Become a Master at SketchUp With Matt Donley from MasterSketchUp.com

I use SketchUp extensively at my drafting and design firm. The simple, user-friendly nature of SketchUp makes it easy to communicate design ideas with my clients. Knowing the basics of SketchUp is definitely enough to convey certain ideas but mastering it can really get you to the next level as a designer. That’s where MasterSketchup.com comes in!

There are many great tutorials and blogs on SketchUp out there (click HERE to check out an extensive list of SketchUp resources), but one that stands out the most to me is MasterSketchUp.com. Matt Donley, who runs this site, provides amazing tutorials, articles and resources for SketchUp users. No matter what is your level of SketchUp proficiency, Matt’s site can definitely help you become a master at SketchUp.

Below, is a short interview with Matt. He shares some great insights about SketchUp as well as his website. Enjoy!01-Headshot

DraftingHub: Give us a little background on who you are and what you do.

Matt Donley: I’m a SketchUp guru from Rhode Island, USA, who has a background in various construction industries. I run Mastersketchup.com, and am the author of SketchUp to LayOut (DraftingHub: Grab a copy HERE). I help people learn how to use SketchUp.

DraftingHub: When did you start www.mastersketchup.com and how did it all come to existence?

Matt Donley: I started Mastersketchup.com in 2012 after struggling to find a good source for consistent quality tutorials on how to learn SketchUp. I had dabbled online with various websites and had always wanted to build a large site. I decided to combine my love of SketchUp with my desire to build an online presence, and so Mastersketchup was created.

DraftingHub: What are some challenges and rewards of running a successful blog like MasterSketchUp?

Matt Donley: The biggest challenge of running Mastersketchup.com is creating the content, and keeping up with social media and emails. It’s different from other types of blogs because not only am I writing an article, but I’m building a 3D model, taking screenshots, and annotating them. It’s much more involved. Videos are extremely time consuming as well. As my traffic grows, I find it harder to keep up with all the emails I get from my readers. Right now I’m a few weeks behind, but I respond to every one of them. :)

The most rewarding part of what I do is knowing that I’m able to help people from all over the world. It still amazes me to get emails from people on the opposite side of the globe.

03-Website ScreenshotDraftingHub: You have a big community around your site, if you could ask your followers/readers one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?

Matt Donley: I would ask them “What is one thing you recently learned about SketchUp that you wish you knew when you first started?” I would then create a video of the top answers. You know what? I should probably send out an email to my readers and ask them that very question, lol.

DraftingHub: What are you working on right now, or in the recent past, that you are excited about and want to share?

Matt Donley: Right now I am in the middle of writing my second book, SketchUp & LayOut for Architecture, only this time, I’ve teamed up with Nick Sonder to co-author the book together. His experience using SketchUp and LayOut exclusively in his architectural firm combined with my experience teaching SketchUp has me really excited about what we are working on. You can find more information about our book at www.sketchupbook.com

02-Book 1DraftingHub: What would you recommend to someone who is new to Sketchup? Where is a good place to start? Any resources from your site?

Matt Donley: The best advice I can give new SketchUp users is to use a three button mouse for navigation (DraftingHub: Here is the mouse we recommend), and learn about groups and components as soon as possible. Here is one of my most popular articles http://mastersketchup.com/10-sketchup-tips/

DraftingHub: What other resources, blogs, podcasts, books would you recommend to our readers?

Matt Donley: My favorite resource for beginners is the SketchUp for Dummies book by Aidan Chopra (DraftingHub: Grab a copy HERE). Sketchucation.com, SketchUpartists.org, and the official SketchUp forum forums.sketchup.com are great places to find help and learn more about SketchUp.

DraftingHub: What is the best advice you have ever received?

Matt Donley: Someone once told me “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” It was spoken in the context of time management. It applies to 3D modeling too! Keep your level of detail in check, just because you are capable of modeling at extreme detail, doesn’t mean you should waste your time to do it. And remember, don’t reinvent the wheel, use the 3D Warehouse.

DraftingHub: How do you measure success?

Matt Donley: My success is measured by the number of people I can help.

DraftingHub: How can our readers stay connected with you?

Matt Donley: My email is Matt@Mastersketchup.com. I’m also on social media Follow me on: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google + | LinkedIn


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Eugene Kovalenko

I’m a husband, dad, blogger, and owner of DraftingHub.com. I provide inspiration and resources for designers, students and drafting firms.

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