Can Design be Taught or Do you Need Talent?

teach design
How much can be taught and how much is raw talent?
Does a graphic designer need to be able to draw?

A graphic designer in my opinion needs to be a reasonable good artist and therefore must have raw talent. I have often wondered if there are good designers out there who can’t draw? When I was at college a few of the students admitted their drawings skills were somewhat limited. Surely a designer must have at least some artistic ability to see the balance on a page?

How much can be taught. If your average “non artistic” person was taken out of an office job and taught about grids and balancing elements on a page could they ever be a good designer?

To me there are two types of jobs the type that can be learned and the type that you need talent for. Athletes, artists, performers, designers to me would all come under one category – raw talent required, while many other jobs can be learned, that’s not to say to varying degrees of ability. A non artistic person can be taught to organise information in a logical and pleasing form but I don’t honestly think they can truly create a good design, but I guess that is where the question “what is good design” comes in. One advantage that a non design person could have over an “artistic” designer is you would imagine they could be more focused on functionality and readability?

Computers have made it so easy to put together a document (however badly) that I have seen some sites showing the portfolio of “the designer” who is clearly not a designer. They perhaps can use a few design programs, and perhaps programming, but have no sense of design and aesthetics.

What do you think can designed be taught or do you need talent?

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49 Comments

  1. Posted August 8, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I think the first thing to be taken into consideration is the definition of “talent”: is it just the capability to do something good in a particular field, or must others factors be taken into account? In my opinion, talent itself is often overrated. Of course I believe that it is important, but it’s not enough. Interest, hard work, determination and motivation are all crucial requirements to achieve success, which talent alone cannot do. If we redefine “talent” including all these things—including being taught, too!— then fine, you just need talent.

  2. Posted August 8, 2007 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    There does seem to be some innate thing that makes a good designer. I don’t know if drawing is part of it though. I think that’s a slightly different talent, though it is certainly closely related. I draw “adequately”, but would never attempt character design, for example. Talent is relative, so depending on what dose of it God gives you and how much you do to encourage and develop that talent will determine what level of quality your design can achieve. There are many people who can become “good” designers, but will never be “great”. If there’s not at least some of that innate thing we call “talent” though, there is no way to get it.

  3. Posted August 8, 2007 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    For me, you don’t have to be Leonardo to design, you simply need the ability to express your ideas to another using paper and pen.

    Drawing can be learnt, just like anything else in my opinion. If you really want it, and you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything.

    Of course, my hope of becoming a premiership footballer faded quite a few years ago.

  4. kath
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Good drawing can be taught — to some more easily than others. And there are plenty of wonderful artists who are just horrendous designers, it seems. But if you just want to learn how to draw, apparently reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain will get you a ways on its own. It’s just looking at something and translating that to your hands.

    I think a lot of the creative thinking strategies can be taught, but if there’s one thing I think ‘talent’ or natural aptitude would be relied upon is how well you think creatively naturally. It could be learned, to an extent, but you’ve easily got a leg up if you already think that way.

  5. Posted August 8, 2007 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    A local designer friend of mine can’t draw with a pencil to save his life, much less with an application like Illustrator. That said, he is one of the most gifted typography-focused designers I know. I think that drawing skills can be taught, but there’s something that has to be innate in the person to really make it blossom. That “something” could just be an eye for aesthetics or creativity cultured in the person. Design isn’t just a collection of rules and best practices – there has to be some heart behind it.

    Listen to a piece of music played by an electronic piano verses the same piece played by a lover or student of music. Although the notes are the same, the effect is totally different.

  6. Posted August 8, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I agree with what Kath said about teaching and learning drawing. You can learn it, but then you MUST practice. I’m not a very good artist in terms of being able to draw with a pencil and accurately, realistically render something, but I think I’m a pretty decent designer. Illustrator and Photoshop make me appear to be a good artist as well ;) Yay for tracing pictures!

    I think that designers who can draw definitely have an advantage in that they can often create a lot of art for use in their designs and not have to buy it.

    As to teaching design, that’s what Creative Curio is all about! I definitely believe the skills and basics can be learned, though there is no guarantee that person will be good; some people just aren’t wired to design, just like some people aren’t wired to understand calculus.

    A sense of what looks “right” in terms of design again gives someone a head start, but that is only an intuition that has been learned through studying what good design is (even if it was unconsciously acquired).

