Motivation and advice from a student

So I googled “Graphic Design” the other day, curious to see what came up when typing my future profession. A couple forums, free tutorials, nothing too exciting. However, I did run across something I found to be extremely interesting! Self-motivating tips for graphic designers! I would just like to list them as well here and add my own thoughts.

As a student, there are many times when I second guess myself. I often end up going the safer route in fear of failing my classes. That’s the main problem with schooling in my opinion- the extreme emphasis on getting good grades rather than learning by experimentation and such. So I found these tips to be, for the most part, helpful!

1. Do Away with Pessimism– I completely agree. It is much easier said than done but it is a very important skill for us graphic designers. We need to be confident in our artwork, we need to be confident in ourselves. If we aren’t confident, why would someone care to hire us? Why would a client appreciate our work when we can’t do the same? The article talks more about as older designers, but we young ones need it too!

2. Be an Entrepreneur, Take Risks– As I was saying before, I often take the safer route when it comes to design projects because I want that good grade. This is a skill I definitely need to work on. It is hard to push yourself sometimes, but go for it! Take Starburst commercials for example, who came up with this crazy stuff?

This commercial worked and it was completely out of the box!

3. Keep a Creative Circle– If you can get a couple designer friends, do it. It is the most beneficial, atleast for me, in the field. You always need a designer to give you constructive feedback. I know we all like to show our friends, but asking your mom if she likes it compared to a friend who has been trained in graphic design as well is completely different.

4. Always Keep a Pen and Paper– I learned this this year in my Advertising Design class. It is super important to have something to write your ideas down on. We can see inspiration at any moment of the day and that idea could be something big.. unless we forget it. So, write everything down, good and bad! it always leads to something better!

5. Make Mistakes– Graphic Designers are humans too. Although most of us are perfectionists, we need to make mistakes. It keeps us sane! Like with anyone or any idea, nothing comes out perfect the first time and we always hear, “Practice Makes Perfect”. The moral of this advice- REVISIONS REVISIONS REVISIONS! I know it’s tedious, and I need to get better at it, but it is something that will make every design you crank out better.

6.Be Liberal with other’s Opinions– This kind of goes with keeping a creative circle. You want to be able to give and take constructive criticism. It will help you be a better designer and it’s always good to have more than one set of eyes help you out!

We are almost done, I promise!

7. Don’t be a Workoholic!– In school, we cram. It’s just what we do because of time constraints and everything else we are involved in. However, based on what I have been told from my professors, we should not expect to sit down and crank out a good design in 4 hours or less. It is just impossible. Take time between designs, give your brain a break!

8. Get Inspiration from Design Galleries– Rather than galleries, I say get inspiration from EVERYWHERE! At my internship, I literally look on Pinterest for inspriation. And let me tell you, it really helps! As students, we don’t always have the time or money to go to big design galleries or museums. The internet is a large gallery that is free to everyone and contains  a lot of material!

I hope these are helpful! As a design student, I am still learning and trying to soak up everything I can. So, if you have any other suggestions or advice feel free to add.


1 Comment

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One response to “Motivation and advice from a student

  1. These are great tips! They apply if you are just starting out or have been doing this forever. I agree with you that as a student it is hard to be sure of yourself or your work, so I go against these rules. As a student it’s the best time to use these tips, make mistakes, and learn from them. I think that do away with pessimism can also do with opinions on projects. Many times designers (and students) put less effort into projects because they are pessimistic about the topic or “don’t care for it”. As a designer you have to put that aside and still make a fabulous design.

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