There is this common and false notion that the true artists are naturally born with their talent, and all their success is merely a spontaneous expression of that talent. This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, a talent that is not nourished on a daily basis will undergo atrophy. Further, even the greatest talents require constant work, progressing and adjustments. It is far less important how good you were when you started being a graphic designer, but how much do you progress on a daily basis. Behind every significant and steady success lie endless hours of hard working, patience, and practicing. Here are some approaches, habits, and actions you should integrate into your routine to become a better graphic designer.
Learn, understand and know from the source
Yes, there are tons of quick ways to go through the basics of various designing applications and tons of tempting tutorials available online that guide you through the steps of learning something by heart, but that is quite fragile knowledge and skill. If you want to truly understand the job you’re doing and be able to apply your knowledge in various ways, take the time to learn the design theory. Read about techniques, new trends, approaches, common solutions and try to gain the knowledge and create “designer’s brain” before you focus on training your mere skills.
Train your sense of good design and improve your style
This is somewhat a mental training and a game, but it is essential for sharpening your taste, aesthetic levels and finally for shaping your designing style. Explore and analyze in details examples of truly good and experienced designing solutions, trying to figure out what makes them good or specific. Be careful not to copy someone else’s work or style, but merely to use great designers as your teachers and leaders. After all, you don’t want to be a lousy copy of someone’s work, but to establish your recognizable style.
Allow yourself to make mistakes
Unleash your creativity and original raw ideas of any kind of limitation. Create some place for yourself where you’ll try all the new ideas and techniques you want to try out and don’t be afraid of making mistakes or getting poor results. All of this is just a part of growing process and improving yourself as a designer.