10 things a designer (both audio and visual) should do to be successful:

All right, these could be solely my own point of views, and if you’d think otherwise, feel free to point them out ;)
  1. Read a lot. I really mean a lot. Be a sponge. Learn things that are outside your scope of study. That is how “think outside of the box” happened. There is something magical about reading – it expresses things in many ways that even film or music could not express. Find these hidden qualities and if you can translate it into design, it will be magical as well.
  2. Watch all sorts of movies and listen to all types of music and get to love as many genre as possible. And then figure out how it was done that would create its unique identity. You do not want to restrict yourself only into a single genre or otherwise your target would be too niche and you will lose a lot of opportunity.
  3. Be daring. Change rules often, but never forget its roots. If you simply use an idea without knowing its origin, you would bump into trouble later should it contradicts with the new concept you are proposing.
  4. Do not succumb to routine works. If you are stuck with routine works, venture into personal projects – things that you love to do. Fund it yourself if necessary.
  5. Talk to friends, share ideas, and acknowledge their creativity. And learn. By supporting one another you built a positive creative energy around you.
  6. Always, and I repeat, ALWAYS RESPECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Do not plagiarize and do not steal. If you are operating a business and making money don’t give an excuse that you are too poor to use original software. Read back my previous posts about devaluing your own profession by supporting piracy and plagiarism.
  7. Be multi disciplined. If you are an animator, be a motion graphics designer as well. Or even venture into film. If you are a sound designer, be a graphic designer too. The more skills you have, the more things you can do and the less creative energy will be used up on a single discipline. In this way you can switch to other areas when you are exhausted.
  8. Entering competition can be healthy, but can be dangerous too. As what Bruce Mau said: “Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you”. Well in my interpretation, if one is too obsessed in entering competitions and winning it, it has turned into a game. A game which you would then analyse how to win it, and in this case, adhering to its own rules and regulations which you have to CHANGE in order to win it. The outcome it will turn you into someone you are not. Your unique identity will be lost, and your self development will be hindered.
  9. Always know that the quality and standard you have set for yourself, even though in your own point of view is excellent, it could also be perceived as horrible or mediocre in another person’s point of view. That is the beauty of it actually. Because art is subjective. So do not be too stern on your standards and be prepared to be criticised and do not take it too personally. I know it is hard but try. Don’t let it get to you.
  10. Perhaps the most important thing of all, even with the 9 points I have summed it up, none could beat this one – attitude. Humility is the greatest asset a designer can have. I do not wish to reveal too much here because humility can only be learned if you are one. If you are too proud of yourself, I have only one advise – make sure you are really damn good at what you do. Then nobody can criticise you. But if you are still learning and try to be cocky, good luck laddy ;)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.