I’ve been meaning to improve my visual skills a little more this year but somehow found myself putting it off because 1) I told myself that I didn’t have time and 2) I wasn’t good at it anyway. Perhaps the real reason was that I hadn’t identified why.
Why did I want to practice sketching? Why did I want to practice taking better photos? None of the reasons I gave seemed important enough.
According to this blog post on Marvel (the prototyping tool), sketching is a good way to refine your thinking and communicate your ideas.
Although I still believe that all ideas begin with words, some things are just better communicated with visuals, like website mockups or mobile app user flows.
Like Jon Robinson (the writer of this article), I like starting with pen and paper. Getting those initial drawings down on paper helps me to get the structure of it figured out before I start designing with software.
It helps me save time — because I would know what assets I need before I even open a new file in Sketch or Figma.
“There’s no tool more adept at creative output than the human brain and body,” writes Robinson.
He admits that we do “rely on digital software for the final execution of design ideas” but software doesn’t allow for “quick iteration and exploration” in the same way that sketching by hand does.
Perhaps exploration’s a good enough reason for me.