Guest Post by Ana Zukova, AIGA LA
“I wish I had known X when I first started Y…” — how many times have you heard some version of this line, or possibly even said it yourself?
The thing, of course, is that you can’t know everything there is to know when you first set out on a new path. In all likelihood, you don’t even know everything there is to know 10 years into it. In the context of the design industry, things are ever-evolving — new tools, both in the form of software and hardware, get introduced to the market nearly every month, trends change faster than one can master them, and let’s not dismiss the subjectivity accompanying any creative field.
“Ok, I get that. But there must be some advice you could give someone at the beginning of their creative career,” you say.
We were hoping you’d say that. So, we tapped into the wealth of AIGA Los Angeles wisdom (aka our Advisory Board) to find out what advice they would have given their own selves back when they first started, knowing what they know today. Read on to see what they shared with us…
“I would tell myself to stay humble and adaptive to change. The craft, business, and world around us are always changing and you’re going to need to face this change by being accepting to some kind of personal, professional, and creative evolution. Simply put, things aren’t always going to go the way you wish they would.
At the same time, face adaptation with determination and sincere follow through. Continue following your goals (even though they may change as you grow) with quality, grace, and patience. Remember why you’re in this very special field, that it is a privilege to be where you are (at whatever point in your career), that you get to utilize your creativity, talent, and passion in the cause of making an impact on people’s lives. Oh, and keep track of billable hours — don’t undervalue yourself by under billing. In the end doing that wears down your creative power, inside and outside.”
Lawrence is a Grammy award winning Creative Director and Founder of LADdesign Inc.
“ Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. Speak your truth and remember that it’s fruitless to try making everyone happy. Criticism will come your way in all forms, accept it with grace, and use it as a growth opportunity. Above all else, trust your instinct. Always take the high road. Lead with empathy. And get out of your own way.”
Sheharazad is a Creative Director at Otis College of Art and Design
“ The design side:
Start pure — all design is space, light, and form.
Stare at the blank page — see what comes to mind.
Play and stumble on things that surprise you.
Edit. Edit. Edit.
The professional side:
Ask many questions — clarity is paramount!
Learn to pitch — you can control the brief!
Don’t show anything you don’t love — they might like it.
Know your limits — never be late.”
David is an award-winning Creative Director and Content Manager at The Annenberg Space for Photography
“Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone. You are a one-off bundle of experiences, skills, loves, hates, passions, interests, journeys, triumphs, pain, stories, taste, ethos… Let this take you in new and exciting directions, and not just towards a pay check or what will look good on your resumé and portfolio. This ever-evolving recipe of you, will help shape you and your work.”
Simrit is the Head of Design at the integrated agency Phenomenon.
Breaking into the design industry is just as much about balancing confidence, humility, and grit as it is about finding your creative style and learning the industry tricks — but as long as you got the former down, the practice (many years of practice to come) will help with the rest.
We’re glad you decided to join this creative party! For more useful content, industry news, and local creative happenings, sign up for AIGA Los Angeles weekly newsletter, follow us on Medium, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Ana is a Multi-Disciplinary Designer and Art Director living in Los Angeles, California. She is a co-founder of the GRIDDL collaboration, where freelancers come together to work on web-based projects and is currently teaching Interaction Design at Cal Poly Pomona.
The original link to this article appeared on Medium.