Teaching young design students the value of process

In 2013, I was invited to speak to the commercial arts class at Cherry Creek High School. The teachers had informed me some of the students struggled with seeing the value of sketching and working methodically and they always wanted to jump straight into a final piece–this is something I struggle with myself. Especially as a young designer, you get caught up in the end product. There is a constant stream of inspiration from every design blog on the internet, and I think it makes us hugely impatient. This creates a tendency to get overwhelmed and lose hope when your work isn't immediately awesome.

I decided I would run through a typical workflow of mine to show them the importance of taking your time. I wanted to impart on them that by establishing proper naming, layers, color swatches and taking time before "creating", you can ensure that a project goes well.

It was an amazing experience and the kids were full of questions. I think just the act of showing them proper steps helped englighten them to the degree of effort it requires to produce something you can be truly proud of. We covered working collaboratively in Illustrator and Photoshop and how to use blend modes, textures and the 3D tool. I was hugely impressed by their work and it has continually inspired me to give back.