Speckyboy RSS: Getting Past the Limitations of Your Design Skills

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!.

Speckyboy Design Magazine

Design News, Resources & Inspiration

Getting Past the Limitations of Your Design Skills


By Addison Duvall on May 26, 2021 06:02 am


Have you ever looked through design books or online publications, keeping up to date on what’s happening in the industry, when you happen upon a bunch of work that’s leaps and bounds more creative and technically proficient than anything you’ve done so far?

I don’t mean a little bit better – I’m talking about work in a completely different stratosphere of good.

I know I have. More times than I’d care to admit just now. But let’s stop to consider for a minute why this happens. You’re a creative person. You create for a living – so why is it that your work seems to hit a creative ‘glass ceiling’ every so often, and your peers seem like they’re outpacing you by light years?

I am going to explore some of the reasons why designers can hit creative stalemates and what can be done to get past their limited design skills.

You Keep Looking At The Same Stuff

This happens in every creative discipline, from design to fine art to writing to music. Creative people tend to look at a lot of creative work they like, and they tend to avoid work they dislike or don’t understand very well.

While this is normal, it has the unfortunate side effect of making your work boring and generic. Just like a command you input into a computer, what goes in is what comes out. So if you only consume a certain type of work, that’s all you’re going to have as the basis for your creativity.

Broaden your design horizons. Read new things and look at new genres of art and design that you wouldn’t ordinarily care to. You never know where you’re going to find inspiration. Even something as bizarre as natural phenomena or old Sky Mall catalogues could spark a creative thunderstorm in your brain.

stormtrooper light bulb creative-idea

Bad Design Makes You Sad

It’s true: looking at bad design work is depressing. And when you’re sad, you’re less likely to produce good work. A few years ago, I went through a period of wondering whether I even wanted to be a designer anymore, since my work and all the work I was looking at seemed to be stuck in mediocrity.

It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a treasure trove of amazing work being put out by my peers that my enthusiasm for design returned, and I dove headfirst into a new creative project.

We humans, being social animals, tend to mimic whatever we see our fellow humans doing. If the people around you are doing boring, poorly made, uninspiring work, you’re not only going to start to adopt the mentality that design is boring, you’re also going to start mimicking that kind of work. Don’t get caught in that trap. Seek out great work and be inspired by it!

sad designer working laptop

You Have Bad Taste

Ira Glass famously remarked that “your taste is why your work disappoints you.” I would argue that it’s worse if your work doesn’t disappoint you since that would mean your taste isn’t good enough to know when your work is bad.

This is another reason why it’s so important to break out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to look at new and different work.

This applies even if what you find next is worse than whatever you’ve been looking at. That can actually be a good thing because at least now you know that there’s something worse out there. Just by finding crappier work, your taste and ability to separate good from bad have improved.

Ira Glass your taste is why your work disappoints you

The Secret To Really Original Designs

Okay. Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why people run into inspiration brick walls, I’m just going to come out and tell you how to create more original designs. Ready?

The secret to originality is to do things that are completely unrelated to design. When you travel, read a book, paint, cook, play an instrument, learn a language, write a short story, or play a sport, you’re doing more than enriching your overall quality of life. You’re actually giving your brain a much-needed rest from thinking about your creative problems.

Many people think that they can simply “force their way” through a challenging design problem, but this is mostly untrue. All you’ll end up doing is wearing yourself out, and your so-called “creative block” will be no closer to being resolved. Many times, a simple break from the workstation will fire up those creative neurons and give you a flood of new ideas.

When you’re busy doing something else, it doesn’t mean that your brain has stopped thinking about your creative challenge. On the contrary, it’s still chewing it over – only now you’re busying yourself with something else and leaving it alone to really think.

By the time you come back to it, just like a download running in the background of your computer, your brain will have worked its way through the tangle and come up with a new solution.

The post Getting Past the Limitations of Your Design Skills appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.



Read in browser »

Recent Articles:

Why Web Design Is Never Simple
The Cat’s Meow: 8 CSS and JavaScript Code Snippets Celebrating Our Feline Friends
Weekly News for Designers № 593
10 Free Slideshow & Gallery Templates for Adobe After Effects in 2021
Why You Should Include Your Personal Passions in Your Design Work
Share
Tweet
+1
Share
Forward
Copyright © 2021 Speckyboy Design Magazine, All rights reserved.
You signed up for daily Speckyboy Design Magazine email alerts either via Feedburner or directly through our site.

