Creativity is a journey of exploration, a process that uncovers brilliant ideas and innovations. Every designer knows that the path to exceptional design is not always straightforward. It involves traversing through the mundane and generic to unearth the extraordinary. We delve into the concept of sketching 100 design ideas to understand how the initial 20% may seem ordinary while the real gems emerge after passing the halfway mark.
8 Points To Consider To Make Amazing Designs
1. The Brain’s Natural Tendency
As much as we’d like to believe that our creative minds can instantly produce masterpieces, the reality is quite different. Our brains are wired to follow familiar patterns and seek known solutions. It is only natural that the initial sketches tend to be generic and unoriginal, resembling what others might have already produced on the same topic. These ideas are like warm-up exercises, priming our minds for what lies ahead.
2. Embracing Imperfection
As designers, it’s crucial to understand that not every idea that flows from our minds will be a masterpiece. Embracing imperfection is a part of the creative process. By allowing ourselves to explore different possibilities, even if they turn out to be garbage, we create space for better concepts to emerge, often using the garbage ideas as a stepping stone. There is often a takeaway in the subset of each idea, even if the main idea is a “No GO.” Remember, even the greatest artists in history produced numerous rough sketches before arriving at their magnum opus.
3. Pushing Past the 50% Mark
The true magic starts once we cross the halfway point of our sketching journey. As we delve deeper into the process, we enter a flow state – a mental state of being fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, complete absorption, and enjoyment in creating. At this stage, our minds break free from conventional constraints, and our ideas take flight. The flow state is often triggered by an ah haw moment, that the current sketch is the idea that is going to be the one. We work feverishly to flush it out in excitement, hoping that we can bring the idea to fruition.
4. Discovering Divergence
Beyond the halfway mark lies a world of divergent ideas waiting to be explored. These concepts are unique, fresh, and born out of creative courage. This is where we detach ourselves from the tried and tested and venture into the uncharted territory of design. Divergent thinking allows us to connect seemingly unrelated dots, resulting in designs that stand out from the crowd. This is the time to take risks. You never know when a risk will pan out. The old saying goes, “the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.”
5. Extracting Value from Initial Ideas
Although the first 20% of our sketches might be ordinary, they are not entirely devoid of value. These initial ideas serve as stepping stones, guiding us toward the extraordinary. Analyze them with a critical eye, extract elements worth pursuing, and use them as building blocks for the next stage of your creative journey. As I mentioned before, the is almost always a takeaway from each idea or a tangent idea to jump off from.
6. The Art of Iteration
Sketching 100 concepts is not a one-time task; it’s a cycle of iteration. As you uncover remarkable ideas during the later stages, revisit your initial sketches, and reevaluate them. You may find that some of these seemingly generic concepts can be transformed into brilliant designs with minor tweaks or by combining them with other creative elements. I often revisit my old ideas when I start a new project. The idea may not be right for the first client but could be perfect for a client later down the road.
7. Embracing Your Unique Perspective
Amidst the vast sea of designers, what truly sets you apart is your perspective. Your life experiences, preferences, and unique way of thinking are the ingredients that spice up your designs. Embrace your individuality, and let it shine through in your work. Celebrate the divergence, and let it become your design signature. If you think you are too weird and shy away from putting your ideas out there, that could be what is holding you back. Often times weirdness is just what this world needs.
8. Invest in learning to sketch.
There are a lot of books teaching you how to sketch by hand, and there is a lot of software out there that can help you sketch out your designs. Learning how to use both pencil and software can help you iterate your designs faster and more in-depth. One of the main software I use is called SketchUp. I find it intuitive to use, which allows me to stay in the flow state for as long as I need without having to go through complicated software menus to draw what is in my mind’s eye. If you want to learn SketchUp, consider joining me. I teach an online SketchUp course that teaches you how to use the software at a proficient level.
Sketching 100 concepts on a design topic is not merely an exercise in generating ideas; it’s an exploration of your creative mind. The initial sketches may seem unremarkable, but they pave the way for the emergence of brilliant ideas as you progress. Embrace the imperfection, push past the halfway mark, and dive into the flow state where true creativity flourishes. Remember, every sketch holds value, and together, they form the stepping stones to designing amazing, innovative creations that leave a lasting impact. So, the next time you feel stuck with generic ideas, don’t fret – embrace the process, and let the true gems reveal themselves to you. Happy sketching!