I studied engineering. We did a lot of maths. We did a lot of simulation. We even did a whole design class where we focused on abstraction, validation and verification – but not communication. We were never taught how to draw. We got very good at solving problems and dreaming up solutions, in our heads, and in the shape of equations. For most of, that’s where it ended – maybe that’s why engineers have a stigma of being poor communicators attached. Some of us knew CAD, but we’d inherit the design from an architect or industrial designer most often. Some of us had good presentation skills, but often had nothing compelling to show non-engineers.
I graduated visually illiterate. One day I decided to change that, and I taught myself perspective drawing. I wanted to be able sketch ideas and make them exciting, before figuring out how to make them work. Over a few years of practice I went from lines, to cubes, to rounded shapes and finally products. I also went from pencil to biro and marker. When I felt ready to render depth in colour, I looked far and wide for markers. The online design community seemed unanimous in their praise of Copic markers.
Copics have a cult-like following, and for good reason. They don’t bleed. They glide on paper with a divine combination of smoothness and just enough tactility to feel where you’re going. They come in a near infinite range of colours and saturations. You buy the marker once and refil it as many times as you want. You can even replace the nibs. So I bought the cool grey range (okay, I dreamt about them and they arrived in the form of a lovely gift from my lovely fiancée).
The featured image is a drawing of an elevator console, viewed from the top, using only Copic C3, C5, C7 and C9 (plus some white tipex marker).