  7. Posted August 8, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion, no.

    There are few people who aren’t able to explain an idea on pen and paper — quality of the drawing are less important. Unless the term “designer” here is limited to the person who does the actual execution, there is no need for drawing abilities above average.

    One good example is Storm Thorgerson’s famous cover for the 1973 Pink Floyd album: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bb/Dsotm.jpg

    Storm is credited as the designer, and is widely known for that particular cover — but he never did the actual illustration for the final cover. He’s still the designer. (I’m not saying he can not draw; he can.)

    There will always be people who are terribly skilled with a range of applications, as well as with pen and paper, so the only thing you absolutely -need- as a designer is the ability to communicate your idea to those people.

    The same thing is seen in several great album covers: they often use only photos, but the designer is rarely the photographer.

  8. Posted August 8, 2007 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Hurh, I realised I technically said ‘no’, and then argued for ‘yes’. I meant ‘no, you don’t need to be a drawer’.

    :D

  9. W
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve known some designers who do gorgeous design work, yet cannot draw to save their lives; on the other hand, I also know quite a few brilliant illustrators who cannot layout (balancing elements) to save their lives either.

  10. Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Hellooo Tara,
    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get here – bit of a busy spell at the frogblog!
    Graphic Designers are my new best friends – I’ve recently been using a designer for the first time in order to get my artwork ready for commercial printing; it is SUCH a weight of my mind to let them do the tweaking of placement.
    I understand now why so many kids want to be graphic designers when they are good at art.
    I believe that these various skills CAN be taught and improved on, but that there is still that spark inside a person that makes them particularly good at some things more than others.

  11. Posted August 9, 2007 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    I think the talent that is necessary to be a good designer is a talent for visual / spatial creativity, which is applied to drawing but doesn’t mean you have to be a skilled illustrator.

    On the other hand, I think that having talent as an illustrator will give you confidence in approaching your design work, especially at the conceptual stage when you’re playing with ideas and drafts.

  12. Posted August 9, 2007 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I disagree with you quite strongly on this one Tara. I hold a very firm belief that an individual can be whatever they want to be. There’s no god-given talent needed, just practise and determination.

    There’s nothing special about being able to design. Being a ‘good designer’ is nothing more than a reward for learning the craft and practising over a number of years. Anyone who thinks they have a ‘gift’ I consider a tad pretentious.

    That’s not to say some youngsters don’t grow up more talented drawers and artists than others. But this has nothing to do with any natural gift, its a result of their interests and experiences over their life. If a child is not interested in drawing they wont be a good drawer. If a child’s parents don’t encourage them to try artistic things, they won’t be very good at being artistic.

    If we look at a ‘talented’ footballer for instance, say Cristiano Ronaldo. No one has such close ball control and speedy footwork as Ronaldo. Is this because he was born with this talent, or because his father made him play football from the age of three, practise all day every day, and that Cristiano clearly loves the sport? I’d say the latter.

    Going back to design, unlike a professional footballer I don’t think you need to be practising from the age of three to be a professional designer. Starting early helps, but in reality I would say just two to three years of devoting yourself to the craft, learning and practising, should be enough to establish a talent, and therefore enter the industry. It will take a lot longer to be a great designer, but anyone can do it.

  13. Posted August 9, 2007 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.” (Paul Arden)

    This summarizes my first comment.

  14. Posted August 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    HI everybody, sorry to take so long to respond, yesterday was a nightmare we have just had a new bathroom fitted and after having a shower I discovered it was raining in my office downstairs :(

    Stefano, Tracey, Randa, Lauren, Joe, Kath, David, Asgeir thanks for all your input, some very different but interesting views.

    Bimmy – goodluck with the book

    David – Who wants to be a professional footballer anyway, I’m sure you can make much more money as a designer ;)

    Asgeir, Thanks for your comment and the link.

  15. Posted August 9, 2007 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for your input. I still disagree about talent though. You mention the fooballer and how he became good through practice, now however much I tried as a kid I could not run fast, I could never have been a good sprinter. I could have got better but I would never have been good.

  16. PassingThrough
    Posted August 9, 2007 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    My first ever comment, hi guys :) – Tara I really disagree, I teach sport to kids in my spare time and had you practiced the correct technique and spent time developing your leg muscles you would have improved your sprinting. You may not break world records but anyone can get to a decent level through practice. It’s the same with design, music, football, whatever.

