Give more of yourself in your work

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This may be a hard thing for some people to do. But you have to take the time to think what would happen if I gave more of myself in my work. The results would be greater than you could imagine. By that I mean if you started giving 120 instead of 100% in your work you would feel a lot better about it.

As a graphic designer we can tend to become lazy and set in our ways. Because when someone has a way they go about doing things they do not want to try anything new. The mentality is if something isn’t broke why fix it.

Well if you are not afraid of trying something new it could be a good thing for you. The way to give more all starts with you making the decision. You have to say I am not going to keep being average and that I will learn more than what I already know. The amount of information that we have access to there is no reason to not continue to improve and learn.

A good place to start is skillshare. I had found out about skillshare early last year. Skillshare is a great way to get started. Because on there they have curated classes that are not just all over the place. They have a recent promotion where you can sign up for 3 months at $.99 one of the very first classes I took was poster design class.

Then I found out aaron draplin from DDC has classes on there. Learning from him and how he works has helped me a lot and it continues to help. Therefore it has allowed me to give more in my design work. The process is what you can learn from a lot of people and use their techniques to give more in your design work.

There is no need for any of us to not be able to give more in our work. By giving more I mean to give more of yourself in what you do. Avoid falling into the trap of being comfortable with just doing what is required. Remember why be average when we can be great?

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How I lost my vectored calligraphy work

The way that I lost my calligraphy/ brush lettering work was by being careless. There was one day that I what I thought I did was transferred the files from my macbook to my external hard drive. Which I did. But you know what I did not do. I wasn’t being careful while doing it.

I just thought oh yeah this is the same as its always been. So I know that I transferred my work to the external hard drive so why double check .Well there was one day that I did check and realized that there was none of the files that I had vectorized.

I was upset at first just thinking how in the hell can I be so careless with such a simple thing. The reason I was upset more than just a little bit was because I am not a newbie to any of this. Just think of how such a simple thing can mess up a major project and etc. So the reason I am sharing this is to let you know that we all make mistakes.

The idea of double checking your work and etc is key. There is no need to think at any point in your career or life that you are top notch. Well the reason I say this is because you can make a simple mistake and Fuck up something or somethings very important.

So from all of this I am now even more careful with the process and way I go about doing things. I for one will make sure that this will not happen again. Because at first I was hurt about it but then just thought you know you have the hard copies so why are you upset just take this as a learning experience.

 

Learning New Techniques to help improve design work

If you have not been following me on instagram I have been learning calligraphy for over 2+ years. I also have done custom logos for various clients. The things that I learned in school I realized that they were good for the time I was in school.  Because there becomes a time when you should have left it behind and found a better technique.

An amazing technique I learned was how to properly use anchor points to vectorize lettering. Before I would plot anchor points and it would take me forever. But thankfully I found a video on youtube explaining how to properly use them. I must say after I was just sitting there thinking wow so this is how its done.

Because it was a technique that I was comfortable doing and one that I had learned awhile ago. Compared to the new one that I learned was as if  light bulb turned on in my head. I must say I came across this video which was perfect timing. Especially since I have been learning calligraphy for so long.

This is my first attempt at using this technique. I was blown away by how much quicker it was for me to do this compared to the way before I would’ve went about doing this.

This is the video below that I came across which taught me one of the best ways to go about getting clean vectorized versions of your calligraphy, lettering work.

 

To be a graphic designer you have to do it often

If you are in college or just out of college and you are frustrated with the way your career is going, you have to keep doing it often. By doing it I mean graphic design. Sure you are upset at not finding that job or having clients. But doing graphic design work often will polish your skills.

Because you have to truly want to be a graphic designer. Think for the long game and not the short game. Many times we focus on the now and what can we do to get paid. Even though I do understand people have bills to pay and demands to be met. You just have to truly believe in your heart that it will get better.

Truly loving graphic design comes from within. If you are thinking I will be a graphic designer because it is easy. Well its not easy at all. You can teach people how to be creative, but being creative is whats difficult. Just because you learned how to be a graphic designer in college it does not mean you have finished learning.

Also if you believe like I do that your time may not have come yet. By that I mean you have not reached your plateau yet of being a good designer. Or you have not found an employer who is willing to invest in your skills to make you a fit for the position you are applying. Because people will promise you so many things and then do absolutely nothing.

Learn to see through the bullshit immediately. If someone says I will recommend you after you do this job for me and not want to pay you. Well they are doing nothing other than taking advantage of you. You want to know why? Its because they do not value you and or your profession.

Setting goals for yourself as a designer are very important. There is many ways you can set goals and achieve them for yourself. I for one set a goal to do at least one branding project that will help someone at least once a week. Well I fell off the rails and slipped up and let life creep in.

The amount of discipline being a designer takes a lot of time. You have to sit down with yourself and then focus on your strengths. I for one focused on my strengths of typography and I have made drastic improvements.

