Posted on October 20, 2021 by Jason Wright Learning New Skills Expands Your Creative Arsenal Let’s talk about the path of a designer who goes from knowing very little to becoming someone who knows so much. It’s not without pain, blood, sweat, and tears. The design process can be a difficult one because it takes so much energy and thought to produce something that others will love engaging with. Keyword being “others”, your design isn’t for you and we sometimes forget about that. Most creative pieces have a goal whether it’s a sculpture, a painting, a logo, a sweater, and well you get the point. I’ve been in the agency setting for close to 15 years and throughout my career, I’ve learned so much about the process of working with an internal team and an external team of all sizes. From companies with five employees to companies with thousands the process is generally the same, but it’s more complex and more challenging when there are more people who have a say. Big teams mean big ideas and a lot of pitching. Like a lot. There can be so many people who have a voice in an organization that it can be challenging to get to an end result that works for everybody. Over the course of my career, I’ve done everything from link building to huge branding packages for all kinds of businesses. Some of those said businesses have gone on to be super successful and others not so much. The world of business and design is a tough game to play but if you play it right you can exceed beyond your wildest expectations. Growing Creative Skills It all starts with growth and the designer you’re working with has probably spent a great deal of time getting better and better at creative work. That’s not always the case though. Sometimes you’ll find a designer who specializes in one thing, like logo design, or web design, and that’s fantastic too. We all have our own unique talents and abilities. My journey started when I was a kid with illustration and video. That later turned into coding and playing inside graphic design software like Photoshop. Over the years I’ve expanded my understanding of various forms of design either in the physical or digital world. In the last two years, I’ve been honing my illustration skills specifically. When I was a kid I wanted to be a comic book artist but I just couldn’t get past my frustration of sketching on paper. I had no help or formal education so my frustrations led me to quit. Now years and years later, we have access to technology like an iPad and Procreate where we can draw, erase and undo as much as we want. This combination of hardware and software allows me to fall in love with illustration once more and for the first time, create pieces I can be proud of. Learning Opens the Door to Doing Better and Better Work When I started down this path many looked at me with that “stick to what you’re good at face.” That’s fair. The reality though, is that I wanted to learn more about something I knew little about for a few reasons: Interested in expanding my own skills. Determine if I had a specific design style. Have a greater appreciation for the art form. Be able to apply the skillset to future projects. Illustration has taught me so much about what I’m capable of and what can be achieved if you just keep applying yourself. While I continue to learn, I’m now able to do things quite quickly that was very difficult for me in the beginning. What was once a 7-hour drawing, is now less than 2. Brands Should Leverage Artists to Help Them Stand Out We already know how important branding is. It’s pretty much the entire game. Everything you do online or in the physical world as a business requires a brand. A strong brand design can help your business go farther, faster. How’s that possible? Good design motivates people. It motivates your internal team and your customers. You can really elevate your brand by incorporating more than just your color palette into collateral. Are you a wedding venue? Then hand-drawn floral elements or vines can create a much stronger connection for users. Designers have become so accustomed to drawing boxes and circles that we’re forgetting the thing that really matters the most. Unique and complex art. . Spend the Money to Make It Yours Custom graphic design takes time and a lot of it. That drawing of a mustache you like might have literally taken 8 hours to do and that investment is worth it if it’s going to set you apart from the competition. That hand-drawn and colored dog symbol you like? That took 26 hours and now it’s associated with a business that’s doubled or tripled its sales in less than a year. Good design = positive business results. You’re not always going to understand the art that’s created for you, but it will always serve a purpose and have a deeper meaning. Work with your designer to create pieces of art that elevate your brand, communicate your goals and build community. As always, thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you again next month!