3 Tips on how to rock being a Creative Designer

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By Zoë Oosthuizen (Staff)

As new as being a creative designer might be to you, I was in your position not too long ago. I never expected my life to change so dramatically after finishing my studies, I thought my life would consist out of designing beautiful stuff and spending my off time leisuring with my cat in the afternoon sun. Soon the reality hit me of having to get an actual work and doing something with my skills that I studied so hard for, just to realize that spending four years at university did not prepare me enough for what lies ahead for my future.

I started out with a trial Period at SnappSales figuring out how to program a reporting tool for the database with the little knowledge I have of coding and alas, I figured it out. Little did I know I would have to adapt and learn so much in the time that followed after that.

Here are my three tips for being a pro at starting a job as a creative designer and acing it

1. Don’t rely on your comfort zone

Really put yourself out there, do not be afraid to learn new skills. Be coachable. Anything new you can learn can be added to your skill list and applied to future clients. It makes your life and planning process much easier as well as executing your projects. Be adaptable, and as soon as you start stagnating, find something new to learn or something new to challenge yourself with.

2. It is not all about the aesthetics

Sometimes creating beautiful stuff can be amazing and satisfy your soul to the deepest part, but the fact is, it is not all about creating a stunning landing page that you think is beautiful. It needs to speak to the client and the target market. It needs to sell. At university I only learnt how to create stuff that I like and that I think will work, but being slammed into an industry of design and interactivity as well as aesthetics, the key thing that attracts the target market’s attention is what you are selling and how you are selling, and my taste has gone from designing stuff for myself, to designing stuff for the client, and stuff that works (well I am getting there). You can always work on projects on the side line for yourself to fill up your portfolio.

3. Planning

This is one thing that I myself am struggling with, but I am working on it. But in an industry that is time driven and needs fast implementation it is important to plan. Set up a to do list, give yourself goals, it helps to let you know when to get what done. Because once you get into the “design zone” time flies and you forget stuff that needs to be done. We creatives are scatter brains, we think about ten million stuff at the same time and wonder about why the alignment of that typeface is not aligned right and how you can fix it when there is more important things to worry about.

4. Enough is enough

You need to know when to say that you have done enough work for the day. Do not exhaust yourself by working too late, a creative mind needs time to process thoughts and ideas and by bombarding it with more than 9-10 hours of work is pretty tiring. Do not let it drink your mojo juice. Rest is important, we need time to unwind and be creative with our free time. I spend my time at night after work drawing for half an hour just to get myself to unwind and get my creative juices flowing.

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