“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you… It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” — Ira Glass
Well said, Ira Glass. So much truth in such a short statement.
Creative software, design tricks, and coding is something that can be taught. Good taste, however, is not. As an aspiring designer, I have struggled through many years of hating my work. You finish a project, then see someone else’s work and can’t help but yell (hopefully not out loud), “Why can’t I do that?!”
I may be on the young side, but I have been in the creative industry for over 11 years now. When I look back on the first few years of my career, I can’t help but chuckle. My designs were crude, my coding poor, but at the time, it was the best I could do. I had to struggle through my lack of knowledge on how to create what was in my mind. But if I had never designed for the dozens of little mom and pop shops, I would have never had the opportunity to create the digital image for large international companies.
So to all current and future aspiring designers starting out in the industry: This is a hard job. You have to be able to manage clients, keep them happy, read their minds, put their feelings and vague expressions into tangible, beautiful design, and actually be happy about your work. But if you push yourself through the growing pains, the creative industry can be the most rewarding careers you could do. It’s challenging and every day is different. Just keep fighting.