As a creative person whether you are an artist, designer, or you do anything that requires creative thinking there’s tons of things that will take your attention. There’s a lot of products, ads, videos that will grab you and take hold. The way that I have been able to avoid them and or take back control is a very simple thing.
The way that I used to get so lost in the things that do not matter is astounding. I was so lost in reading tons of blogs and looking at so much work that others have done. Not saying that stuff is stupid at all. The stupid thing is me spending time doing something that is not working in my favor. That habit is easy to be learned.
When I gained control over knowing ok that’s enough time you’ve spent looking at work and reading blogs. The over exposure to being influenced can lead to you being demotivated and not having confidence. But maybe that will inspire you to continuously improve and learn to know what to do and not to do.
Other stupid things is to not be able to work with what you’ve got. Society has us thinking we have to have certain tools to be able to produce. The tools that you have you shouldn’t be a hindrance. Because once you gain the skills you need having better tools will only allow you to get better.
Avoid the stupid things of thinking you are not good enough. Well you know that I was not good enough. I was not good enough to be confident in my work. Then I was able to gain confident by posting my work daily on my instagram page. Once you gain the momentum and also finding friends who are into the same thing as you makes a difference. There is no need to feel you’re a lone wolf.
Avoid the stupid things of thinking followers and likes make the difference. The stupid thing of basing your worth on others does no good for you. The numbers do not make that big of a difference. I say that because I would rather have 10,000 followers 2000 devoted supporters compared to having 20,000 followers with 200 supporters.
There’s endless amount of stupid things you have to make the choice whether you will avoid them or not.
Ever since I started learning calligraphy I learned one secret. The best way to get better it is to practice daily. The same thing can be applied to many other things. Because the daily practice no matter how long it is will help you improve much faster.
There were many days I felt as if I was not improving and or all of my work was starting to look the same. One of the main reasons i’d say was because of how I was practicing and studying. There are many ways you can improve in any field.
You have to practice and study. By study I mean you have to look at what others around you are doing. Because if you have no idea what they are doing then how will you know what to aim for. Another thing is remembering practicing is good, but if you are not focused while practicing you will waste time.
The aspect of having a dedicated time of focused practice no matter how long will make the difference. Because if you want to practice writing calligraphy, but you are trying to multi task and or you’re being interrupted you will most likely not have great results. Being able to block out all distractions and etc will help you.
Practicing calligraphy daily will motivate you to want to get better each day. One of the main things is to learn the basics first before trying advanced techniques.
This is a quote I heard recently from the Creative Peptalk podcast. When I first heard it I was at a loss for words. The reason why is because I focused so much on getting bigger instead of better. The aspect of having a lot of followers has been a thing that many of us want. When in actuality we should focus on getting better.
Because the idea of focusing on getting better is more important. Those who focus on getting more followers than having better work will have catching up to do. The reason why I focused so much more on producing better work is because I know I am producing great work. Having confidence in your work is what makes the difference.
There’s nothing wrong with being confident, but being a cocky asshole makes no sense. Because we all start somewhere and have produced sub-par work. But lets not get off topic here and stay focused.
There have been times on instagram that I am shocked by the amount of followers people have. But then I do a little digging and realize that they either know how to market themselves well and or they are caught up in the numbers. Because its easy to see who’s caught up in the numbers and appearing bigger than they actually are. The like to follower ratio is the giveaway.
Focusing on producing better work and dedicating yourself to being better than those with bigger followings will allow you to have leverage. I say leverage because whenever you have someone come across your work they will be in love. The main thing with all of this is to not forget that you have to share you work. Do not be afraid to do such a thing. Because I know that you have work many people would love to see.
All you have to do is just get started. The habit of starting will give you the small amount of motivation that can lead to a lot. By that I mean the most difficult thing that we experience is just the habit of starting. Many of us have great things we want to accomplish. While we think of how great they can be we fall into the habit of wishful thinking.
As a graphic designer/calligrapher I constantly have new ideas and things that I want to create. Being able to create something new is not hard for me. The main thing is to not get burnt out trying to do too much. Then the situation of not letting my creativity control me and me not having control of it.
When you do the simplest things such as if you want to get the ball rolling with posting daily to social media whether its instagram, twitter and etc find out a way to make it simple as possible to do that. When I learned how to do such a thing with instagram posting daily became way easier.
Recently I learned the concept of working backwards from the end goal. I mean that was not the first time I heard of that concept. The main thing is I never knew that is what I was doing. Whenever you realize what the end goal is and work backwards it becomes easy.
A great example lets see if you want to post daily to instagram is to first look at the end goal which is to post daily. The way to post daily is to have images in your camera roll ready to post. Then you want to already have the hashtags created. You can have them pre-written in your notepad. So whenever you post to instagram all you have to do is select your picture and then write an interesting caption and then copy your hashtags from your notepad.
The thing that you have wanted to just requires you to get started. Stop waiting and get started.
The past week I had tried out streaming my morning practice sessions on periscope. Because if you don’t follow me on snapchat and Instagram you’d know I post what I’m working on every morning (most of the time ). I loved how it happened organically and I wasn’t fully awake and aware what getting featured meant.
