The future car designer/engineer. A talk between Okahashi and Maruyama

Greetings from Car Design Academy!


Car Design Academy (Japanese ver.) is a new school which is opened on August, 2013. Despite that, our very own students, both were hired as a car designer and engineer  by 2 famous car maker company,respectfully.


It was such a coincidence that the two of them come  from Kansai. Lets hear  what they have to say!


Enjoy reading!


The future car designer/engineer. A talk between Okahashi and Maruyama

Venue: Mercedes cafe in Umeda, Osaka, Japan


Maruyama) Long time no see.We haven’t seen each other since our practical training.


Okahashi) It really has been awhile!


– The two last met in a employment training session of a same company.-


Maruyama) Was so shocked to see someone from the same school during that training session. I notice it when you said that you graduate from engineering major.


Okahashi) I notice it when i saw your name! Anyway, congratulations on the employment.


Maruyama) Thank you. Same to you! I heard that it was your aim to get this job, well done! 


Okahashi) When i was in high school, I actually wanted to be an engineer more than a car designer even though I like cars a lot. After reading the review about Audi’s design, where it was said that design had changed, it sparks my interest in car design. I realize the beauty of a design of a car is equally as important as the performance of a car.


‘This stretch..’ as Okahashi starts to explain.


Maruyama) I see.


Okahashi) One of the Audi car designer, Mr. Satoshi Wada is someone whom i look up to and that drives me to aim to become a car designer. Mr. Wada was graduated from Musashino Art University and I wanted to follow his foot steps as well. However, no one from my class wanted to further their studies in art universities, I was caught up with the flow and ended up in some university majoring in engineering.


Maruyama) I can related to that. It was hard to me to tell my parents or people around me that I wanted to go to art universities or design schools.


Okahashi) I was in a dilemma too during my university days on what to pursue. I entered an art group anyway, but not one person in that group drews cars. By the way, why did you purse the path of a car designer?


Maruyama) In my case, I actually wanted to be a car designer since elementary school. I really love cars and would like to design one someday! I told my mum about it and she said “You shall be a car designer than”. While I was in junior high, I used to erase some part of the cars layout from advertisement posters and drew the head laps with ball pen and said to myself,”this will be the next design!”


Okahashi) I think that is a brilliant way to practice! Me on the other hand copied sketches from car’s website. I realize that there is no decent car design reference book available at all. And there is even fewer people around me who knows about car design . That is why I don’t even know the right way to draw reflection or shadows yet the only way was to self-study from trial and error.


Maruyama) Even though I knew my sketch looks weird but I don’t know where nor  how I could improve. What make it worst that I do not have the fundamental in sketching or drawing. So, I had to learn car design from zero and worrying will I able to be better really has gotten to me. However I did not give up my dreams to become a car designer.  I was actually wondering whether  to enter vocational school or just go job hunting after I got my degree. Due to expenses, I was only able to enroll 2 years of vocational school if I were to.

Okahashi) That is when you reach a bottleneck. I once got really lost in dilemma that I actually gave up the dream to become a car designer . Fortunately, I went to Mr. Wada’s talk show in June last year and was lucky to be able to talk to him at the after party. I asked him straight forwardly, “I want to be a car designer but I couldn’t find a school to go to. Is it better for me to be an engineer?”.

Maruyma) I see. How did he respond?

Okahashi) He was really kind to listen to my problems. I told him about my education background and graduation date, and he advised me to continue my career as an engineer as I have the environment to be one.” Not everyone is able to attend school like I do, so it’s better to cherish this chance”, he added. That is why i made up my mind to pursue engineering, however not long after, I stumble upon Car Design Academy while I was browsing Carview’s website.

Maruyama) Such timing!

Okahashi) With Car Design Academy, I was able to do distance study online while pursuing engineering at the same time. So I thought that I should give it a try.

Maruyama) I agree with you on that. Besides, it’s great that after you enroll you can start class right away too. I was worried and thought, “can this online study work?” Despite the outcomes, it’s good to challenge and try out something new.

Okahashi) Compare to art universities, Car Design Academy’s school fees is way cheaper. The college terms are interesting too. I wish I could enroll earlier than I did.

