I was six years old when in tears I went to my mum telling her how my teacher had reacted to my drawing: “Claudia! What is this supposed to be? That looks so sloppy!”
Even though my mum did her best to comfort me and patiently teach me the basics of drawing, I’ve always found myself really bad at holding a pencil and ‘reproducing the world’.
I’ve never enjoyed showing my drawings or sketches to others as I thought they looked messy and still childish.
I actually still think that my sketches might look like made by a 6-year old. The only thing that has changed is that I no longer care. I really don’t.
Here a few reasons:
- Sketching doesn’t require you to a good artist. It’s about being a good thinker and a good observer.
- Sketches are not a client deliverable.
- The less formal the sketch, the better.
In fact, to be good at sketching you don’t need any formal drawing training as you are not supposed to faithfully reproduce the world.
Sketches can be really helpful when it comes to thinking deeply, exploring initial ideas in a short time and sharing them with team members or even stakeholders. Furthermore, it can help in gaining a deeper understanding of the problem you are trying to solve.
In summary, it is a fast, visually immediate and versatile way of testing your initial ideas.
Here are a few tips I found particularly useful to improve my scribbling skills:
- The first thing to do is get your design weapons: a big piece of paper and a fat sharpie. Possibly avoid pencils as that gives too much time to think and erase. In case something goes wrong, get another piece of paper and give yourself a second chance. How simple is that?
- When drawing set of boxes, think of the box as four different lines, look at the endpoint and try to be fast when drawing the line. Being slow can cause the pen to change direction and the pressure of the pen on the paper is more likely to increase.
- In order to draw straighter lines, pull downward for vertical and go from left to right (left-hands should switch that around) to make horizontal lines.
- Start with the biggest thing first.
So don’t worry if you can’t sketch. You should see it as a quick way to express and share your thoughts, and an excuse to stay away from a computer for a while.
Get your weapons and start scribbling!