Improve Your Design Through Drawing: Von Glitschka on an Essential Creative Habit

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The ability to draw well is no longer a necessity for most design professionals, but that doesn’t mean that drawing isn’t still a useful and even essential way to generate new ideas and break creative blocks. Indeed, according to the “illustrative designer” Von Glitschka—who has worked for Microsoft, Pepsi, General Motors, and Major League Baseball, among other clients—drawing by hand can not only spur creativity but improve your digital-based work too. On July 19, Glitschka will lead an online tutorial to explain how anyone can use drawing to improve their designs. Below, he answered a few questions about his own creative process.

Von Glitschka's cover illustration for the book Real World Illustrator

Have you always integrated drawing as an exercise into your creative process?

Drawing has always been at the genesis of all my designs. That is how I was taught prior to the dawn of computers and it’s why I think analog skills only make digital skills better.

Do you ever use drawing as a tool to get un-stuck, if you’re in the middle of a process?

The mere process of exploratory through sketching breaks the creative adhesions that hinder progress. It’s a progressive methodology to move a project forward. Skipping this step and jumping on a box will only degrade a process and slow unique thought as well.

What kinds of resources would you recommend to designers who are looking for drawing exercises?

A pencil or pen, paper, and time. Those are the only ingredients needed to improve your drawing skills and your design.

Catch more of Von Glitschka on Design TV

Find out why he calls himself an “illustrative designer” and why he thinks all designers should get friendly with a pencil and paper before tackling vector graphics.

.Register now for Von Glitschka’s live design tutorial, “Drawing Conclusions: How to Improve Your Design Through Drawing,” taking place on July 19 at 2 p.m. EST.