A Seemingly Essential Step: Sketching?

When reading through LESSONS LEARNED—CLASS OF 2013, there were countless pieces of advice that were shared between nearly every student. Points that seemed to be repeated constantly were: attend office hours, manage your time wisely, be open to criticism, etc. 

However, one point that showed up time and time again was to make multiple sketches before starting a project digitally. This was a huge surprise to me. I thought back to my own process for when I create digital artwork and realized that I always jump into a piece blind. I approach my work with just a faint idea, experimenting until I feel semi-satisfied.

I read over and over how the majority, if not all, of the GRA 217 students of the 2013 class felt that sketching was one of the most important steps prior to starting a project, and it got me thinking. There is definitely a time and place for impulsive, spontaneous work. But there is also so many pros to taking the time to flesh out an idea by hand for a couple reasons:

  • This first reason goes without saying: it gives you time to think about your idea. Also, with a free-flowing hand and a blank piece of paper there’s less pressure.
  • Sketching was my first artistic love, so reverting back to the basics and getting in touch with where my skill truly lies definitely helps when translating my own personal style onto a digital platform.
  • Depending on the individual, it can be less time-consuming to sketch things out in the early stages of a project. Time is something that seems to be extremely important in GRA 217, so there is none to waste!





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