11 years ago I was sitting on a tram on my way to work and contemplated whether I was good enough to be a designer. Bright eyed but a complete rookie and unfamiliar with the demands of a studio working environment. The stress was too much, the obstacles too high, I wasn’t doing well on the job and I really struggled to find my footing. If only I was good enough I thought to myself, if only things were easier and I could just go on autopilot. How much better would that be if that was the case? I really felt I wasn’t good enough that day and that maybe I should quit and not step foot off that tram. It seemed to be the easier route.
I try to share as much as I can with you on strategies, experiences and things that have helped me along the way. Both in my life and my career. It’s a way to chronicle my own journey and thoughts and as a way to help you on your own journey. Something you can read weekly to improve and bring value to your life and career.
Do you ever lay in bed and dream up ideas of fun projects you’d love to work on? Or you’re at work and you like your job but the projects aren’t exactly 100% what you’d love to be making or designing but you tread along as if sleepwalking at times
Nothing special. No incredible lifehack or productivity booster. Just plain old consistent work that eventually snowballs into some incredible results.We are an instant gratification generation. We want things now. We want things to happen fast. But sometimes we need to be patiently impatient to be able reach our highest goals and ambitions.
Lessons I've learnt so far
What's holding you back?
Answering your questions
How side projects made me a better designer
Mentors I’ve had throughout my career have been instrumental to my growth as a designer. They helped guide the way and gave me that little push that I needed to realise more of my potential. The moments where I was lost and didn’t know if I was good enough to be a designer, or how to improve my work, or whether or not I could quit my job and run my own business. I looked at my mentors who paved the way for so many of these big decisions and actions that I took. Both through their own actions and their advice.
The key skill that opens the door for everything else
Recap of the last 3 years as a freelance designer/maker
The best designers I believe are the ones that are capable of thinking and executing across the spectrum of the design process. To look at things from a macro level – How does this product fit into a businesses product offering, brand and overall bottom line? And how does this product fit into the lives of the users and customers we are servicing? To also having the ability and the chops to execute on this information – implemented through sketches, wires, prototypes, visual design, testing, iterating, collaborating and launching. To get that balance of researcher, thinker vs craftsman and visual designer.
You might be thinking of starting a side project/startup/side hustle or your own business one day and this posts for you. And even if you aren’t, there are still invaluable lessons in today’s post on how to think like designer, along with practical know-how tips that you can use. I’ve found the best posts I’ve written are the ones where you can step into my mind and thought process so to speak. Just to peer over my shoulder and go “oh shit so that’s how you got from there to there”.
Building your own curriculum for a great life and design career
The power of simply asking.
Advice from Halli
5 things I wish I did earlier on in my career