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12th March 2017

If you "can’t draw", that’s great for design workshops

If you “can’t draw to save your life”, you are my favourite person to have in a group workshop. That look of fear in your eyes because I’ve asked you to draw 3 sketches in two minutes means it’s going to be a great session.

Not being able to draw gives you a big advantage over more art-savvy individuals, and here’s why: you spend your time creating diagrams that can communicate the idea, rather than spending time making things look proportional and technically correct. This means you can potentially work faster and can achieve more in the allocated time than the graphic designer sitting next to you. Whilst others around you are over-thinking, you are busy just finishing. It’s more of a gut reaction, which creates a great starting point for further thought and conversation.

Over the course of the workshop you adapt to being a reactive thinker, and naturally solve problems through a determination to keep up with the room. After the ice-breaker exercises you will realise you have nothing to lose by giving things a shot. This type of person often go on to be the champion of the workshop.

When we do these workshops, no one creates great looking sketches. They are not meant to look great. That’s why we encourage chunky pens and varying paper sizes, with exercises that last only a few minutes. Most of the time the exercises are done simply to get you to think in a different way. Your brain is working at a very fast pace to simultaneously think of ideas and get them down on paper in a certain format for the exercise at hand. Once the group is over the fact that their sketches look a bit shit because they’ve seen everyone else’s equally shitty looking ones, the real fun begins. It’s an intense day, but one that generates a lot of ideas and maybe, just maybe, the next billion dollar startup.

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