. You’ve trained for it.