August 23, 2011

Sketching is Believing: Whitespace’s Debut

Event Co-Creator, Moderator Brad Neal with panelists at the first Whitespace event

No doubt: sketching is critical to making something. Come to think of it, I don’t see the word “sketching” used in a lot of the creative processes published online by designers, design studios and agencies. But talk with a designer and the importance of sketching comes to the fore. Designers may be beholden to sketching—but they are not alone. Scientists sketch theories. Lawyers sketch arguments. Writers sketch characters.

It was especially good to see a writer in the speaker-panel mix at the debut of Whitespace, a new creativity-related series in Chicago. The panel consisted of painter, muralist and teacher Max Sansing; designer, illustrator and speaker Mig Reyes; and experimental fiction writer Megan Milks. Here were some bits from Whitespace’s inaugural installment “Works in Progress: Examining the Sketchbook”:

Sansing on sketching’s role in his murals:

Reyes on the immediate benefit of sketching:

Milks on the natural by-products of sketching:

Part of the event was a communal sketching wall. One participant, “designeresearcher” Joe Meersman, demonstrated his knack for “mecha”:

His sketches for digital products are just as artistic.

I’m reminded of what Shimon Shmueli, Founder and Partner at Touch360, said, “Design is art optimized to meet objectives.” On the surface, sketching is a piece of abstract art. But its purpose, within the context of work, of problem solving, is to rule out abstraction, in order to make something concrete and useful.

What was relearned: Must keep sketching.

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Laws of attraction strikes: See the sketches of characters, lettering and illustrations by Designer, Illustrator and Art Director Adam R. Garcia. Discovered via grain edit.

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Photos by Nate Burgos. See more of Whitespace’s “Works in Progress: Examining the Sketchbook”.

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Typeface of panelists’ quotes is called Massive designed by Shawn Hazen, who also makes awesome typographic illustrations for series Creative Roles.

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