    I was strongly advised not to do anything creative due to a ‘lack of drawing talent’ when growing up and ended up a scientist, which I hated. I ended up quiting and now design and write presentations for some very big names. This is through hard work and dedication, not through some ‘gift’ at birth.

    If I can do it, anyone can. Hard work and desire will get you much further than some pretentious belief that you have an innate talent to do something. I struggle to draw a stick man, it hasn’t stopped me writing and designing professionally :)

  17. Posted August 9, 2007 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I believe you have to have some raw talent for sure. When I am interviewing designers I always ask if they paint or draw and if so can I see some of that work. As a designer and an artist I find that I use concepts of each other when working on my design and art. But I also think that raw talent doesn’t survive on it’s own there needs to be some education.

  18. Posted August 9, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I have been personally saying this for years – I cannot draw. I have been doing graphic and web design for about 7 years now and I still can’t draw to save my life!

    I’ve always dubbed it the ‘design yips’ (the yips is a golf term wherein the golfer suffers uncontrollable muscle ticks and spasms right at the moment of putting. They may be able to drive 400 yards but they physically can’t putt. Many studies have been performed on this phenomena, most notably by the Discovery Channel a few years ago).

    Honestly – I can say that yes, I’ve always had some sort of innate aesthetic skill – being able to see what looks right and what looks off and to be able to judge people’s reactions to those pieces but until I discovered Photoshop and Illustrator I never thought I would be able to express my creative side.

    So I would say that no, you don’t need to be able to draw to be a great designer. When I was in school I was up against some fierce competition, there were people in my classes who were true artists – drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. But to this day I am one of a handful that are actually making a living doing what we went to school for.

    In my mind that definitely shows that there is much more to it then just natural talent.

  19. Posted August 9, 2007 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    This is a really great topic.

    I think that creativity and ideas are something that a person has inside. But the ability to express those ideas through design, drawing, typography, etc…is something that you must learn.

  20. Posted August 9, 2007 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised how polarized some people can be on the subject! You really started a debate here, Tara!

    It’s a little of both, I guess. I like what Aaron had to say about where our interests lie. We will usually be better at things we are “drawn” to (sorry, it was there!), probably because we don’t mind the practicing it takes to get better.

    Perhaps the way to see it is this: talent gets us into something, we see we’re good at it and that makes us want to keep doing it (who does like receiving praise that we’re good and feeling proud of accomplishments?). Then we learn how to do it better by practicing and studying more about the subject and we eventually become quite good.

  21. Posted August 11, 2007 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Great site and discussion! I believe good design comes mainly from talent. However, one needs to hone his or her skills and respect technical aspects (i.e. function, usability) to truly deliver top-quality work. It fits with a recent article I posted called: Passion + talent + specialization = success. It explores how web types can renew their drive by specializing in areas they naturally thrive.

  22. Posted August 14, 2007 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Of course design can be taught, but that doesn’t mean the person that’s taught will be successful, creativity is what makes a designer, and lots of people lack it.

  23. Posted August 14, 2007 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Palm Coast,
    Creativity can be taught just like any other skill.

  24. Rob
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Sure, someone can learn to draw who is not naturally gifted at it… but why would they want to?

    I know that my talent lies in creative, visual re-representation of what I perceive. It is my “Talent” a naturally born ability that makes me what I am. However, on the other side of things, I reallllllly wish I was adept at web programming and flash action scripting. Unfortunately I do not have a natural ability in it. For this reason, I will continue to put minimal effort into learning to code, because most of what I get out of it is frustration. Even if i tried and tried and tried, I might become a 6 out of 10 at coding. But I will never be a 9 and 10 like those naturally gifted with the ability to program.

    Why would anybody wish to be good at something they can barely get by at? Talent is God given, and everyone has at least one – identifying your raw talent and milking it for everything it is worth will make you a far more successful person and exceedingly more fulilled.

  25. Posted August 14, 2007 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes, design can be taught, no matter what design.

    You can teach anyone the rules of design, what not to do, what to do and how to do it. That applies to fashion design, graphic design, industrial design etc..

    The thing that makes one a good designer and the other a ‘bad’ designer is the skill to apply those rules, to be creative with those rules, bend them to the maximum and to make them your own.

    Everyone can learn the rules, it’s applying them outside the basics that’s the trick

  26. Posted August 16, 2007 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve always wondered about this. In recent years I’ve noticed (through comparing old and new designs) that my style and technique has become much more clean-cut, unique, and professional. So, I suppose you could say I have learned this. However, I do believe that design requires a bit of raw talent.

