Start with a subject that interests you. You will have some foreknowledge of it, and this will motivate you to finish it, and possibly modify it to better reflect your knowledge, then a designer is born!
I accidentally got into papercraft because a friend had given me a bunch of 1 page Cubee G1 Transformers. After that, it was simply stumbling across Paperkraft.net, then Papermodlers.com, and then this site, Zealot.com.
in between I have found alot of other sites, and many freebies
But it all started with those wonderful Cubee G1's.....which I still have sign1
Yea, my first was Borg Cube-- that has to be the absolutely the easiest possible model. Then I tried a couple of those simple little cars with 2D wheels. After that I moved to the Canon architecture series, which are great models with good directions. In fact, go to Canon Creative Park if you haven't been there and look around. They have great models there from kiddie simple to quite adult level in complexity and all are well designed and have excellent directions.
I still have to look at a design over and over again for hours if it doesn't have instructions before I'll decide to build it. Instructions help a lot, but it seems like even the best instructions end up with one step where magic happens or else it doesn't go together right.
I'm starting to learn the magicians' tricks, though
This thread pops up every now and then and is one of the few exceptions to the "Dead Thread" posting issue. I believe that it's title is what makes it a good entry into the Hobby and validates it's "open" permanency. Also, that picture posted by Rapidtox rules!
This model is a good starter, I made the mistake of "jumping in at the deep end" and started a model out of my depth (sorry for the puns) It was way too technical and I never had the skills nor knowledge to make the model look convincing. I know how you feel, you wont something "technical" and exciting to make, but you do need to start with basics. You soon learn little tips and ideas, and enjoy your hobby more. Please enjoy your builds, and best of luck