Designers and Creatives are often stereotyped as being secretive about their work but, often, I think it’s a protective response to past criticisms; self-preservation, of which I at times have also been guilty.

When you work in a creative field, people are very quick to tell you when they don’t like something but rarely have the ability to accompany this ‘feedback’ with anything constructive. It’s easy to say that something doesn’t work or you don’t like it but when you have to rationalise these thoughts and specify why, it’s more difficult.

One of the hardest things to accept about designing is that it’s so subjective: what pleases one person, won’t please another and more to the point, ‘you can’t please everyone, all of the time.’ As a designer, it’s important to grow a thick skin right from the beginning because there will always be those who criticise your work. That’s not to say that there aren’t positive reactions too however – there is no better feeling than hearing what a success your design has been and how well the shoe has sold – but every time you present a design, you are opening yourself up to criticism and sometimes it can be really intimidating.

Having said all of this, I love looking through the sketchbooks of other designers; not to copy or steal ideas of course, but just for the pure curiosity of seeing how another creative mind works. It’s really interesting to see how other people develop their thoughts into designs and to understand what inspires them.

In light of this, I’ve decided to publish a few extracts from my sketchbook! No elaborately-worked paintings or finished samples here – just literally the first marks of a pencil and drafts of an idea. Obviously, I hope you will enjoy looking at them but then again if you don’t, I can take your criticism, just make sure it’s constructive! 😉


Zoe x

sketchbook 3

sketchbook1 sketchbook2

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