  27. Posted August 16, 2007 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks everybody for your comments.

  28. Posted August 16, 2007 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I think this is a great post and certainly made me think about the issue after reading some of the other comments. I have to say that I can’t make my mind up as I feel that to some degree you can self teach yourself design by understanding design principles and being able to apply them. At the same time I would think that someone with artistic talent would no doubt find designing alot more easier than someone who didn’t yet i can appreciate that other people that maybe classed as lacking in talent have more to offer in a different kind of way.

    What got me thinking more, was due to the fact I’m currently working through a design passed by someone who is obviously talented at what he/she does in terms of designing and producing something visually pleasing. Admittedly although begrudgingly he/she is a far better designer than i am and is far more artistic yet I’ve been spending an hour going through the design as there has been no concept of the medium involved and how ther medium works. Therefore it depends on whether you see that as good design or bad and the context you view it in.

  29. Posted August 16, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Anyone can be taught to drive a car. But if they don’t own a car, they won’t be driving anywhere.

    Talent and skill are different things. Design contains both. Anyone can be taught the technology and “rules” of design. But you can’t teach intuition, creativity, or artistry.

    It gets confusing because someone with only a little talent that learns to harness it 100% by becoming very skilled will be a better designer than someone with a lot of talent but little skill that only uses 30% of their potential. I think we all know talented people that could have done much more, and untalented but very motivated people that do amazing things.

  30. Posted August 16, 2007 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great point, J. I know people like that and I get rather mad at those with great potential and innate talent that just don’t care, while I’m seriously struggling to do as well as they are! Grrr!

  31. Posted August 19, 2007 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I feel that a person with a reasonable amount of understanding of what constitutes good design can be taught to be a ‘fairly skilled’ designer. They could become a professional designer certainly.

    However I believe ‘really good’ designers are born that way, and through practice and motivation only can become great. If the ‘god-given’ talent isn’t there to start with you can’t learn to be an outstanding designer no matter how hard you try.

  32. Posted August 19, 2007 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised over the number of people that believe that one is born with ‘god-given’ talent. Of course personality traits like optimism, enthusiasm and curiosity can help bring you towards an artistic career and help you along the way, but I don’t see why the lack of any ‘god-given’ skills should be a problem.

    Over forty years ago, researchers agreed what kind of information system the brain was, how it worked and——as a result of this——that idea creativity is nothing more than to know how to break out of the patterns.

    I do agree that the absolute extremes, such as Van Gogh, Michelangelo and da Vinci, must have had something special——be it ‘vision’ or ‘natural creativity’. The same goes for composers like Mozart. Having said that, those minds can hardly be compared to those of modern design.

    I wonder what the rationale is for believing in ‘god-given’ talent.

  33. Posted August 22, 2007 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I think the definition here should be what you need to become a GOOD designer. Design rationale can be taught, certainly, but every designer I have ever met has a natural talent for it. It’s not just experience – even before I was educated in design I instinctively knew what looked good and why, and I thought everyone thought that way! (LOL)

    I’ve had to teach several people basic design skills, which has proven one thing to me – people either get it or they don’t. I’ve also had to work with ‘designers’ who really aren’t very good, and it made me look at the reasons why. If a person doesn’t have a natural aptitude for space, balance and what looks ‘right’, they only become a designer – not a good one. It’s just like people having an aptitude for maths – everyone gets taught in the same way, yet some students will excel at it and others just won’t get it. Anyone can learn to cook, but true chefs are those who instinctively know what it going to work, have the guts to try something new, and try everything :-)

    From the scientific point of view, there is plenty of proof that the brain works in different ways in different people (i.e. skill with numbers & logic, or creativity and artistic studies) – see http://www.newscientist.com for plenty of fascinating articles.

  34. Posted August 23, 2007 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I think one is born with a certain degree of creativity, which if nurtured can be strengthend and used to produce an array of imaginative designs. With more and more computers being used in the design/branding industry, more people are becoming designers with no ability to design by hand!

    Does that mean in years to come the traditional designers will become extinct, who knows!

  35. Rafael
    Posted September 26, 2007 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I think that you can get away with doing good design and not be able to draw very well,.. BUT I think if you know how to draw very well, this is for sure a great asset in your arsenal of skills. In my experience, people who cold draw mediocre, could design decent work,.. BUT people who could draw very well, their work just shot through the roof in terms of visual impact & ideas.

