In just 3 short weeks, I feel I am being trained to look, see and sketch like a designer. Our sketching skills are clearly seen as a vital and integral part of succeeding on the course as it is so encouraged. I am making more time for sketches, aiming for one every day. At the moment my sketches are mainly of architecture, interesting things I see in the street and people and portraits. In my search for something to draw each day, I have noticed myself noticing more interesting things around me as I walk through the city. For instance when I went to pick up shopping the other day, a narrow tunnel type of alleyway caught my eye and so I ducking In to explore. Thanks to the photo essay we had to do for the Picture Symbol Icon module, I realise that already I am less self-conscious about openly exploring.  Previously I would hurried past such intriguing alleyways and yet now I feel validated in my curiosity and in sating it.

I have also been making a conscious effort to take visual notes, to doodle and sketch when listening as a new way of retaining information as opposed to my previous approach which was simply to translate what I was hearing into words on a page as quickly as possible without actually processing or retaining anything. At the moment I am struggling not to just pick random words from what I am hearing to illustrate – I will have to get the hang of selecting the relevant information to doodle and not just doodling recognisable verbs and nouns.  Although after the research I have done for the previous parts of this essay, I would have to ask myself if I am taking visual notes as an accurate record of what was said and which can be referred back to in the same way as visual notes or are my visual notes simply a way of processing the information as I hear it which allows me to remember the information better even without the possible need for referring back to note prompts.

I would say myself as a designer, I find the designing and thinking process easier if I can sketch. I know that an idea can go around and around in my head for days and never really develop into anything meaningful and yet if I start sketching my idea, I quickly come up with ways to improve the idea. I find it easier to spot problems with a design when I can see them drawn out. Every now and again I begin drawing something and just because of the way I sketch, it ends up looking like something else or sparking some different inspiration.

I am looking forward to further developing my sketching skills and seeing how doodling helps me retain spoken information.


All images are my own.