weak sketches or no sketch at all?

Hi! I am an ID student who’s putting together a portfolio for a summer internship.

As for now, my sketches are still kinda weak, and the 3D-renderings are stronger and more communicative. So my question is, should I still include those sketches in the portfolio, or just stick to the 3D-renderings?

I’m trying to improve my sketches, though I have to admit often I just dont try hard enough. :blush:
Hopefully can be a successful resolution in 2011 :smiley:



I think you answered your own question.

If you had a portfolio with no sketches, I would probably toss it in the trash.

If you had a portfolio with poor sketches, I would look through it, and then probably move to the next portfolio.

The ID world is insanely competitive - if you are admitting your sketches are weak then spend the next 3 months busting your ass to improve your sketches and redo sketches for your previous projects. Every student these days is expected to be able to put together some 3D renderings - that doesn’t show me how you think, how you ideate, or how you can design - just that you know a piece of software.

Sketching is a skill and the more you do it the better you will get. If you don’t, you have almost no shot of getting an internship if it’s a competitive position.

That’s the harsh truth.

A pretty sketch although nice on the eyes is useless if the idea is garbage. A weak sketch that shows a great idea and development process is extremely valuable.

The only way to improve your sketches is through repetition, the more you practice and follow the guidelines the easier it will come.

In the end I would say show the sketchs as they show the development process… Did you just go straight to the final design… or did you have 20 ideas with 3 of them being really good and you chose the best to proceed(this is shown in the sketch process no matter how rough). Remember what makes us valuable as ID people is the number of ideas we can generate and the speed we can generate them at. If all you do is show 3D renderings then it shows you as more of a 2 dimensional designer.

Chevis W.

And a weak sketch with a garbage idea… you know where this is going.

I would say that a weak sketch with a great idea can still teeter on uselessness. If I can’t visually comprehend what is going on in a sketch I’m more than likely to glance over it quickly, not understand what is going on and move to the next page. It may be OK as a napkin sketch to get an idea across in a meeting, but a portfolio should be about explaining your process and why you as a student would be more valuable to my team than any of the other 30 portfolios in my email box.

Does that mean that fantastically rendered trash bins will win my heart? No. But if you don’t show you’ve at least taken the time to visually explain your thought process in a way that is coherant and easily read (line weight people, line weight!) it doesn’t matter how outstanding your final result is.

The reality is these days it seems like the vast majority of student work really isn’t “new” ideas. Even across schools you see all the patterns for projects and similar results (“hey look at my chair that also turns into an android tablet!”) which is fine - but the person who explains how and why they developed their idea is the one who gets the interview.

a change in career… :smiley:

I find this also , with so many designers focusing on have a great sketch style and working on visuals but when it comes down to it and you ask them he hard questions… What materials are you using, why is it a better design, what is it’s value, how have you innovated… it draws blank stares and at times the student get upset because the spent so much time on the sketch / renderings / models and are really happy with the visual, and feel that Amount of time spent Should equal good design. I have even seen situations where they got so wrapped up in the visuals that they forgot to solve the problem they stated in the beginning.

And yes a great visual presentation of a poor design can and has beaten out a great design with a poor presentation (depending on who the viewers are)

So to clarify my point earlier, you must continue to grow and develop you sketch ability as it is a form of communication and the clear it is the better your idea can be represented or speak for itself with you you needing to be an interpreter. And the truth is in many projects there is not enough time to us 3D modeling at the upfront concept phase.

Include your weak sketches. Like others have said, it is better than no sketches.

I would like to add some advice, though. Your sketches may be weak now, but you can almost certainly get them to a ‘good enough’ level that will get you a job if your ideas are good. My advice is to not avoid sketching, practice it more. Just work on perspective and making things read well. Relax. Don’t worry if your lines aren’t crazy smooth. I’m seen some sketches that had pretty wobbly lines but everything else was great and I really liked those sketches because the idea was great. After you warm-up and get in a little groove, you will enjoy sketching much more, when things start to really flow.

I had a friend that didn’t really like sketching in 3D at first, so he just avoided it like the plague throughout his entire ID education, even to the point where it would be the reason he refused job offers. He has great ideas, but because he refused to learn to sketch in 3d, he is now relegated to trying to be a web designer/interface designer. Everyone has their niche, but I firmly believe it was only his mentality that prevented him from getting over the hump, because he was too much of a perfectionist about drawing the perfect sketch.\

So, just loosen up and keep sketching. Especially when you’re excited about an idea, that’s when you sketch the best, because you want to present it well enough to sell people on it.

Include it if it shows your thinking process.

Do you guys have tips for people looking to improve their sketching?

Or is it the three P’s of sketching: Practice, practice and practice.

Practice. Look at examples. Draw from real life. Reflect on your sketches after you’ve done them and analyze what needs to be improved. Think about how many hours you’ve spent sketching, then think about the fact that it takes 10,000 hours at any skill to be an expert.

Go to idsketching.com and the forums here. Go through the tutorials until you feel comfortable, then move on. Watch the videos. Submit things on their to get tips and feedback.

Do not make the classic mistake… example- Person see’s Syde Meads sketchs… Whooooo thats how i want to sketch. So they sit down and try to copy it.

Not understanding that first in order to sketch like that you need to master the basics. Work on drawing box’s in various perspectives and angles, work on adding nice clean line weight. Work on ellipses, and refine to cylinders.

Look at the schools like CCS were and entire drawing class can be deveoted to create ellipses all day. 5deg, 10d, 15, 20, 30… and so on. Repetition is an amazing thing.

Starting at the basic is not always fun, but it can be easier and less frustrating then trying to simple “start” a the mid point of the learning process.

Also what a video that show some one from start to finish. They usually have a very rough layout that they then do overlays to refine. I see so many people especially now with tablets sit and draw the same line 15 times and hitting the undo button until they get it just right… And this is just to get an idea down…

thanks all for the feedback! Thinking of reworking the sketches before putting it in the portfolio then.

Haha, I have to admit that did come across to me as well. but hopefully I don’t succumb to the temptation. :mrgreen: