Doing design every day is sometimes draining. You might feel that you are doing the same routine and that things are getting boring. You might even feel that you are still at the same point when it comes to skills and that you are not improving. But that shouldn’t be the case because you can actually keep on sharpening your skills while working. There are just instances when one is so focused with work that he tends to forget about learning and improving.
It is still important that as you go on with your daily creative processes and routines, you get a lot of new learning. This way, you are getting knowledgeable and knowledgeable each day. This will make you a better worker and designer. If we come to think of it, a freelance designer has that edge from those who have day jobs because you can allocate time for learning while working and earning at the same time. So today, we will drop off a few reminders on how you can sharpen your design skills continually.
Why Continuous Improvement Is Necessary
“If you stand still, you’ll get left behind.” This is indeed true. If you will merely be happy with what you know and how you work today without trying to get a higher goal, you will never get better. So, continuous improvement is necessary. Once you do it, you will be able to improve not just your own skills but also your products, services and even your design processes. You can achieve all that once you pay attention to your efficiency in working.
Continuous improvement can help you become the best designer. So, don’t get left behind. Run along with the rest and then do your best in order to achieve the goal first. You don’t want to see yourself standing on one point while watching the others get nearer the goal. Sharpening your skills will bring you to your goal. So, look into the tips we will give you to help you do that.
How to Sharpen your Design Skills Continually
Since continuous improvement is important in order to succeed, you have to seriously think of how you can do that for your design career. Once you have fully realized the value of improvement and in sharpening your design skills, we have provided some tips that can help you.
Creativity takes practice. How can you express your creative ideas if you won’t actually work on something? Let those wonderful ideas come out of your mind by designing whatever you can think of. Do this even if you do not have projects to work on. Always keep in mind the famous adage that ‘practice makes perfect’. This could be the best way to sharpen your skills.
2. Read design blogs.
There are many design blogs where in you can get a lot of tips, inspirations and resources. This will not just keep you updated but will also help you to keep that creative flare inside you. The things that you see and read each day will affect how you work. So, see to it that you will be able to feed your mind what it needs to encourage you more to do design.
3. Be updated.
Every now and then, there are different design trends that come. You can either follow it or not but it is best that you are aware of it. Most your clients will be looking at the latest trends and might even require you to work based on it. This is because clients always want their projects to be up to date. It would be a shame if you do not know the trends when your clients ask for it. Between the two of you, it is you who should have knowledge most about it.
4. Get as much inspiration as you can.
Inspiration is just everywhere. It can be from your surroundings, from the music you heard, from the conversations you overheard, from by passers, from passing vehicles, from nature and many others. As long as you are inspired, you can sharpen your skills because you will be motivated to work and even try something different.
5. Join design communities and get feedback.
Being part of design communities will give you the chance to mingle with other designers. You can even ask for feedbacks for your works which can help you improve it. You will surely learn a lot from the tips that you will get from fellow designers. In return, you can also give your feedback to other’s works. You will meet new friends while learning from them.
6. Check online tutorials.
Why don’t you look for some online tutorials which look interesting for you? You can use this to learn new techniques which can also be applied for your own designs. You can also try different approaches in designing which can surely help you develop new design skills. This is learning and working at the same time.
Nothing is wrong if you experiment. Through experimentation, you will learn so many new things and discover some styles that will set your work apart from the rest. This can even add a unique touch to your works. Many designers have made a name for themselves because of experimenting. Why don’t you try it?
8. Pay attention to your skills.
You might ask, “What are you talking about?” Well, this is about you and how you work. Most of the time, we are so occupied with doing the same things over and over again that we can no longer notice that we are not actually improving. Once you try to pay attention to what you are doing, then you will be able to pinpoint on certain areas where you still need to improve. This way, you will be able to develop more skills and you will be better in what you are doing.
9. Design offline.
You will be able to express yourself even more if you work offline. Try designing while your computer is off by sketching on paper. Then use this as a guide in your design. Create many sketches as different ideas come out. You can choose from these sketches or you can also try combining elements from different sketches.
10. Be determined to improve.
No other thing is more effective than being fully motivated and determined to improve in what you are doing. So, take some time to look into what certain points you need to improve. You can create a list of it and think of what steps you could take in answer to it.
11. Accept and learn from failure.
Failure is necessary in order to succeed. If you commit mistakes while working, do not feel bad about it. Instead, learn from it and stand up again. Failures actually exist in order to make success look a lot better because once you get to the top by overcoming failures; you will feel that you truly deserve such glory.
12. Create new challenges.
One good way to sharpen your skills is to face new challenges. You create that for yourself. Try aiming higher than what you used to do. This will urge you to work better so you can reach your goals. But make sure that your challenges are realistic.
13. Leave your comfort zone.
When you are pushed outside your comfort zone, it increases your design skills because you will be able to have a different environment and you will also be forced to perform well despite the different ambiance you are exposed to. Comfort zone is not just your working area but even on the type of design media or style you are working on. When asked to work on something new to you, accept it for you will learn from it and you will be able to develop your skills too.
Other Factors Affecting Continuous Improvement
Sharpening your skills continually isn’t merely about doing the things we have mentioned above. It can also be affected by what you do and what you are. This includes:
Stay healthy because if not, you will not be able to work well. Remember that your goals and long list of tasks will be left undone if you get sick. So, eat a balanced diet, take your vitamins, exercise and live a happy lifestyle. Read more about this on How Can You Stay Fit and Healthy as a Designer?.
Living in a happy environment will help you perform better. You can also concentrate on work if your ambiance is good, healthy and quite. If you are working from home, try to look for a good place where you are away from noise. It is also a wise decision to place your work area near the window so you can get a good glimpse of nature. Open that window once in a while.
Above all, it is your attitude that will affect your continuous improvement. Because if you are fond of procrastinating, you are hindering yourself to get anywhere. Also, always have a positive attitude in everything you do. Do not close doors even before they opened. Do not create your own ghosts. Work as if you are already at the point where you want to be.
Learn More About Skills
Want to learn more about skills? We have posted some helpful tips about them in the past. Feel free to check them so you can get more tips to help you become a better designer.
1. Skills Freelancers Need to Win Jobs in 2013. Getting jobs is about skills. It is your passport to stand out from the rest. What are the skills one need to ace a job?
2. Easy Steps to Improve Your Graphic Design Skills. If you think this article is just the same as what we have now, it is different because this is merely about some easy things you can do to improve and not for continuous sharpening of skills.
3. Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Graphic Designer?. There is a great competition for graphic designers. What do you need to do in order to get the spotlight? Get to know some tips on how to be a great designer.
If you start sharpening your skills today, no one else will benefit a lot from it but you. So, do not be hesitant to do it. Do not look at it as a waste of time because it isn’t. You can even work while improving yourself at the same time. So, why don’t you seriously think of sharpening your skills continually? Or if you have started doing it, how do you make sure that you are improving while working?