    I think learning to draw is important for sure,.. Graphic Design IS A VISUAL LANGUEAGE and drawing just sharpens your visual awareness. People who are naturally talented artists do have an upper hand on people who don’t know how to draw.. Their work is just much more diverse because people who draw well already had a sharpened visual sense and attention to detail, 2 things you can’t do without in order to create great design.

    So, YES, FOR SURE drawing skills ARE certainly important in my opinion, as well as photography. These things just help you in developing an eye for detail.

  36. Posted September 27, 2007 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Rafael.

    Being able to draw or even paint gives you a much richer view and there are so many sources of inspiration you can find in fine arts.
    Of course you are not just a fine artist, you are a designer and you need to convey a message to your “client”, viewers etc.
    Unfortunately there are a lot of so-called designers that made a hobby out of using photoshop, without having any visual background. They are masters of the technology, but have a very poor vision, I mean they don;t have thte eye for it.
    There are a lot of talented people, but you need education, you need that time spent in the art/design school,to polish your raw talent so to speak… to draw, to use materials, paper,to see what others have done -history, to experiment stuff, it’s not just about using photoshop. Photoshop is just a tool…

    So you do need to learn how to draw, it should be our basic mean of expression…
    Even when working on other things it always helps when I visualise things, I draw a sketch, I make a plan quickly
    on a sheet of paper I find around

  37. Posted November 16, 2007 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Mmmm, I think I have to disagree to a certain degree. I’m a Graphic designer & I can draw as well but have worked with Graphic Designers who can and some who cannot draw and there are times the drawer is only good at drawing but not so great with pure design.

    I believe drawing & design can be taught as there is a science to both of them and with enough practice and discipline anyone can design & or draw. Those with natural tendencies might find certain things easier and quicker to grasp but sometimes being talented keeps an individual from analysing the science behind what they do and they tend to just make pretty pictures which sometimes have problems from a strategic or technical perspective.

    my 2 cents worth

    Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t learn to draw!!! It’s a lie. I have taught one of my close friends who said he’d never be able to draw in a short space of time.

  38. Posted November 24, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I think at least some basic artistic skills and the talent are necessary and then can be developed further.

  39. Renata
    Posted December 29, 2007 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Well, as someone who studies Graphic Design at the university for the first time (in high school majored in biology and literature), I have to state that I can’t draw. I’ve never been taught, and I’ve never had anything to with the “artistic world”. However, as much as I think that the ability to draw is very helpful to a designer, I don’t consider it as a priority. I think that it’s important to have good ideas, which come from inspiration, and inspiration can only come from knowledge, from books, art shows, exhibitions, museums, etc. Many may disagree, but I think that anything can be taught, if one really wishes to learn it. Graphic Design is about having a “good taste”, about mixing the right colors to draw attention, about creating something new and original, and all these things come from reading and viewing. Drawing is a skill. Some people are born with it, and some people are born without it, but it can be acquired. Everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING can be taught, especially nowadays with the advanced technology we have. We need to learn how to consume it correctly and make the most of it.

  40. Posted February 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    This is an interesting topic. I agree that a designer needs at least a basic talent and then it can be developed further.

  41. Posted April 25, 2008 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    In order to have that extra edge over other graphic designers, i think you need a flare, which is generally speaking not self taught, but something you have been handed down to you. Just my opinion. Some have it some don’t. In saying that you can learn alot of exposing yourself to graphic designers and their work. Little tips they hand you along the way you will likely to see fit in a number of different areas, eg: Web Design, Templates, Logos and banners.

  42. Posted July 3, 2008 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    I cant imagine doing design work without the ability to draw something then scan it into the computer.

    Even if you use programs like illustrator to draw things you still need to know the fundamentals such as use of color, dimension, tone, shading, light and shadow.

    Drawing on the right side of the brain tricks the brain basically, it looks ok, but the drawing tend to look a little alien.

