It’s time to learn to think like an employer and not an employee.

title slide which says “don’t get an internship”

Foreword

This is a beloved topic of mine because it sits so close to my heart and encapsulates how I think about design and my place in this world. My hope for those that read it is that…


Not until you’re ready, young grasshopper.

Digital sketch of a revlon hair dryer

Only when you can sketch by hand well


Only if it helps you communicate the overall sketch better.

Sketches of cameras with a red pen

It depends

When learning to sketch in industrial design, speed is highly prioritized. That’s because constant iteration is essential in the beginning of a project — you want to get out as many solutions as possible. What this means is that erasing


It helps you make progress when others can’t (or won’t) help you.

It requires common sense and critical thinking

I touch on this idea of course-correcting slightly in this article, but I think it’s too important to be left alone, so I’ll give a little bit more context around how it applies to sketching, business, and just…


Using different methods of construction can yield better results.

It gives you more ways to arrive at a better product design sketch

I find this to be especially helpful when copying a sketch that, despite its simplicity, is deceptively difficult to draw. The rationale behind starting the sketch in different ways is to determine what the most important lines in the sketch are


It’s only worth it if you want it to be.

Is a product design degree worth it?

It depends

Design education is largely interested in creating employees with great talent who will go and fill companies. I don’t think being an employee is bad at all — we need them. The main problem I have with design education is…


It’s something everyone has to endure.

It’s just the nature of the beast

In your product sketching, there are plenty of highs and lows. Even from one drawing to the other in a single session, you’ll find that you can be widely inconsistent in terms of quality. A great sketch followed by… well, a really trashy one…


The slower you go, the more progress you’ll make in the end.

Three sketches of a bike helmet in red pen

1. Set Goals

Those who set goals are far more likely to achieve them than those that don’t. It also gives you clarity on what you want to get better at in sketching. It’s unhelpful to say that you just “want…


It will only leave you discouraged as you practice sketching.

It will stunt your growth

I’m sure you’re familiar with those 30-day sketching challenges that people will do on social media. The pictures are perfect, with just the right lighting. Pens and pencils all lined up in an aesthetic way. Not to mention the sketches…


And you already know how to do it.

A sketch of a man in purple colored pencil stares off into the distance
A sketch of mine using a humble purple colored pencil.

1. Consistency

Among the most powerful things in this world, it seems to me that consistency ranks at the top. Making big changes, big progress, big businesses, big whatever, it’s merely a little bit of progress a day. …

Isaiah Trotter

Creator of Orbittemplates.com, where I help designers to sketch and build entrepreneurial careers.

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