Our mailing address is:
Speckyboy Design Magazine
27 Braeside Park
Inverness, Scotland IV2 7HL
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Older messages

Speckyboy RSS: Why Web Design Is Never Simple

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration Why Web Design Is Never Simple By Eric Karkovack on May 25, 2021 06:18 am When watching a

Speckyboy RSS: The Cat’s Meow: 8 CSS and JavaScript Code Snippets Celebrating Our Feline Friends

Monday, May 24, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration The Cat's Meow: 8 CSS and JavaScript Code Snippets Celebrating Our Feline Friends By Eric

Speckyboy RSS: Weekly News for Designers № 593

Friday, May 21, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration Weekly News for Designers № 593 By Speckyboy on May 21, 2021 01:54 pm Envato Elements Building

Speckyboy RSS: Why You Should Include Your Personal Passions in Your Design Work

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration Why You Should Include Your Personal Passions in Your Design Work By Addison Duvall on May 19,

Speckyboy RSS: An Easy Way to Edit Block Visibility in the WordPress Gutenberg Editor

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Your latest Speckyboy content is here!. Speckyboy Design Magazine Design News, Resources & Inspiration An Easy Way to Edit Block Visibility in the WordPress Gutenberg Editor By Eric Karkovack on

Hollywood Regency Meets the Upper East Side in Manolo Blahnik's New Manhattan Flagship

Monday, June 21, 2021

Plus, 7 ways to save a project before things start to go wrong (image) Architectural Digest AD PRO Logo Image may contain: Grass, Plant, and Lawn Move Over, Marie Antoinette—These Giant Animal

✏ What’s Coming in WordPress 5.8, Free Developer Stuff, 12 CSS Parallax Effects, and more...

Monday, June 21, 2021

Work at the Intersection of Data, Design, and Technology [ad] SPS.NORTHWESTERN.EDU What's Coming in WordPress 5.8 (Features and Screenshots) WPBEGINNER.COM COMMENTS How to Use Dynamic Imports in

🖥 Sleek Landing Page Designs + 🏆 Challenge Updates

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Designer Digest Is Floating Your Way 🎈 To begin, we'd like to congratulate Faiz Abiyandani, the winner of our latest 🏃‍♀️Fitness App Challenge! Next, don't forget that the second week to

Camping Out in a 3,000-Square-Foot Loft

Monday, June 21, 2021

Design editor Wendy Goodman takes you inside the city's most exciting homes and design studios. Design Hunting A visual diary by Design Editor Wendy Goodman The living room. Photo: Annie Schlechter

Accessibility Weekly #245: When CSS Isn’t Enough

Monday, June 21, 2021

Sponsored by Automattic. They're hiring. June 21, 2021 • Issue #245 View this issue online or browse the full issue archive. Featured: When CSS isn't enough: JavaScript requirements for

Voice UI, Sharp Images, Philip K. Dick, Windows Layers, CSS Paint API

Monday, June 21, 2021

The 5 best design links, every day. Curated by a selection of great editors. Email not displaying properly? View browser version. Sidebar June 21 2021 An Alternative Voice UI To Voice Assistants

✏ How to Avoid SEO Disaster, 6 Types of Web Design, Simply Markdown, and more...

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Work at the Intersection of Data, Design, and Technology [ad] SPS.NORTHWESTERN.EDU An Alternative Voice UI to Voice Assistants SMASHINGMAGAZINE.COM COMMENTS Simply Markdown - Easy Create Markdown with

✏ Is AMP Dead and Do We Care? React Markdown Editor, Bad vs Good Designs, and more...

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Poll: Is AMP Dead, and do We Care? WEBDESIGNERDEPOT.COM COMMENTS Bad Vs Good Accessible Designs USABILITYGEEK.COM COMMENTS Client-Side Routing in Next.js SMASHINGMAGAZINE.COM COMMENTS React Markdown

The 25 Best Accent Chairs, According to AD100 Designers

Friday, June 18, 2021

Plus, more sourcing inspiration. View in your browser | Update your preferences Architectural Digest AD PRO logo image Welcome to the PROcurement, our new weekly roundup of the best designs to source

✏ 40 Javascript Memes, CSS Specificity Calculator, HTML Semantic Tags Sheet, and more...

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Problem with UX/UI Portfolios MARKBOULTON.CO.UK COMMENTS CSS Specificity Calculator POLYPANE.APP COMMENTS Your Image is Probably not Decorative SMASHINGMAGAZINE.COM COMMENTS Top 40+ Javascript