With social media being so present in our daily lives now, it’s so easy for everyone to be attracted to the idea of being a designer. Not only fashion, but the digital world is growing rapidly as well. I constantly have received the question of what have I done to sustain myself in the industry as well as how I got started.
To be a designer, it requires a lot of discipline and love for your craft. Often these days people look at design as an easy way to make money however, that’s definitely not the case. Design is a fast paced and rapid-growing industry. You have to be able to keep up and set yourself apart from the pop-up shop designers, that prey on startup businesses. In this case, that would mean you have to consistently study your craft. Not only through designing everyday, but constantly learning and keeping up with design trends.
Some of my favorite past times have included going to bookstores and picking up a couple of foreign magazines a week, checking out the latest font releases and even just browsing local art galleries and exhibitions to stay refreshed on different styles and types of art. Being a designer requires not only a love for the craft but dedication. Do your research and study your market. This is very important to ensure that you keep up with the consistent change and techniques. Look at the techniques and styles and use them for inspiration to grow your style. Don’t be afraid of change.
Having a set style as a designer is sure to set you apart in the industry. Have your own flow, and things that simply make you happy besides going with the run of the mill trends. You want to follow them but don’t copy them. Copying in the design world, you often lose respect from other designers, so follow them but add a little umph and jazz it up. Don’t copy verbatim, make it yours so to speak. This will always give you one up and you will gain people that respect your work and artistry which builds a client base and demand for your style and work.
Outside of the above mentioned – to excel you must also have a business mindset. In all honesty, at points in my career, this is where I failed because I got too caught up in focusing on the art side. Often it’s great to have a business partner that may not be design oriented, but works well with bookkeeping, business relationships and all of the things that most creatives dread. If not, it’s imperative that you take the time to research on your own. You can avoid some of the biggest mistakes that new designers make by simply practicing good business ethics. For example, being a creative is not a good excuse for being late. Most creatives lack in the communication department and most of the time when that annoying client is emailing you 5 times a day and you don’t have a definitive answer, all they are seeking is some type of explanation and response. Good business ethics means that you keep your clients /customers up to date with the current status of their project / product.
All in all – dedication, research and communication are the main tips for becoming a successful designer. Stay focused and remain confident in what you do. If you do all of these things, you are sure to succeed in the field you are in. My last bit of advice would be to not conform and stay true to who you are. It’s so key to being a strong woman in the industry of art and design.