I like to think of myself as a creative person, and I think I am on some level, but I am not a professional creative. I work with professional creatives, graphic designers and videographers, on a daily basis. I am an assistant, project manager and photographer on that team. I work with their designs in my job, so I get an up close and personal look at what it means to create usable and good design.
- Good design takes time. I’m an achiever by nature, so sometimes the drive to finish something and check it off the list dominates my priorities. I’ve noticed that good design doesn’t work that way. There is a lot of mental preparation and inspiration gathering that happens before anything else can start. I’m usually so excited to get started on something that I just jump in without considering other options or methods. Taking your time allows all (or a lot of) the alternatives to present themselves and be appreciated or dismissed. Getting it done for the sake of getting it done doesn’t produce the best result.
- Good design is only aided by collaboration. I happen to work with two incredibly talented designers who are very different, but are alike in one amazing way- they have no ego about their work. This allows them to offer suggestions to each other and not worry about the reaction. Every time I see a design and think it’s fantastic, the other designer might make a simple suggestion that will elevate the design even more. I’ve never seen a suggestion make things worse between these two. It’s interesting to me, and makes me want to find a group of people that can make those suggestions to me about my work to improve it. I also have to work on my ego to know that I don’t always know best, even if it is my idea originally. That might be the hardest part.
- Everything is a source of inspiration. Not only are visual sources good inspiration, but podcasts, baby items, jewelry and music can inspire design. It doesn’t have to be visual at all. Constantly filling themselves up with inspiration from areas outside of work allows the ideas to be present when they need them. Sometimes I feel like “looking around” isn’t productive, but if all you ever do is command output with no input, your design will be compromised and become stale. Same with writing. Need to read to write.
Working with artists gives me a vantage point I’ve never had before. It’s fascinating and inspiring. I hope to use what I’m learning to improve my own work.