If I took the time and did not focus on what I was somewhat good at I would’ve taken a longer route.  Which is pretty interesting on how that works. When you focus on your strengths then the weaknesses are very minuscule. Then they tend to take care of themselves.

The act of cutting out what you are doing that is not helping you as a graphic designer is needed. If you want your life to change you have to focus. For example being out with friends drinking, and getting in trouble or whatever you’re doing is not going to do any good. They are simply distractions from the real goal here. But I mean if you are just being a graphic designer for the moment that is ok. We are able to use what we learned as a graphic designer and move with those skills in the real world to other industries and starting up a business.

1 is better than 0

This is a saying that I recently heard Gary vaynerchuk said. I was utterly blown away by it. The reason is because 1 is better than 0. We get so caught up in the numbers and then we forget to put in the work. By putting in the work the numbers will continue to grow.

When I started posting my work on instagram no one gave a damn. I mean if you go back deep into my feed you will see the difference in my work quality till now. Also seanwes had said show up everyday for 2 years. So I took it upon myself that I am going to show up everyday for two years on instagram.

Really focus on playing the long game instead of the short game. Being patient with the whole process and climb. I also believed that my time is coming with getting notoriety. But I did not focus on that from the beginning. By not focusing on getting famous from the beginning allowed me to gain traction and momentum with my work.

The aspect of focusing on long term instead of short term with my graphic design and calligraphy work has helped. Being a graphic designer so many people tend to focus on getting noticed as soon as possible. As long as you are putting in the work and constantly improving it will show. The aspect of being a creative person and or designer its a game plain and simple.

Playing the game of being a creative person you know what to do and what not to do. Our work should be focused on creating long term value. So many people just focus on how can I get paid right here right now. I will be the first to admit I had the same mindset. By that I mean I would largely undervalue my time with client work.

So back to the topic of 1 is better than 0. You cannot think that this is going to happen overnight with getting known. The people who put in the work and do what they talk about will see the results. Many claim to be internet marketer when you know there is no way in hell they can be actually interacting with over 100k followers.

When I first got aggressive with twitter I would follow back everyone who followed me. Then I quickly learned that was not the right thing to do. Because I should be following those who create long term value for me and also who interest me.

So from now on focus on creating the long term value as a graphic designer and or in your profession instead of the short term. Enjoy the climb because its what makes the journey worth it.

Hard work and Patience

Hard work and patience is one thing that is needed to get ahead in life. Because you cannot have one without the other. There are many people that want to take the shortcut or find a platform that has different company ownership or whatever. Well I feel they are not doing it for the long term or in other words putting in the work where they started.

Because putting in work for the long term is more valuable than a person who just shoots in the dark or go where the crowd goes. If you are following the crowd you should rethink your current mindset. You should not follow the crowd you have to realize that there is hope.

The reason why there is hope because you have it deep within you to achieve what it is you want to do. If you are not executing backing up your words you are not being honest with yourself. Another thing is if you are pretending to be popular when you know your followers are fake there are no shortcuts. 

Because those who are focused on the numbers will lose in the long run. The reason why is because they have not planned for the long term. One is better than zero. People talk about starting from the bottom when they have not wrapped their head around that saying.

Starting from the bottom and embracing the climb. The climb to go from something to nothing. Whether its getting the Graphic design job that you wanted or whatever. You have to be willing to put in the work. Graphic design projects everyday in whatever way possible. You can do it if you believe.

Also remember that there is hope for you. Hope is what will allow you to continue to move forward. Start executing and get your ass to work.

Do this logo design for me and I’ll promote you and recommend you

If you are a graphic designer do not fall for this trick. Because you want to know something this is a very old trick. The trick is that the person who told you this they are wanting something done for nothing. Them promoting you is just a way to tell you want you want to hear.

The best thing that I would do is to tell the person no. If you are doing work for them and you know your work is valuable then you should be getting paid. But you have to have the work to show. By that I mean you should have a collection of your work “a portfolio” that showcases your skill.

But if you do happen to fall into one of these situations and the client does not agree to your quote you can do one or two things. You do not want to discount your work. Just think about it for a second. How valuable would you find a graphic designer who always gives people discounts? Not very valuable.

Now how to do with the situation of clients who do not agree to your quote. The mentality of full price or free is a good one. Taking this approach can be very defeating. By defeating you can feel as if you are being taken advantage of with the project. If that does happen with the client you should just go ahead and fire them.

Another thing you can do is just say may be later on we could have the opportunity to work together. The situation is very simple, plain and straight to the point. But if the make the conversation about some cheap design service then they are not serious about their business or project.

So learn how to deal with the people who will promise a lot but do not deliver. There is a lot of those people out there. They will say they are going to do something but then they never will do it. I tend to just search if people are actually following through with what they say. I rarely see that being the case.