Do you sketch? If yes, please continue to the next paragraph. If no, why not? What's keeping you from sketching? There are a lot of excuses people use for not sketching and today I want to share these excuses with you so that you can kill them as soon as they pop up.
How often do you sketch? If you sketch every moment you get then please continue to the next paragraph. If you sketch once in a while then I understand your frustration with sketching. The excuses we come up with for not sketching seem logical but if we dig a bit deeper we will see just how easy it is to overcome them. In this article, I will share some common excuses and provide ways to eliminate them.
If you sketch every day then I applaud you. You understand the importance of sketching consistently. By sketching you are able to ideate, iterate, and communicate your ideas. You are able to sketch in person and you are able to share your ideas by sketching in front of a group. You can sketch with whatever tools you have and you are one with your sketches. You are a sketching machine!
I'll be the first to admit to having used all of these excuses at one time or another but I was able to get past the excuses and harness the power of sketching. If I can do it, you can do it too.
On to the excuses!
“I just don’t have time to sketch.”
I hear this time and time again from people who have attended my talks that here just isn’t enough time in the day to sketch. You have to prioritize sketching and carve out small chunks of time to fit sketching into your daily routine. Make a commitment to sketch whether in your sketchbook at your desk or on a whiteboard during a meeting. By seeking out moments in your day to sketch, you will realize just how little time you actually need to sketch.
“I can’t sketch”
This has to be the mother of all excuses (MOAE). Can you draw a line? Can you draw basic shapes such as a circle, a square, a rectangle, or a triangle? If so, then you can sketch! Everything you see can be broken down into basic shapes. You don’t have to add a lot of details to your sketches. Keep them simple and you will feel less pressure about your ability to sketch. You don’t have to be an artist to sketch and you definitely don’t need to be “creative” to get your ideas out by sketching. Sketch every day and make your mantra for the next few months, “I can sketch”. Repeat it until it sinks in. Putting in the time and convincing yourself that you can actually sketch is the first step to becoming a sketching machine.
“My sketches are messy”
Stop focusing on perfection. No one thinks their sketches are great no matter how long they have been sketching. There is always room for improvement. Each time someone sees my sketches I cringe inside and feel like running away from the scene. As you keep sketching consistently that voice gets fainter but is always present. Remember it’s not about the actual physical sketches, it’s about the ideas and the conversations that the sketches enable.
“I’m worried about what others will think”
I hear you. You don’t want to be judged. You don’t want to look bad in front of your peers. Starting something is always going to be tough. Our expectations for ourselves are high even though we haven’t put the hours into improving the skill. One way to get around this feeling is to fake it till you make it. Don’t worry about what others will think. Next time you share a sketch in person or up on a whiteboard, play it like a pro and don’t make excuse for your sketches as you sketch. Keep sketching consistently to improve and to gain the confidence you need.
“I’m not creative”
It’s not about creativity or how beautiful your sketches are. It’s about your ideas. It’s about sharing your thoughts by getting them out of your head. You’re not making a masterpiece of art, you’re making a sketch. You don’t need an art degree to sketch. You just need to start sketching. You are full of great ideas that will change the world. Your job is to get those ideas out.
How can you beat all of these excuses?
Sketch every single day.
That is really it. There is no magic pill. No need to buy any app, book, or course.
You just need to sketch consistently.
Start small and commit to sketching just 5 minutes on a daily basis. This will help you find the time to sketch which is important because if you’re not sketching consistently then you just won’t see the results you want. As you gain confidence, you can start to increase the time or quantity of your sketches.
Now you are armed with the simple method to beat the excuses for not sketching, you are ready to jump into sketching and be on your way to becoming a sketching machine!
Good luck, I know you can do it.
Need help? You can reach me at rizwan at rizwanjavaid dot com for any advice or suggestions on sketching.
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