How in the world would I ever be able to do that? Your answer? Take It On. Tackle it in the best way you know how. It’s fine to be intimidated by things. However, to let it get to you is something you should not let happen. I personally have this problem. I’m trying to get much better by breaking it down. If you break stuff down it never seems to hard. You just have to take it one step at a time. After you walk that mile you will see that you are right there along that piece of work that intimidated you. You will then realize that it wasn’t so bad after all. Just give it your all.
Now this isn’t your typical Break. It’s not a summer vacation, or 10 minutes every 3 hours of work. This type of break is a break from work in total. Now you might be thinking this is just like a regular summer break, or weekend. However, this is not. What type of break I’m talking about this time is one after a big project. After every big project you might want to take a break for a day or two. Why? Well because then you will be burning yourself out. The day after a big project I try to not do anything design related. It will be hard. However, instead of craving to do work, tutorials, or anything you want instead write it down. Most people catch up on sleep. Don’t forget though, this day is for you to do whatever you want. (That’s not design related.) -Grin-
Collaborating is one of the best ways to do something great. Sure it is great if you can manage to do something alone that a whole group of people can. However the experience is not the same. If you collaborate with people that chances success of almost all factors are multiplied. You should think about this. Let’s say you have 5 people. That’s 4 more other people checking for mistakes, giving out great concepts, helping each other, and much more. If you have yet to do a collaboration project with other people. I suggest you try one. Even if you are all unfamiliar with what you’re doing. That other person might know what you might not, and together you can all learn from each other.
Well as designer you should be able to Reach out to other people. Many people reach out to other people for various reasons. I now this is a very vague topic. I shall try my best to explain it. What exactly do I mean? Well basically when you don’t reach out to other people you are always stuck in the same place. They only way it can change are if people reach out to you. You will get a much more positive result if you reach out to others instead. Not only that, but you’re building your networking. That is always a plus.
Watch what happens in the Industry. Industry news is important since it shows you what the leading stuff is. Do you want to still be doing what was done 20 years ago? If you keep a close eye on the Industry and see where it is heading you have a huge leverage. It allows for you to think in the present for the future. So with the leverage you might even be able to be one of the pioneers that drive the industry to that new state. You most likely won’t be alone. However, you can be one of the selected few that are very well versed in what it may be. This sets you apart from other people that are still years behind.
You might have never thought of taking on a Mentor. Well I’m here to tell you it’s a good idea. If anything I am already your mentor. However, I don’t count since I’m your DAD and by nature we are always your mentors. I would suggest finding someone who you look up to and just let them know that you want them to be your mentor. They can guide you on the right track, help you with any questions, bounce off ideas, critique your work, and maybe even be someone to hang around. If you don’t have one find one. You never know you can maybe even work on something together!
So you have something due in three days. Well you will Put In The Hours because your job to work on it eight hours per day because that’s all you’re obligated to do. What’s the problem? Well it will look like 24 hours of work. Now what happens if you spend a little more time into it? Well chances are you will get to experiment more and fine-tune it even more. Now given, all projects don’t require this. However, it’s once again another good habit to get into. If you can spend a little more time into projects than you need to it really does show. Keep that in your head. -Grin-
I’m not sure if I’ve given an advice about this yet. However, allow me to elaborate. I am/will always be the person in the audience/class/room anywhere to ask questions. Now you must know there is an appropriate time and place for questions. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. As you grew up you were always bombarded with pressure from other people that if you ask a question it makes you seem dumb. This is hardly ever the case. Ask that question because if you don’t then you are the dumb one.
I bet you don’t ever really thinking about Exceeding Expectations. You should start. Not only does it impress the people around you, it shows how much you care. If you tend to do this often then good. You know why? It’s simple really. If you constantly exceed expectations you get to a point where the line between what you need and what you exceed becomes closer. What does that mean? In short it means even if you feel that you are at the point you can exceed expectations the work you already have does it. It’s a very good habit to get into.
I’m not sure if I’ve given an advice about this yet. However, allow me to elaborate. I am/will always be the person in the audience/class/room anywhere to ask Questions. Now you must know there is an appropriate time and place for questions. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. As you grew up you were always bombarded with pressure from other people that if you ask a question it makes you seem dumb. This is hardly ever the case. Ask that question because if you don’t then you are the dumb one.
There has also been a situation where I knew a student who asked questions constantly. Everyone thought he was crazy when he asked a certain question. The student had asked the presenter “May I have your project files to examine them?” I was very surprised that the presenter said yes. He had stated, “That’s what I like to see. Someone taking interest. Not just sitting here hearing me, this pal he want’s to see it for himself. There is power in being a student, and that’s if you ask you most likely will get it if you are using it to benefit yourself. If you don’t, well hey at least you tried.”
It’s always a good idea to Step Back from your work. Sometimes when you look at something for too long you tend to over think things. You start to fidget with stuff that might not even need it at all. Overall, sometimes just step away take a break and just come back to it. You might be inspired by something else. It may even be that you catch something that you were not seeing before. This has happened to me many times before. A good idea is just to switch screens with someone and have them take a break from what they’re doing and look at what you’re doing and vice versa.
Learn to take some Advice. (Ironic isn’t it?) Many people think that when advice is given the other person has it out for them. This is hardly ever true. People give advice to better others. Another thing is to never take advice for granted. Once you start to shut off from taking advice is when you start to shut off as a designer. This is something you never want. Always be open as in Advice #63. It’s also good to give advice. If you see someone you think needs it there is never anything wrong with saying something to them. In return you never know when they might give you some.
Limits are only set by none other than yourself. That’s all there really is to it. It is good to sometimes set limitations for yourself such as a strict color scheme, or style. Challenge yourself to go beyond your limitations. If you fail so what? It’s still good to have tried and learned in the process. Furthermore, who knows if you might have even set the base for a better project. It’s better to experiment and go beyond limitations than have to deal with them when they come.
Hot Keys make your workflow fly. They allow for you to make less clicks, and overall work much faster. Once in awhile don’t go and click the button. Try and find the hot key for it. It saves so much more time. I really can’t stress the importance for hot keys! I try to remember little phrases for hot keys so I will remember them. For instance on Photoshop Command J for me (Which duplicates a layer) is Jet Copy Paste. Since it does its job fast like a jet. Elementary I know, but basic mnemonic devices is always the best when learning hot keys.
Don’t get into Bad Habits. If you already are in a bad habit, leave it. Bad habits can ruin workflow and can really detrimental if you add on more of them as time goes on. A very big one is texting. I personally try to avoid texting while designing. I usually think about it like this. I spend about 10 seconds on each text. If the person I am texting replies back at a rate of 30 times per hour I’m wasting 5 minutes. If I’m designing for 8 hours I’ve wasted a total time of 40 minutes just texting back. Now realistically this wouldn’t happen. However just about a good hour or two is usually wasted. Thin about what would happen in a week, or month? I’m also pretty sure you can live without that one Facebook notification that is most likely an invitation to Farmville or another game. -Haha-
You will always Learn something new every day even if you don’t do anything. Learning never stops. It’s very important to learn from others. You should always learn from your peers, teachers, mentors, and even inspirational figures. Don’t think just because you are someone else you can make the same mistakes they made and get away with it. If anything embrace their mistakes and learn from them. It will make you not only smarter, but also concentrate on other things that might be wrong.