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I'm a graphic designer, but I can't draw. Will this hurt me?

I'm a graphic designer (think layouts, typography graphics, and aesthetic designs) but I've never been able to draw. Seeing as that's a big part of designing, will this hurt me in a real world setting? Might be important to note that I do actually also have a background in photography, so I could take original images, just can't draw. #graphicdesign #graphics #illustration #digital-illustration #graphic-design

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Scott’s Answer

Personally, I don’t think its that important that you know how to "draw" in the traditional sense. Finding a quick and easy way to illustrate your ideas in a clear and concise way is fundamentally more important. Check out some wire-framing tutorials while also practicing your own quick blocking style that you feel comfortable with while clarifying your vision. Hope this helped :)
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Ellen’s Answer

Hi Chloe
I think you will be fine. A lot of young artist students get hung up on "not being able to draw" and lose sight that having a good sense of design and color are as important, if not more important, in many areas of art. I had an art teacher tell us all the time that "A good designer will have it over a good draughtsman any day in a painting". His point was that, no matter how beautifully you draw or render something in your artwork, no one will see it unless you have a good design (or composition) to catch and keep the viewer's attention. So even in fine arts, drawing is a bit overrated. Relax.

Bear in mind that there are lots of uses for drawing, from preliminary sketches before starting a painting, to finished drawings that are framed and exhibited, to illustrations published in magazines and books, to quick sketches for any kind of a design project. Unless you are an illustrator on a graphic design project, as a designer or layout artist, all you need to be able to do is to communicate your ideas in a quick sketch. The beauty of a quick sketch is that is can be changed quickly to improve it. That quick sketch will be refined and finished, nowadays, usually on a computer graphics program. I'm also thinking that many graphic designers today may start their layout sketches directly on the computer. So relax. I also suggest you also talk to your current art teachers about your concern. They know you and they know your art skills.

Best wishes!
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Zaara’s Answer

HI Chloe,

good graphic design is mostly about brilliant concepts, so "not being able to draw" should not be a deal breaker. At the same time I am pretty sure you can draw :) maybe not the same style or way like other people but that is ok! Put pen or anything that can make mark (crayon, brush, toothbrush, twig, any pen) on paper and explore. Just make any mark on any surface. Don't get stuck on traditional mediums and the way everyone else does stuff. Experiement. Invent your own style! That is the only thing that will make you stand out in a crowd of other designers. The more unique your style is the more interesting you are to firms. If you have brilliant concepts with a unique style adn all the standard software knowledge required, employers will be thrilled. Create your own cool handlettering, use those in layouts. Sketch your logos with unusual mediums. Eg. go outside and see what you find in your yard or a park that can make a mark on paper. Draw with a rock or a bird father. The point is to have fun and realize that you have your own thing that no one else can do. You have to give yourself time for exploring your skill and you have to practice and hone it. Like every day. Enjoy being creative. Listen to your gut and follow your ideas.

You could also take some art classes such as screen printing or print making or pottery. You can explore these ways of making marks.

Find your creative community or tribe. Making connections and friends is fun and seeing other creatives work and sharing work will make you realize we are all different and there is room for everyone.

Relax, enjoy, live your creative passion! :)
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Roger’s Answer

It will in a sense because it will take you longer to illustrate an idea or put a concept on the screen, but you can quite easily mask that handicap with a super-advanced prowess at every design systems out there, but you still need a good eye for design, lighting, contrast, color, shape, movement and space.

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Cuong’s Answer

Graphic design is mainly about manipulating images and text, it is a creative position but not knowing how to draw doesn't mean you can't do graphic design. Drawing is only helpful to graphic design, in quick rendering for ideas and concepts such as mock-ups or wireframes. It's not a big key point but drawing does make it somewhat easier for you. You can dive being a graphic designer without drawing, if you're ideas are excellent, that's where it matters most.


In a sense, since you want to be a graphic design, I believe you have some drawing skills, you don't have to excellent in drawing unless you want to try your skills towards to motion graphics.

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