I find sketching to be an extremely valuable tool. I utilize sketching for ideas, as well as wireframing, on a daily basis. Art is where I began and I plan on continuing my life from that creative vein. When trying to develop and ideas, I feel that sketching is one of, if not, the most basic elements of beginning in any type of design. Be it art, or finding my way around a design concept/issue.
The simplest way to explore a design element is to take out your pencil and your sketchbook and begin visually brainstorming ideas. It never has to be anything fancy, just come up with some ideas. It’s pretty low impact, yet high yield.
In addition to being a wonderful place to begin, sketching also helps to develop improvements to ideas already developed. Refinement is key to evolving ideas and getting past any barriers that may inhibit progression.
For example, there were times that I tried to figure out better ways to organize a room for a live show. Something like that would be very difficult to do in real life. It would take a lot of time and effort, not to mention the physical exertion of moving equipment around. Though, when sketching, you can come up with solutions without doing more than being creative and moving your pencil around.
As I sketched, I found some intriguing solutions that I may not have found thinking outside the box. I wanted to get a more fuller sound from the sound system. In the end, I was able to come up with some better, more viable positioning for some of the speakers to get an improved ambient quality.
At other times throughout my sketching, I would purely envision a finer, more logical way to do something. I found some intriguing solutions when visually brainstorming through them.
My first steps when beginning any project, whether it be branding or wireframing, is to sketch. It doesn’t matter if you are good at art or not. Sketching isn’t supposed to be high-fidelity, it’s meant to be a starting point. Your sketching is to point you, or your client, in a possible direction. It is the first step in the ever-evolving refinement to get the best possible product/design to your client(s).