ID Sketching | Erik Askin

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Erik Askin BFA ID ’10 is currently a designer at Keytech inc., a high-tech product design and applied research prototyping company located in Baltimore, Maryland. As you will quickly take away from the sketches below, Askin is phenomenal at sketching.

When laying out my own projects or looking for ideas on how to depict a particular project, I frequently reference Askin’s work. The boy just does remarkable things with a pencil and prismacolor. Check out his website for more images of his work and sketches.

Sketches from one of Erik’s most recent projects, Tilt, a flatbed, portable scanner.

Why did you decide to become a designer?

My father is an architect (and RISD grad), so design has always been a part of my life. Being a car nut, I always thought I wanted to be a car designer. However, during my junior year of high school I took a tour of RISD and was really drawn to the versatility the industrial design program offered and decided I wanted to design more than just cars.

What is your favorite utensil to sketch with?

Anything I can get my hands on, usually a ballpoint pen or prisma very thin.


Sketches from Erik’s project, NuLunch.

What inspires your sketching?

I like checking out Coroflot and seeing what other designers are doing. In terms of sketching style and general approach, Michael Ditullo has been a huge inspiration and influence for me.

What is the biggest consideration when you start a sketch?

It depends on the type of sketch. When I am trying to figure something out there is no formula, I am just transferring what is going on in my head onto paper. However, when I am sketching to explain a concept I really try to focus on creating a composition that clearly conveys the idea.

Sketches from his project, Bend, a modern electric moped done with now RISD alumni Brian Mitchell and Eric Peloquin.
What is in your sketchbook?

Notes, random thoughts, quick thumbnails, doodles…

What are your favorite sites for sketching tutorials?

+ id sketching
+ coroflot

What advice would you give to young designers who are interested in learning how to sketch or sketch better?

Practice. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

What have you been sketching lately?

Cars, motorcycles, and bikes always seem to be on my mind, I have recently begun to get into soft goods and shoes though…

Ideation sketches from his project, U-Lock Holster, done with current RISD ID Seniors Brett Newman, Oliver Henderson, and Patrick O’Sullivan.


Check out the interview we did with Erik when he was back in Providence for IDSA NED and gave the RISD ID sophomores a sketch tutorial.


Posted by Carly Ayres | Date Posted: 06 December, 2011

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