When more complex film designs are worked out alongside
corresponding play sets or toys for retail, I usually ratchet it up a bit by building a
low polygon model in Maya 3D. Once that model corrects my initial rough
freehand sketches, I draw over that in digital freehand to complete my design
thoughts. More often than not, I’m using 3d just so I can play around with
camera angles to get the most dynamic positioning and check my measurements.
So, it’s the best of both worlds—computer accuracy integrated
with freehand techniques. This allows you to have complete control over your design
process every step of the way. From using high-powered 3d programs to roughing
out simple perspective guidelines on a Photoshop layer, you now have more
avenues than ever before to create precise ideation design sketches.
The trend in the retail toy industry regarding the staffing of
design teams has already seen this shift in requiring computer skills combined
with conventional design skills. Team leaders are also expected to have digital
skills to effectively manage the workflow and continually grow employee skill
sets—both growth patterns will make or break the future of a corporate entity.
That’s why some companies fade away and others become even more prominent all within
the same economic climate.
Continued development is vital in all strategic skills that
involve your career such as ideation, design and digital applications. To be
straight out with you—the corporate environment today demands nothing less than
your very best. You should never stop growing or think you have arrived—the
creative journey is never ending and always evolving in terms of ideas and
One of the best ways to continue to learn and find inspiration is gleaning wisdom from the experience of other people in the industry who are more than willing to share. I really like Bruce Lund’s book, Bruce’s Beliefs, I think I read it three times now and it
still inspires me. The same can be said for Richard Gottlieb’s articles on
Global Toy News and the information that has been streaming online pertaining to the World Congress of Play.
There are so many people in this industry to draw inspiration
from—make sure you take advantage of these valuable resources. What is so amazing about
being a creative thinker is that we actually grow through interaction with other
creative thinkers—steel sharpens steel. I certainly would not be where I am today both professionally and personally without the great mentors I have been fortunate to have worked with over the years.
I think we can all agree that your work speaks for itself—so
what does it say? Make sure your ideation sketches represent your ideas in the
best possible light by giving them the solid foundation they deserve. My Disney
mentor once told me that the difference between a really impactful image and
one that misfires is only a few minutes of upfront prep work. Do you have an
extra few minutes?
Continued in part 3 . . .