Join Scott Clear for an in-depth discussion in this video Sketch a Day: Michael DiTullo as a tribute to a colleague, part of Industrial Design Foundations.
- We're here again with Michael DiTullo, and he's been working on a project that is getting a lot of traffic and a lot of buzz, and we're going to talk to him about Sketch-a-Day. Michael, what is sketch a day, where did it come from, what inspired you to do this and how do we get involved? - So a couple of years ago, one of my good friends, another great sketcher and designer, Spencer Nugent did this project where he did a sketch every day. Not for a client but for himself.
And at the time, I had noticed a lot of my day was being kind of taken up by meetings, and so when I hit the first of this year, I was like you know, I'm going to do a sketch every day, too. And it dawned on me, when you think about everybody that you admire, in the world, Michael Jordan or you know, George Clooney, or whatever an actor, a musician, an athlete, they all practice, every day, right. So it's like, the first time that St. Bolt like ran a marathon wasn't the marathon, right.
So, he run everyday. And I think, as a designer, it's important to build that discipline. You have to sharpen the knife everyday, so that when it comes time to perform, you're ready. It's just another day of sketching. And so, what started as an exercise of discipline for me, has become this really transformation back to my roots, thinking much more clearly on a page, more quickly, more concisely. And realizing that the sketch isn't precious, it's just a moment in time in a project.
And have the kind of ability to kind of be in that iteration stage all the time has been really cool. And I post it everyday to Instagram. And just seeing the reactions it's getting from people, and people just kind of get it, right. I think people, they see a drawing, and they see a visual language. And it's really no other way to communicate really complex ideas as quickly as you can in a drawing. - I really enjoy myself.
I mean, I've been watching your with sketches, and I've been watching you sketch everyday. And, I look forward to you each day, with the seeing what you're coming up with next because you're on the pulse of a lot of unique things. But say you're just starting out, and you wanted to get this craft built, like you said, just like an athlete, you need to practice each and everyday, what's a good way to get started for a beginner, for example? - I think first, embrace that you're going to do a lot of things that you're not going to love. You're going to do work that's not the best.
I look at, I've been a designer for 22 years now, however long it's been. The work I did six months ago, the sketches I did six months ago, I don't like them anymore. That's a good thing, right. Because you've moved beyond it, you've grown, you've gotten better. You would do it differently. Dissatisfaction's important. So, don't run from that, embrace it. I think secondly, keep it simple. Sometimes, I just sketch with one pencil on one piece of copier paper, and I give myself 30 minutes. And whatever's at the end of that 30 minutes, that's what goes on Instagram. And that's okay.
It's not about perfection. It's about building a habit and a discipline. And so, for me, now I'm about a little bit over halfway through the year here. And, it's turning itself into things. It's morphing itself, and I'm just letting it do that. So, I think that by the end of the year, I'll turn it into a book of 365 sketches. Clients are following me. I'm getting clients that way because people are like, I want this guy to work on my project because they know he's going to be comfortable.
And he's not going to have that designer syndrome, if you will, where everything has to be so precious. So, I'd say, if you're starting out, set aside some time everyday. Set aside a medium and just post whatever you have and that's okay. That's key to getting better. - One more, you said medium. So, I think a key to starting would have to do with the medium, so an accessibility to it. This doesn't mean you have to get really advanced software or computer tools.
Tell us about the mediums. I've seen you explore things from really fundamental napkin stuff to really advanced things. What are some of the things that we could look at for medium? - You never know where you're going to be as a professional. I've been on a factory floor working on a product and had to draw something on the back of a blueprint. Then I get some weird crayon or something. So, just embrace what's around you. It could be the cheapest printer paper you have. You know, steal it from school or wherever and just whatever ballpoint pen you have.
And just doodle. I keep a sketchbook, like most designers, and just force yourself to draw in there. And it can get sophisticated too, right. So, I use my tablet. I use a number of different software, as well. Some of it is free, some of it is expensive. In the end, they're all just different pencils. So, whether it's really high-end markers or just some pencil you found on the street, just go for it. - Well, the time with you has been precious, Michael. I really appreciate it.
Please check out micahelditullo.com. You can see a lot of his other works. Follow him on Sketch-a-Day. You'll be really inspired when you see him sketching. It'll make you want to sketch too. Thanks Michael. - Thanks.