3 MIN READ

Drawing on details

As a keen traveler, I enjoy the experience of visiting different places and embracing the local cultures. On my most recent expedition (before the pandemic), I wanted to document my journey through a different medium: sketching.

Sketching is a vital tool when trying to convey ideas to clients or in my mechanical engineering team. As a way to improve my off-the-cuff and observational drawing, I took a sketchbook on my travels with the intention to sketch different landmarks and landscapes.

I quickly discovered the experience not only improved my quick-sketching ability, but also helped me develop a number of key skills that we use in many of our medical device projects.

Plan for different conditions

When working on a project, whether in the office or at home, you need to be flexible to adapt to different settings. As I’ve discovered, sketching skills can come in handy in many different situations, from brainstorming design ideas to helping to convey messages. It’s important to be prepared for different situations, and learn when to take advantage of a good opportunity.

I was lucky to find a shady spot to do the sketch below, however, the subsequent weeks required much more adapting to avoid sketching in heavy rain!

Be open to scrutiny

When presenting work to a client, it can be hard to overcome the anxiety of criticism and challenges. I believe all feedback should be openly shared and welcome constructive comments. As with any project, some ideas will work and others won’t. Sometimes, they might just need a small tweak.

A local street vendor cheerfully identified that I had missed some detail with the flags on this image below, I was grateful for the pointer!

Get a change of scenery

Sometimes distractions can be an obstacle to focusing on project work and it can be useful to get a change the scenery. Whether it’s changing desks at the office, or moving rooms at home for a lockdown alternative, an important way to stay creative with your ideas is to try out different perspectives.

This view of Kinkaku-ji offered an ideal angle for my sketch.

While taking photos is a quick and easy way to document a journey, it can become a somewhat forgettable experience with smart phones and unlimited data storage. I really enjoyed building unique memories of a place from the perspective of a sketchbook; and this can be applied to my work at Team. Observational sketching is useful when quickly conveying design changes to existing designs, fixtures or products.

I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to sketch, whether it’s an innovative new design concept, or perhaps something more exotic!

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