How do you deal with crises of confidence?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by plerb, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. plerb macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #1
    Do you have to have a certain king of ego to succeed in design? Can you be insecure about your talent and afraid that you're a phony who will fail miserably, and still manage to do good work :eek: :D ?
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Mar 12, 2007
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    Manchester, UK
    #2
    I'd say only a certain amount of it is pure talent!

    The vast majority of it comes from experience, a willingless to learn and time.
     
  3. covisio macrumors 6502

    covisio

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    UK
    #3
    I'd liken it to being a comedian, or singer, or poet, or artist, or anyone in the creative arts. You can't help living in constant dread that someone is going to shout 'YOU SUCK!' at any moment but you have to close your mind off from that insecurity and fear, swallow your pride and keep going.
    That doesn't mean you won't make mistakes and learn from them, it will just give you the mental freedom you need to be creative.
     
  4. plerb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #4
    Maybe this isn't the right kind of question for this forum :)

    Thanks for the replies. I sometimes forget that rarely is someone so talented that they didn't have to put in a lot of hard work learning about their trade and/or didn't make mistakes to get where they are. I think of some people as springing from the Earth as fully-formed, expert designers or something and then beat myself up for having to actually study things and learn how to do what I want.
     
  5. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #5
    Nope, designers are molded over time :D

    Everybody is crap when they first start out. The only difference is that some are crapper than others!
     
  6. polar-blair macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #6
    When I first saw this post I was like what Im not Crap:( ,Im starting at the beginning just started college, but then thought for a second then I realised it was true, maybe Crap isnt the right word, how about unexperienced.

    Example, I was in class and got asked to replicate a products packaging that we got asked to bring that used complementary colours, I brought in a capri sun carton. Then we got told to make a copy of it on free hand, did that all good then we got asked to make it stick out, really grab the attention of any person looking at the poster. So I decided to do a swirly juice thing coming out of the carton. So I made this squiggly wave but it just looked wrong, then my tutor, very experienced in design came and gave me a tip and use the shape of the carton, very sleek and smooth as a pattern for the squirting juice rather than a squiggly blob, I did that and it looked far better. I felt like an idiot, such a simple and obvious thing to do. So I guess not everyone is perfect thats why you get colleges to teach you these things and to give you some experience.

    Just go with the flow ;) and dont let people put you down and believe what you make and design is good, but also listen to what people say about your designs, I doubt clients will choose an idea straight away from your first draft. I would expect it to be more of a process of ideas until you and the client come up with something that works.
     
  7. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #7
    Maybe I'm a bit different. My priority with the work I produce is to make my client happy (so they come back again :)) and I would rather they say my work is rubbish or not what they are after at an early stage so I can adjust it than go through to the finished product only to have them not use it.

    Now you need a fair bit of self belief to be able to do this and you also have to realise that even with a brief the client doesn't always mean what you supply or once they see it they don't like it, its part of design in my view.

    You also need to be able to ask questions when you're not certain about any aspect, I'd rather ask a question and get it right than try to figure it out and get it wrong.
    I remember when I was back at uni on the first project of the second year (ie new tutors different style expected etc) I was the only one to actually ask about how they wanted the work presented and as such I was the only one who was anywhere near what they expected of us in terms of presentation style.
     
  8. plerb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #8
    I'm still a student

    I'm in the process of learning everything I can right now so it's not so much about being offended if someone doesn't think I'm a genius or critiques my work or whatever. I mean I'm doing what I think is good work but then I look at the "real world" of design and get knots in my stomach about not being good enough and maybe I'm not being realistic and I should just go study accounting because there's so much competition and I didn't grow up with artist parents who encouraged me, etc. etc. I think the program I'm in makes it harder to know whether the teachers are actually liking what I'm doing or what level I'm at because there's not much feedback at all. Maybe in a few months time I'll post my portfolio or something and get feedback that way.

    Anyway, just remembering that it's as much or more about learning and hard work as it is about raw talent makes me feel a whole lot better so thanks for the reminder.
     
  9. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #9
    Petey Greene, "just be yourself"

    And equally important, "let others be themselves"
     
  10. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #10
    It's the sign of ANY good professional if you don't question you abilities and fail at least once you wont learn nothin', you'll become complacent and you wont grow as a professional, it's that simple.

    The mark of any good professional is being able to roll with the good and the bad. It's very easy for anyone to work well success after success, but the truly great professional learns from mistakes, question their ability and manages to define their art/skill in the process.

    Any fool can gain confidence from easy wins, but the great professional grows and learns from short comings and the "hard" wins.

    Look at the likes of Field Marshall Montgomery, if he didn't learn from his mistakes in Operation Market Garden he would have never been able to beat Rommel in Africa.

