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Start your Engines and Lift Off

To continue our look at inspiring and educational books, we are lucky enough to have two of the first copies of Scott Robertson's new books, "Start your Engines", and "Lift Off". With many, many examples of his work, and narrated by Scott himself, the books are an interesting insight into the mind, as well as the work of Scott Robertson.

The first thing to notice about these two books is that they are...well....two books. Whilst one concentrates on land vehicles, and the other flying machines they are very similar. In fact it is easier to consider them as one book split into two sections. The fact that they can be ordered separately just means that you can spread your outlay, since to be honest you are going to want them both in the end.

Whilst not tutorial books, the images they contain are highly inspirational (including my personal favourite, the speed boat chase shown on the left). Scott has also carefully and purposefully included samples of his work from all stages of the design process, including many pages of sketch work. For aspiring designers it is always exciting to see the early sketches of another designer. It is in this work that we usually find our greatest inspiration.

Scott's narration gives useful insights into the work presented, which is great. For instance there is a section of sketches in the Lift Off book which I found very interesting, yet very different from the rest of Scott's style. As he explains though, the sketches were all produced using his left hand. I personally found the reasons given pretty insightful, and certainly something I am going to explore in my own work.

I certainly enjoyed these two books, and they now sit up on my bookshelf next to the Concept Design books and Star Wars books that I already own. Late at night, when inspiration is low, and deadlines are tight, they are there, ready to give me the shot of inspiration I need! It is perhaps best though if I leave the last words to Scott himself,

"By presenting this two-book set of vehicle sketches and renderings, I hope to inspire the next generation of concept designers to imagine and draw their objects of interest for the future. With pride, optimism for tomorrow, and sore wrists and elbows, I hope you enjoy the work"!

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page last updated; 2014-06-15
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