​​5 Reasons why sketching is useful, if not necessary for every creative

It’s not, but it definitely improves communication

Hike One
Hike One
Sep 4, 2018 · 5 min read
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Sketch Lesson at Hike One, Amsterdam

Technically, as a creative (an illustrator, artist, or designer) you don’t need to know how to sketch, rather you just need to know how to communicate with your audience. Whether that be communicating your idea or vision, communicating with your team, or communicating to yourself, communication is the key fundamental ingredient to a creative endeavour.

To be blunt, I know that everyone is capable of sketching. Sketching is not some inherited talent you get from your grandparents but rather a raw tool that has always been in your toolbox. A tool that can be practiced, mastered, and utilized as a means of communication.

You’re probably sitting there reading these past few lines thinking “He’s crazy, I can’t sketch, you don’t even want to see me try”.

In all honesty, you’ve been most likely approaching this dilemma all wrong.
Instead of comparing your sketching prowess to that of Picasso or those that “are better” I ask you to view yourself as the beholder of your own unique style in mastering sketching as an impactful communication tool. Why wouldn’t you take the perspective of the latter? Who cares that you can’t sketch like Picasso, as long as your sketches convey what you are trying to communicate.

So, to relate back to the title of this article, below I’ve given you in true Medium fashion five reasons why you should start investing in learning how to sketch and add it to your communication toolbox.

Pro tip, reason number five is “Because it’s fun!”

5 reasons why you should invest in learning how to sketch

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1. Thinking visually saves time ⏳

Think about it, what’s easier: Describing how you make a toast in words or rather by sketching it out? Don’t believe, me check out this TED talk. After all, we all have heard the idiom: A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, it really is just simpler to sketch it out.

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2. Sketching enables you to unlock your full brain capacity 🧠

This is pretty obvious if you think about it. Your brain has two halves, one that serves your logic and the other — your creativity. Which do you think sketching taps into? By teaching yourself to access both halves of your brain you enable yourself to approach problems or tasks from a fresh perspective! Viewing a complex problem or process through the lens of a sketch has the potential to provide you with new insights and understandings.

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3. Visual thinkers make better learners, who in turn make better communicators 👩‍🚀

Imagine all the information that you take in every day goes through you via filters. The more filters you put the information through, the more likely you are to retain it for later use. Ever hear someone say “I’m more of a visual learner”, well we all are. By sketching out something you hear or see, you are giving yourself your own mental memory of the information.

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4. Sketching gets everyone thinking visually, and aligned 💬

Think back to those countless meetings you’ve been in where everyone takes their turn speaking their part. What tends to manifest is that miscommunication and unwarranted tangents rear their heads causing the focus and goal of the meeting to all but disappeared.
Imagine that there was some sort of red thread to keep everyone focused, aligned, and above all engaged. Now imagine you are sketching out what everyone is saying on the whiteboard in the room. You’ve now created a focal point for all those miscommunications and tangents to be tied to. You’ve kept everyone aligned and engaged, while at the same time looking like a creative badass!

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5. Sketching is just plain fun! 🤸‍♂️

Okay, maybe it won’t be necessarily fun at first but I assure you the learning curve is fast and rewarding. Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to incorporate sketching into your own personal workflow?

It’s nice to write about all the benefits and reasons for becoming a visual thinker through sketching, but how do you actually begin on honing and practicing yourself in this craft? That’s where Hike One, the design consultancy for which I work for, steps in.

Hike One is committed to spreading the message that everyone is capable of sketching and being a visual thinker. We don’t just preach this stuff, we’re also bluntly realistic, just because we are a design consultancy doesn’t mean that every one of our colleagues is adept at sketching. That is why we host our own internal sketch lessons, streamed live on YouTube, weekly on Thursday mornings to give ourselves the chance to hone our mastery of sketching as a tool to utilize within our projects.

Furthermore, we are happy to announce that we will be rolling out an interactive masterclass as part of our Training & Academy. It won’t make you a master of sketching (yet) but instead supply you with the tools, tricks, and knowledge necessary to become one.

By Lodovico Marchesini
Designer & Sketch Master at Hike One

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