Because I was just hanging out with friends and just doing what I usually do. Then I get a notification saying you’ve been featured and then another saying that periscopetv has retweeted your stream.
Immediately I got nervous and was thinking to hard about what I was doing. Because imagine going from having like 5-6 people viewing then it goes up to 80 then 100 in a matter of minutes. Something like that happening was great for me to see. I say that it was great to get featured and I’m thankful for periscope taking the time to do such a thing for me.
There honestly is nothing I did to get featured other than stayed consistent with streaming and just having fun.
You shouldn’t be so focused on having immediate success. Just focus on building one brick at a time. While building you have to have patience.
As a creative person and or a person in general we tend to not follow what we enjoy. By that I mean we follow what is so called trendy at the time. Then we conform our mentality and work to be cool. But don’t let me come across as I am saying it is bad.
What I am saying is that you should stay in your own lane. Staying in your own lane aka swimming in your own current. Instead of following doing what everyone else is doing do your own thing. There’s nothing wrong with following trends but if you do it your own way you’ll stand out more.
Which will show you basically putting your own mix on what is trendy. Then you’ll have people copying what you are doing. When people start copying you, you know that you are doing something right.
So do not be afraid to stay in your own lane and or swimming in your own current. The fear is nothing to be afraid of. Especially standing out and doing things your own way, that’ll be more fulfilling than just following what society puts upon you.
The judgment of not knowing if our work is good enough. The judgement of will the client like what we produced. The judgement of will the product I’ve sent out be received well.
The fear of not doing a good enough job is normal. You have to learn how to trust yourself and believe in your work. I know doing such a thing is difficult to do.
But overtime the more you began to trust yourself your judgement will be stronger. For example with venturing into a new field of creativity you first doubt your beginner pieces. Well I for one did doubt mine. Then overtime the more you practice and develop your confidence you began to know that looks good and what does not. By practicing and developing your skills your judgement gets stronger.
When your judgement gets stronger and you began to trust yourself, don’t be mean to other creative individuals. If you are critiquing work give them a solution on how it could be better. If they do not ask for a critique then keep it to yourself. I say such a thing because you do not know what are the options they had to work with and etc.
So with everything said you must trust yourself in your judgement. Therefore you will be able to have the trust of judgement from others.
The fear of losing creativity and the fear of losing it all has scared me. Till this day I still do get scared about losing my creativity. But I learned that creativity is not just a thing that will go away. What I mean by that is creativity from my point of view it’s something that is constantly developed.
We all have creative abilities whether we’d like to believe it or not. There is a difference between those who continually use their creativity and those who don’t. You want to nurture your creativity and constantly improve it. If you don’t use your skills and or gifts they will not be of much use to you.
While fear may be such a strong thing to experience. Do your best to not let it bother you and hold you back.
Being a graphic designer or a creative person in general can be difficult to continue with. By that I mean it can be hard for one to stick with being creative and not let society beat it out of them. Because as creative people we have skills and talents in us that we can use. But we let the day to day grind deter us from embracing them.
When you have a skill that is not being used and or a talent its just being wasted. “The worst thing in the world is wasted talent” – A bronx tale. I for one fully believe that having wasted talent is the worst thing. Because if you just stick with it and are able to get through the year of hardships and doubt you will make it.
Now on to how I was was able to become a more confident graphic designer. The way I was able to become a more confident graphic designer was by believe in the work that I was doing. By believing in the work it made it more fun. Also realizing that I had done the best that I could. But not thinking “oh if I do this and that’ll be my best”. Which in actuality that is not the case. Just because you work hard on certain projects doesn’t mean you gave it your best.
Because if you work at an agency or wherever you know how hard you need to work on projects. But you have to ask yourself “did I actually go even further to make sure not all of my work is looking the same?”.
Then the other way that I was able to become more confident was the steady stream of wanting to improve and learning everything I could. Another thing was realizing what I sucked at. There are ton’s of resources available to learn from. Also to help you actually get better. Just because you went to design school art school or whatever you call it, that does not mean you are the top of the line.
Becoming more confident takes time and its not instant. If you are a non confident person then you have to get out of your comfort zone. You do not have to do things that are creative to become a more confident designer. Main thing is to get out of your comfort zone and continuously push yourself day to day.
As creatives we can be tricked verbally into the saying of you’ll get so much exposure. When you get exposure you’ll get more clients and etc. But to be honest this trick never works in most situations. Then which will lead us to being in situations that end up being negative for both parties involved.
What I want to say is do not involve yourself in situations that you feel as if you are going to be taken advantage of. The value of your skill and work does not mean you should accept pennies for payment or nothing at all. You have to remember you create your own value of your work.
If you feel as if “I have to take whatever I can get” then you will get whatever you can whether its little low paying jobs here and there. Especially if you are working as a freelancer you are running a business. You want to focus on should I accept projects and if I do accept this project is it going to be worth my time.
Exposure is a double edge sword at times. You’d be damn if you do damned if you don’t. With situations that people want to pay you in exposure think of it in regards to would it be a good use of my time. Remember you cannot eat with exposure nor pay your bills.