On Workshops

IDSA Boston @ MASS Art

Spencer Nugent speaking at IDSA Boston 2010

Recently I was invited by IDSA Boston to host a Visual Communication and Sketching workshop with local designers and students alike. I had a great time working with the crew there. Initially I was slated to go for only about 4 hours, but we were having so much fun, I went for a whopping 6.5 hours of sketching and instruction. From what I hear, it was well received, and I just want to give a shout out to the crew there – Jeremy Ogg and Ryan Foote and anyone else who helped out.

Spencer Nugent sketching at a workshop

So what’s in a workshop and why do I do them? Read on to find out more.

idsketching.com was started as a means to share knowledge and skills with others and to give back to the community as a whole something that I didn’t have as a student. To put it simply, I love my craft.

Sketching is merely a subset of visual communication – or as I like to put it, our visual language. As designers, we think visually, we speak visually, and we sell our ideas visually. Of course, there are several ways to do this, however I find that quick and effective sketching is the best, low cost, low commitment means of doing so.

While the videos on the site do allow one to practice and be better at sketching, working on-site with me as an instructor has its distinct advantages –

  1. Specific content presented to your group’s needs and skill levels.
  2. On site/ In person review and critique.
  3. Interactive activities that allow for group participation.
  4. In person observation of techniques presented.
  5. Presentation of advanced techniques for rendering.
  6. Additional Materials and resources in handout form not found on the site
  7. Q/A sessions

All in all, flexibility is the key here and I cover a range of topics as needed for your group.

Typically things are kicked off with a short 30-40 minute presentation on visual communication which is then followed by demos and whatever other tailored activities for the group.

Spencer Nugent Speaking at a live event in Boston 2010

As I mentioned with IDSA Boston, sometimes things go a little longer than planned, however, workshops can be anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on the need. Frankly, the interest and involvement of the group in attendance will be the major deciding factor as far as the length goes. I’ve had small and large group workshops and in most cases, 6-7 hours tends to be just right.


Currently, my workshops are only available to groups and not individuals. I may offer individual online sessions in the future, however, that’s not a part of my plans for now.

Workshops tend to be quite affordable and at any rate are a steal by industry standards. Travel costs and  a small day rate are expected as part of the package. Material costs may vary. International travel is okay as well.

If you’re interested in having me in person for a live workshop, contact me at spencer [at] idsketching.com, or use the contact form below and tell me a little about what you’re looking for and what time frame you might be thinking about. I tend to get booked out a lot, so the sooner the better for contacting me.

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  • http://twitter.com/footedesign Ryan Foote

    It was great having you out Spencer. The students and professionals alike really appreciated it and seemed to learn a lot. I would highly recommend this to any group considering a workshop. Thank you again.

    -Ryan Foote

  • Mitchell Silva

    Hey i am a massart ID student and i was at your meeting. Thank you so much for coming in and giving us the tutorials, i feel that from the 6 hours you were there, i learned extremely valuable information and techniques that will help my sketching continually progress.


  • http://www.brazille-idea.com brazille-idea

    Wow that’s dope and encouraging for a young junior industrial designer, keep doing your thang bruh!!

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