As a creator, you’re expected to have an endless supply of creativity in order to find solutions for the pressing issues of the future: how do we deal with the impending shortage of food and energy resources, and how might we use technology to solve our problems? Unfortunately, we all have our limits, and when we have to push ourselves to meet deadlines, that creativity can be hampered.

One of the simplest manners to arouse inspiration is to brainstorm about one’s practice and working methods. This might be a bit outside of your comfort zone, but it is a fantastic way to understand your boundaries, and to learn new skills and techniques. What about a peer-to-peer conversation that might offer some reflection? Or an interview? Or even initiating a regular meet up with other designers to talk about about what inspires them? Monitoring your design process affects one’s analysis, evaluation, development, and eventually the communication of ideas. Each of these resources can save you from getting stuck in thought patterns and provide new perspectives on your work.

To get the conversation started, we have gathered three quotes that consider what it means to be a designer.

 

“Having an idea is one thing, but the process of creating something is another story, and usually the final product turns out completely different from your initial plan.”

Let go of the assumption that an idea for a design is complete. Before you can gain the creative freedom to experiment, you might need to kill your darlings first. In addition, mapping out a line of thought that facilitates the production of more ideas can contribute to a richer design process and eventually, a quality product. The ways in which we think things through forms the context of the design solutions we offer, thus affecting expression and organization.

 

“I think that if you want to open your own studio, a business mindset should come to you naturally; or you should attain the specific skills needed in addition to your designer courses. If you have a problem with networking, for example, find a course that helps you to develop this skill.”

Don’t simply go out on a job hunt whenever you need work. To keep the financial pressure off, and your creativity flowing, you could do yourself a favour by developing some business skills. Even when your dream isn’t to open your own successful design studio, establishing yourself as a free-lance designer is all about being and staying noticed. According to Rick Tegelaar, a business mindset should come natural to you as a designer. If this isn’t the case, it is advised to seek mentoring and tutoring in order to learn how to develop your business. Networking is still the number-one way to find job opportunities, and if you want to be in pole position, you need to grow your business skills. People like to offer jobs by recommendation, so why not gather some recommendations on your professional Linkedin account, for example?

“What is normally made from this material? How is it used? Which techniques are applied?” Then, I focus on one aspect: “Why is it made in this way? Could it be done otherwise? How can I enhance the properties of the material?”

Challenge yourself. Read, draw, write, sleep, then repeat. What stimulates your flow of ideas? The most important thing in designing is the intrinsic motivation to challenge yourself, and to not simply perform the same trick over and over again. Think in different techniques. Invest in a wide range of skills. Feed your curiosity by trying new things. By pushing your boundaries, you will find new inspiration.

 

Do you want to try something new? Or do you have something you would like to discuss with us? Get in touch to explore the possibilities!