Maruyama) That’s so true. At first it was hard to believe in their offers. I was doubtful with the fact that just by attending the lessons you can actually become a car designer. That makes me want to have a plan B which is to job hunt after graduating while attending Car Design Academy’s lesson.

Okahashi) Despite that it’s great that you landed on a job.

Maruyama) During the training, the fact that me and you weren’t from designing background was so obvious. However, I was told that the reason they wanted to hire me was because I am attending Academy.


Both is having fun in exchanging ideas about the interior.

Okahashi) I actually appeal to them that I am attending Car Design Academy during the interview. I did succeeded in catching the interviewer’s attention because someone who has engineering background and is able to sketch is hard to come by.  I believe when developing a car, design skill is necessary. I felt that I am the chosen one who has to fulfill that and that is why I was employed. Even though I will be working as an engineer I make full use of what I have learned in Car Design Academy.

Maruyama) I was thinking the same thing too. I want to brush up my skills before I start working. I am still in Lesson 20 though. I think I am better after those lessons but, i regretted  that start late.

Okahashi) I did not start any earlier than you either. Even so Car Academy Design teaches from the fundamentals. The vigor of lines and quality of circle drawing, and how to emphasize, position and so much more were taught. Textbooks and videos is really helpful. Among that I thought that the advise on touch up that was given to me was pretty helpful.

Maruyama) Because the lesson is a man-to-man lesson. Having a professional give you lecture is really important for learning better. You will only realize that after you start attending lesson.

Okahashi) It makes you realize your weird habit in sketching too. It is compulsory to use  water-base pen in Academy and that really helps in improving sketching. I felt my improvement when I use pencil to sketch lately. The feeling is like Goku from Dragon ball (character in a Japanese animation)who came back from his training, all shaped-up and fresh, it felt great!

Maruyama) I know that feeling. The quality of line drawing really gets better.



Okahashi) My drawings used to be small. This is because I only move my fingers while i was drawing. But now, I am able to use my whole wrist to draw a fast and clean stroke. That makes my drawing larger. By knowing technique, I now move my shoulder but not my fingers and that enable me to draw a perfect circle.


Maruyama) Further more, you speed up on your sketching too right?

Okahashi) Yes i did. I can do a really fast sketch compare to before.

Okahashi’s sketch before attending the lessons


After attending the lessons. The lines are more emphasized.

Okahashi) When do you practice by the way?

Maruyama) I do my practice mostly at night because I have class in the afternoon. I usually access to Car Design Academy’s study website and view the textbook and videos. After I understand it, I will start to draw and draw solely.  I can draw for hours if I had my head into it.

Okahashi) It’s really great that we can submit our task anytime , even late at night, through the web. That does the same when submitting a question, you can do it anytime.

Maruyama) I failed some task at first and was troubled about the fact that I was so bad at it. However, by talking to the lecture, I overcome all of the obstacles.

Okahashi) I am glad I enroll in Car Design Academy because until now, I don’t have friends who wanted to be a car designer, so I have no one to share my passion with. Besides, we are able to view other student’s work and the touch up advise from the lecture accordingly. That motivates me when I see progress of other student’s work.

Maruyama) That wouldn’t work for me! I will get anxious instead.

Okahashi) I will get that too. But for people like us who aren’t from design school, chances of viewing other people’s work are hard to come by. I think it is a great motivation for me.

Maruyama) Moreover, we can view video on how the professional designer sketch, over and over again. That is something valuable to me. Some techniques are hard to be taught by textbooks, but by video, I get to imitate the lecture techniques.

Okahashi) Being able to watch how the pros sketch feels so great!

Maruyama) For those who has even the slightest interest in car design, I really recommend Car Academy Design. After attending the lessons, you will realize that it is impossible to improve to the next level by self-study. Getting advise from the professionals  does make a big difference. For those are still in dilemma, why not take a step forward.

Okahashi) I agree. At first, I was doubtful about Car Design Academy because it is something I saw from the internet, yet , now I am really grateful that I entrust my dreams in Car design Academy . I will start my job as an engineer next year and I look forward to have  designers from Car Design Academy as my colleagues . Lets rock the car industry!

Maruyama) Me too. Though I will be in a different company but I will do my very best as well!

Okahashi) Let’s continue to support each other.

The two exchanging contacts. A car designer and an engineer, though will be working in different company, we look forward to their success.


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