Something interesting happens when we put our first ideas on the page. The act of drawing and seeing these ideas can actually stimulate us to have more ideas. There is feedback. We automatically evaluate each idea and it’s at this point variations should be considered so that each idea spawns a family of ideas. It is very likely that the idea we choose to develop further would not have sprung from our mind without the activity of sketching and continual evaluation.
Many designers don’t really know where their ideas come from. They don’t just pluck pre-existing ideas out of their heads. They toy with ideas and develop the good ones while evaluating what they are coming up with. This is what happens in concept sketching. It is not about drawing ideas that are sitting there in our head, rather it is a way of coming up with ideas in the first place.
When you put pen to paper you are exploring ideas. The act of drawing allows you to evaluate your ideas immediately and this in turn helps you to think of the next idea. It’s a process and each idea has merit even if it is only to help you get the next one. So, don’t try to draw your final idea in the concept stage. Use sketching to help you explore ideas. This change in thinking will take a lot of pressure off you getting your drawings to look right and give you more opportunity to be creative.
Sketching is more about the process than the final product (although that is where we want to get eventually). By drawing quickly and not being too concerned about mistakes, we are helping our brain think in a certain way. This is the kind of thinking that continues after the activity of drawing. You may find yourself coming up with some good ideas even when you aren’t drawing. It’s the activity of concept sketching which has kicked our thinking off in the right direction.