Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Attitude for Success!

Yeah, that's right. I'm writing an "Attitude for Success!" post! Me! Laura (who was a B- average student in high school because she did not apply herself until she got to college) is now on her way to success and wants to take you with her!

As I've gotten older and have taken more graphic design classes, I've learned some things about myself, my peers, and about my career. And so I've assembled a sort of list in my mind of the attitudes a designer needs to have to be successful. Tara has pointed out that this list can also be applied to many other jobs.

No 1. Love critique!
The great thing about art class is critique! They may take hours and seem kind of boring sometimes, but I love it! I love hearing what's wrong with my work. After spending hours staring at a design, I get really unsure if things look good the way they are. I always love having fresh eyes on my work! I met this girl who was saying how she hates critique. She said she gets nervous when she goes up there and feels like everyone's just bashing her work. I just wanted to shake her! That's how we get better as designers. As a designer, unless you plan to be freelance, you're going to be working with a group of designers. You have to work as a team. Not all your ideas and sketches are going to be loved just as you in turn won't love all your teammate's ideas. Design is a give and take and, unless you're ready to take, you will not be able to succeed in the outside world.

No. 2 Be able to adapt!
Every designer has his/her own style, but you have to be able to adapt to different styles because not everyone has the same taste as you do. You have to serve various brands and companies with designs that conform to their image.

No. 3 Become fluent in bullshit!
Often time, the companies you design for will not always completely understand your design or they won't love it. You have to sell it! Instead of saying "Oh, I put those random stars on the top left-hand corner, because I needed to fill that empty space with something," you have to say "Those stars are used to balance the composition of my piece and echoes the geometric tone of the rest of my design, thereby drawing readers' eyes into the page and leading their eyes to the text." Yes, I did just make that up in 2 seconds! And you must too! Now go buy a bullshit dictionary and practice!

No. 4 Be confident!
As a designer, I can get pretty confident in my work. I usually walk into class, knowing I probably have one of the best designs in the room. Some may call me cocky, but I'm usually right! I hate hate hate going into class thinking my work is a piece of crap! But when that does happen, it's okay. Your teacher and peers are there to help you. I've never bombed before, but I've had some critiques where I knew everyone thought my work was just okay, but that just drives me to make them better. You must have that same attitude!

No. 5 Be a perfectionist!
I think it's horrible when I see people get a B or lower on a project and be okay with that. I've even seen people who have a chance to redesign there work for a better grade and pass it up. Designing is what we're going to be doing for the rest of our lives! It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and if you're not trying to be the best you can be, then you mine as well give up now. It bothers me a lot to give in a project for a grade, knowing my work is imperfect. Some may think I'm crazy, but that's how you should be!

No. 6 Love it.
My final word of advise is simply to love what you do. I go into the computer lab excited to start my projects and the hours pass easily while I sit there on the computer. I see a lot of my peers have the same attitude. We can't wait to start some of our assignments, most often the ones that give us the most creative freedom. If you don't love designing, maybe this isn't the craft for you.


Tara said...

That's the attitude!! I think you brought up all valid points. You've really grown. =) So proud of you, girlie.

Tina said...

I'm glad you've found your niche and something you love to do. Hey, now that I think about it, it's all thanks to me. I was the one who steered you toward graphic design. No thanks needed, but I'll take a percent of whatever you sell. Muhahahaha!!!

Laura said...