6 tips that will make you a great graphic artist

Quality=Time

While it's true that some people have an inherent understanding of the rules of design, quality is something you develop. Some people are naturally talented...like Tiger Woods, but Tiger started playing when he was a little boy and his raw skills had to be developed. Concert pianists spend countless hours practicing and honing their skills no matter how talented they are. The problem with most new designers is not that they aren't great, it's that they don't want to spend the time to be great.

Quality=Quantity

Great design seldom comes on the first try. In order to do great work you must go through thousands of duds. I'm always surprised when I see a great designer begin his/her work at how aweful it is. The more time you spend on a project, the better it will be.

Roger Von Oech, author of a wonderful book called 'A Whack on the Side of the Head. How you can be more creative' says 'Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it's the only idea you have.

A teacher for a pottery class decided one day to separate his students into two groups. He told one group that their grade for the semester would be based purely on how many pots they could make. If they made 50 pots, they got an A, if they made 40 pots a B, 30 a C and so forth. The other half of the class was graded on a single pot. They could take as much time as they wanted and make the pot as perfect as time would allow them. At the end of the semester the teacher looked at the pots that were made and found that the best pots came out of the half of the class that had been graded on quantity.

A good idea is the result of lots of ideas

Great designers are great at coming up with a lot of ideas. The best way to get a great idea is to get a lot of ideas. Most people have learned to come up with one solution to a problem. As an designer you must learn to look for a second and a third solution to a problem. You should look at your design and think of it as a problem to be solved. Don't stop when you reach the right answer. Look for the second right answer, the third right answer and so forth.

Great designers are fearless

To be a great artist you must learn to conquer your fears and believe that you are the best. This is why a lot of designers come across as conceited.

Roger von Oech reports in his book A Whack on the Side of the Head.

Years ago an oil company was concerned about the creative output of it's engineers, so they brought in a team of psychologists to find out what made the more creative engineers creative. So they asked the engineers all kinds of questions their educational backgrounds, where they grew up, their favorite colors, etc. After three months of study the psychologists found that the chief differentiating factor that separated the two groups were:

'The creative people thought they were creative and the less creative people didn't think they were.'

To be a great designer, you must believe that you can be a great designer and then spend the time learning how to be one. You need to believe you can be the best.

Great designers love challenges

If you want to be successful is anything, you have to learn to love the things that are hard. Everyone can do the things that are easy, but only successful people do the footwork required to be great. I can't tell you how many designers think they can't draw. The ability to draw is an essential skill in being a great graphic designer.

Great designers practice what they preach

If you're a great designer, your image should be very important to you, because quality and image is what you are trying to sell.

A lot of young artists have underdeveloped sense of presentation. The art of showcasing your work. In my classes I often see great work handed in folders with the names of previous projects scratched out, dirty and old manila envelopes and poorly labeled disks. Presentation should permeate every aspect of an artists' life. How can someone believe you are any good at design if your presentation is mediocre.

Remember what the bible says: People look at the outside, but God looks at the inside. Since we're going to be doing most our work for human consumption, we should take care to make it great on the inside and on the outside.

blog comments powered by Disqus