As a designer, there are a lot of moments you’ll face where you just don’t feel… design-y. Brick wall = hit. Hair = falling out, becoming self aware, and running away. You’ll do anything else other than what you’re supposed to be doing in order to get that blockage out of your life. The caffeine gods will become a beacon and you’ll beg them for guidance into the sweet, sweet land of creative freedom. Later, you’ll curse the caffeine gods later for the jitters – wondering why you sacrificed your unwavering ability to draw a straight line for promised (but under-delivered) alertness.
You’re design fried.
Something most designers won’t tell you is that this happens more often than they’re willing to admit. It’s completely and utterly fine and honestly, for the best that it DOES happen so frequently. Creativity isn’t meant to be 24/7 – you ARE GOING TO temporarily run out of ideas and feel like you’ve got nothing left in your brain. You WILL feel like throwing in the towel from time to time.
Soooo you take a break, you step away, you focus on something else. Once you stop over-analyzing and freaking out about whatever project you’re stuck on, the universe smacks you in the face with a breakthrough. Suddenly, you see exactly what you needed to do to complete your project. Or maybe you had the vision all along, but your hands weren’t cooperating – turning your normal style temporarily into something you’d expect a 2 year old to scribble on the wall with permanent marker.
The bad news? We all have our off days. You will have off days. Whether you’ve been in this business for a week, a year, 10 years, or 30 years… you will have imperfect days. Days where you feel like you’ve lost your abilities, lost your mind, or lost your talent. The good news?
It all comes back, and often better than before.
That’s what I love about designing – it’s ever changing, ever evolving, and constantly improving. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and I love it more than I did when I started. I also know I have a lot more to learn and always will. That’s exciting to me – knowing that there will ALWAYS be something new to learn. New technology, new art styles, new techniques… but the best part is always learning something new about yourself. When you try things you haven’t tried before, you might just learn that you CAN do it and that you’re pretty damn good at it.
When you feel design fried… frazzled… fricasseed, and whatever other “f” alliteration you can think of (yes… I know), pull inspiration from it. My inspiration for today came in the form of drawing my breakfast. I knew I needed to do something creative, so I drew my breakfast… and then it turned into this blog and a new post on Dribbble… and now I’m feeling a little more creative. The hardest part for me is now gone – starting. I started, it wasn’t scary or frustrating, so I’m continuing.
Go. Do. Create.
Don’t be afraid of being “design fried”. Good comes from it. I promise.