    I always doubt any professional's competency who is 100% ego and sure as ****. As soon as you stop questioning your ability and work towards furthering you skill you will loose you edge.
     
  11. wongulous macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 7, 2002
    #11
    OP, I totally feel you. I'm right there with you. I'm not like, a creative genius who oozes paintings and sculptures and fashion design and amazing character design talents out of every pore constantly.

    I am quite creative, but also analytical, a perfectionist, an outside-the-box-thinker, great with line/shape/color/type, and an avid appreciator and critic of media, fashion, film, art, music, etc.

    But there are always people who will seem "more creative" than you, but you know what? They are differently creative. They probably have different strengths than you, and I guarantee that they have different experiences. Maybe they're older than you. Maybe they have focused their entire life on art, whereas you were a business major for a couple of years and during your childhood played some sports or you're also a really big computer geek that can not only sketch and create a website design, but actually implement the code, test it against standards, and make a server backend, maybe even turn it into a business. Or maybe you or they are just so much more specific in their focus. Or maybe they don't have to have a day job like you do, or they've gone through 8 years of school. Maybe they rip off everything they do. Maybe you are destined to be the greatest designer of something so specific, like a typeface or something, and you're kicking yourself in the pants because you can't make a beautiful rose illustration on wedding invitation! Who knows. Point is: everyone is different. And everyone is good at something.

    One thing that can prevent your confidence is comparison to others. It's my biggest thing, anyway. So abolish it, and get on with your creative, confident self.

    Also, remember that failure is inevitable and a part of the process.
     
  12. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #12
    I think too many designers and artists, myself included, expend far too much time and energy comparing their work to the top 10% in their profession.
    Be yourself, work hard, and be proud of what you do; precious few can do it at all.
     
  13. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Nov 6, 2006
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    Norfolk, UK
    #13
    what you mean we're (I'm) not in the top 10% of my profession, thats just blasphemy :eek: :D
     
  14. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #14
    No, I mean we (I) spend far too much time compared work to yours. LOL.
     
  15. plerb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #15
    Thanks all

    Thanks so much everyone for the advice/words of encouragement. It's very much appreciated. :eek:
     
  16. micharadi macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2006
    #16
    Beautifully put. Nothing comes better than that.
     
  17. Muzz macrumors newbie

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    May 21, 2008
    #17
    Don't always take criticism by clients to heart. They get to make the final decision on your design work but that doesn't make them right or an expert on design.

    Your first design may be fantastic but if they want something different (sometimes ruining the best parts of your design) then you have to go with their direction. Some of my best packaging designs have been rejected the first time then accepted the next time the packaging is updated, because the client has seen how the market is has changed and why I originally designed it that way.
     
  18. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #18
    My professor has been brutally brutal so far this year. There are only 3 graphic design professors at my school, and I'd estimate there are nearly 100-150 students who are focusing on graphic design as their emphasis, each at their own skill level. So many of us (myself included) are really starting to get mad at this guy, but when I look at the big picture, he is really only pushing us this hard to help us succeed. He made a girl in my class tear up one day during a critique, but her next project was just that much better because of it.

    His father is also sick and went in for a very intense open heart surgery yesterday morning. I'm sure a lot has been on his mind. I don't know how much that has affected his criticisms, but he has a lot of advice that he gives us in how to deal with clients, etc. He keeps drilling into us to not be a client or...I can't remember how he says it...a design prostitute maybe?...anyway, he tells us to be a counselor to our clients. Don't let them tell you what to do, we take their ideas and counsel them to help them realize their ideas may not be as strong as they could be. I admire this professor for his willingness and love of helping us succeed.

    Anway, plerb, just stick with it and everything will fall into place for you. There is a lot of criticism with a profession like this, and you just have to stand your ground and back your design decisions, etc. Best of luck buddy!
     
  19. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #19
    Maybe I worded that too personally. Yes you are inexperienced, but yes, your work is crap. :D Your classmates' work is crap. Everybody's work is crap when they first start. There's no getting away from it! But, in three or four years time you will look back and thing "geez, how could I have thought that was good?"

    It's all part of the process. People more experienced will say your work isn't up to scratch and this is what will cause your lack of confidence. You'll resent them at the time, but eventually you will see that they're 100% right.

    Again, it's all part of the process.

    Just stick with it, and slowly but surely the rough edges will be ground down. You've got be in it for the long haul - don't get disheartened when things don't quite work. You'll get there in the end - almost everybody does.
     
  20. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #20
    I fail all the time. Part of the process is the process, and failure is built in. You're not as good as you think you are and you're probably nowhere near as bad as you think you are when you're doubting yourself.

    Eventually you learn to not fail as quickly is all I can say. And that goes with probably everything in life.
     

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