Toy Tech: The Humble Quick Sketch





One of the most common challenges a designer has when trying to capture their big idea on paper, is an overall sense that their conceptual ideas could have been better if only they reached a little higher.

I won’t even mention how many people continually struggle with a limited vocabulary of figural poses and anatomical awareness that makes their design drawings look amateurish, lifeless and in many cases downright wrong.

Anatomy you dare say?! I don’t need no stinking anatomy! Yes, yes, I know you design toys based on cartoons, but everything has it’s own form and anatomical structure. From realistic action figures to cartoon characters and even objects ranging from race cars to free wheeling monster trucks—everything has a sense of physical structure within a three dimensional space.

Well, one of the best exercises to help you bring your design sketches to the next level in terms of having a more confident idea and visual style, is the humble quick sketch—rough, ugly doodles indicating basic thoughts and ideas over and over until the inspired design slowly emerges.

Just begin to draw your idea and keep it rough—don’t worry about being perfect—just let it happen. My quick sketches help me feel my way around a design idea being birthed in my mind, helping me to get the basic idea of the form, while gradually building the important details over the surface within the correct perspective.

These drawings are usually very messy as per my sample posted above, but no one will even see them unless you post them to a blog with global readership, and who in the world would do something like that? So, don’t worry about the initial mistakes or downright failures that are sure to happen, because these sketches are designed to be fast and free flowing with each idea building upon the last.

Some people are wound so tight they are filled with immense fear of failure, so much so they inevitably fail.

So, take this opportunity to explore your design ideas to the fullest potential—be fearless my friend. Push the boundaries of your creativity to turn a good idea into a great idea—boldly go where no one has ever gone before! Where have I heard that before? I digress.

The humble and often neglected quick sketch, helps you develop stronger concepts, along with fresher ideas and more dynamic visuals. Remember, the more you practice the more natural it becomes and your stiff, lifeless drawings will be a thing of the past.

Practice sketching whatever pops into your amazing imagination—just begin the process of allowing your ideas to flow out of your head and onto the paper—I’m sure you’ll be surprise at what inspired designs begin to emerge.



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