Great Designers Are Spawned From Mediocrity
Some people are just geniuses when it comes to design. They’re the "Albert Einsteins" of the industry, often forcing you to *facepalm* for the insane brilliance of their concepts and techniques.
In fact, their artistic ability appears so naturally, as if they emerged from their mother’s womb with a graphics tablet already in hand.
Did I mention I hate (hate is such a strong word, more like envy) those people?
We All Start From the Bottom
No matter what our artistic skill level is at the time we become a designer, we all start at our lowest. And the only point at which we finally realize this is when time has passed and we see visible improvement.
As a digital artist, I often hear feedback from other artists who are insecure about their current skill level. And though as discouraging as it may initially be to push forward, I can assure you that the payoff is incredibly rewarding.
My Bout with Mediocrity
This was my first digital painting back in 2007. It’s okay, you can laugh it up.
I made the painting in Corel Paint Shop Pro with an obvious misunderstanding of building layers for volume and intensity. I can now look back on this first attempt and continue to learn from my mistakes, even today.
Digital paintings require time, patience and persistence to continue working on areas you just know aren’t right. At the time, I didn’t understand the significance of painting in layers, and frustrations peaked when it seemed impossible to master quickly.
But as an artist or designer, when you’ve discovered a style that piques your interest, you take on the inevitable journey to continuous growth. View my own progression as an artist from the age of 5 to 20 years old.
Reemerge Into the Design World as a Butterfly
The only way to unsheathe your potential for artistic genius is by embracing growth. Envelope yourself in a cocoon of knowledge and get ready for your talents to blossom.
The following are tips for bringing out the talent within you.
Stick to One Style
You don’t have to be a jack-of-all-trades — it’s exhausting.
Take the time to perfect the style and technique of your choice, leaving room for future branding potential.
Enroll in at Least One Design/Drawing Class
Designers all over the world have proven that it’s not necessary to have a degree in design to be successful.
However, whether you realize it or not, your work exhibits common design principles and understanding these principles is important to functional designs that make sense.
For years, I tried to read every drawing book I could find, but it wasn’t until a drawing professor showed me what I was doing wrong that I was able to jump over my plateau. Something inside me just "clicked".
Once you have your "aha" moment, feel free to scour the unlimited resources on and offline to further your wealth of knowledge.
Switch It Up!
Is the current style, technique, or medium you utilize beginning to bore you to death?
Well, try something new! It didn’t take long before I joined "the occult of Adobe," armed with a pen tablet in hand and ready to embark on the fantasies within my mind.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Take a sketchbook and draw what you see. Create sketched observations of light and shadow. Play with perspective until it starts playing with you — just practice! After all, a person doesn’t just wake up and become an Olympian gold medalist overnight.
Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor
Two years after my original digital painting faux pas, I recreated an acrylic painting from my teen years in Photoshop.
This moment would soon become an enlightening point in my life where I finally realized my potential.
And though I will forever consider myself as an artist on a never-ending path of knowledge and growth, it’s important to stop and embrace those powerful moments of reflection.
Go Ahead, Pat Yourself on the Back!
No need to be shy, take a moment to reflect upon your progress. Reward yourself with a simple acknowledgment of improving from where you once were.
No matter what the road is ahead of you, all that matters right now is this moment.
More Articles on Becoming a Great Designer
Check out these other articles on creativity to help you embrace growth.
- How to Create Creativity
- How to Design for Your Worst Client: You.
- Inspirational Tips and Tools from a Designer
- 10 Things Every Web Designer Just Starting Out Should Know
- Destroying Designer’s Creative Block and Unleashing Your Creativity
- Why You Should Do Personal Design Projects
- Unusual Places to Get Design Inspiration
- Feedback. The Creativity Killer.
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Do Personal Design Projects
- How to Stay Ahead of the Curve as a Designer
- Related categories: Graphic Design and Project Management
About the Author
This was published on May 13, 2010