  43. Simon
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I’m a fan of pop psychology and one of the authors that I follow include Malcolm Gladwell. In one of his writings, he was comparing where talented athletes come from, and cited that in major league baseball in USA, something like 8% (I’m not a baseball fan, I can’t remember the exact number) of pro players are Cuban, in spite of only having a much smaller percentage of American citizens having a Cuban background. Reason being, Cuba is a country that is very passionate about the sport and a lot of Cubans play it in their own home country (like some other countries are passionate about cricket or soccer). This is not to say that just because a 5 foot tall person can become a NBA basketball player, but I do believe that talent is very over-rated, and that design principles can be fully taught to anybody who has significant enough interest. – I do believe in talent however, just people have more control than they think.

  44. Posted February 17, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Hi Simon

    Thanks for your comment. It would be really interesting if an experiment was carried out with kids from an early age. Something like taking kids from musical parents and some from completely non musical, teach them and instrument and to see what happens. I wonder how much is talent, belief or genetics?

  45. Eben
    Posted December 31, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    It all depends on what you want to design. These days being a graphic designer includes designing packaging, catalogues etc. I am a packaging designer, I have designed numerous items for Prada, Louis Vuitton, allot of private labels, logos, catalogues and I can go on. I can’t draw a stick man to save my life. But I can see what looks good and what doesn’t. If I need to have a drawing of something for a project, then I buy it off the internet. Saves me time and even if I could draw, it would have taken so long to draw that item in say Illustrator that by buying it of the net from iStockphoto, saved my employer allot of money. One image or illustration is less than what they pay me for an hours work and you cannot draw something in an hour, it will take like a day. So I get other people to do it for me. Plus we live in a time where photo editing is used more than actual drawing. But then again it all depends in the line of work you are. I design packaging, letter heads, logos and catalogues. I am a graphic designer, not an artist. Now I’m waiting for all the clever ones to try and abuse me……………

  46. Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    The first thing you need is the vision to start putting ideas that you receive into some tangible format whether thats graphically on a computer or with pysically drawing on paper.

    Its also ‘horses for courses’ it rather depends on what you are designing and who for, I do believe though that true innovation comes from the ability to express oneself from an idea using drawing and and your own thoughts and ideas.

    Most designs these days are really just a variation of what has been done before. after all, there are so many designs out there for whatever is the subject matter that its just easy to go for that, especially when finances are limited.

    Nevertheless, I think everyone should occasionally extend the barriers by trying to be innovative from their own thoughts and ignore the opportunity to use what is the norm. Just try and move outside the comfort zone.

  47. Posted March 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    This question has been intriguing me since a long time. I believe that some aspects of design can be taught but it depends on the student to learn, cultivate and master the art. I maintain that in the olden days when traditional arts were taught, students were more focused and keen to learn the subject as compared to now. Today, anybody with the proper software and some designing skills can call himself/herself a graphic designer. But back then, designers and artists were solely recognized by their works.

  48. Michael
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I do think your wrong….and this is why, my sister and my mother are insanely good at drawing. My sister draws constantly and always gets better, while my mom on the other hand rarely will draw, but when she does draw. It is a masterpiece I mean gorgeous beyond belief. they are naturally gifted with that, as along with my father and younger brother. Then comes me, not a straight A student like everyone in my family, I can not draw a stick figure to save my life….or even a circle >.< BUT!! then I got my hands on a computer for the first time. Oh my god did that make me happy I absorbed every little bit of information about the computer as I could, that was my thing, but I still was down because I could not draw. until I got my hands on photoshop and a 3D program called "bill" old program. Anyway, I made a background, animation, and short movie (no animation class, just me messing around with it) all by myself and everyone said it was gorgeous, and no I did not get the skins for the animations I made them myself, did the movements and muscles movements, weight developement and everything. after that I moved to photoshop and flash cause although it wasnt 3D animation it still interested me. you see I can not draw and I thought I had no artistic talent at all until this technology came in. I also believe that being a great animation artist is harder then being a drawing artist. why? you may ask…its because a person who can draw very well can get attention very easily (I see it all the time with my family -_-) but on the other hand a person who can animate very well will just be seen as just another of the crowd, unless he is just that amazing at it. It is like my old drumline instructor used to say, "anyone can play the drums and be good, but it takes a truely amazing drummer to be noticed for being amazing"

  49. Posted October 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi Michael, I think it is really a difficult thing to judge isn’t it as if you find you have a bit of an aptitude for something it tends to mean you enjoy it so you do it more. Then the more you do it the better you get. Standing out is another thing too like you say – but I think sometimes people who stand out aren’t always the best, but they are the best at marketing themselves. I am sure there are thousands of musicians and artists out there that are amazing but never get full recognition.

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