Blake Kishler’s Sketchbook

Monday Doodles: Turning a Passion for Sketching into a Tool for Design
Read Time: 2 minutes

SEGD member and Cincinnati Chapter Co-Chair, Blake Kishler is an industrial and experiential graphic designer with a background in exhibition design. In addition to his day job at Kolar Design in Cincinnati, Ohio, Blake is also an avid sketcher and illustrator. Here’s what Blake has to say about his “Monday Doodles” and how these fun sketches strengthen the brain muscle and stimulate the design process.

Sketching has been my default communication mode since my left hand picked up a crayon. I drew busy construction sites and cityscapes in elementary school, because I loved to make my own little scenes that reimagined all of the details I saw in the world. By my parents’ count, I wore out eleven Magna-Doodle erasable drawing boards and went through untold reams of copier paper. I’m so bumbling with words that I ended up proposing to my wife in a series of drawings on notecards. (It worked!)

The “Monday Doodles” started as scribbles in the margins of my work notebook, riffing on the societal dread of Mondays. Three years and over a hundred doodles later, they have their own dedicated sketchbook and Instagram (@mondaydoodle) and creating a new one each week is a great brain workout. The only two rules I follow:

1) The doodle must take less than an hour from idea to finished sketch, and
2) The doodle must always aim to make people smile.

(And the truth is, I love Mondays. They’re my highest-energy day of the week, and always seem to pass quickly.)

In experiential graphic design, sketchbooks help me work through options quickly with my team. It opens the shortest path from “What about…” to “Ah, that makes sense!” There is a warmth and an authenticity that only a hand drawing has, and it makes the design process feel more personal to a client or partner.

Lately I’ve been using Procreate on the iPad to draw in a full range of colors and values, in seconds. It’s handy to be able to do this live on a Zoom call or AirDrop straight into a slide. But when all is said and done, I will always reach for my pack of pens and a spiral-bound paper sketchbook first.