5 Ways to Stay Motivated as a Graphic Designer

Filed Under: Articles, Guest Post, Tip and Tutor by Chloe Lloyd November 1, 2011, 16:49

stay-motivated

In the graphic design industry, like in any other, we can sometimes feel lost, uninspired and unmotivated. But if you are really committed to the industry and your work then it often takes just a few small changes to reignite your love for work and effectively make you become a happier, and more productive person.

Try something new

Sometimes it can feel as if you are constantly working on the same kinds of projects. For variety, why not add something new into your next project. There are always new tools and applications being developed, so why not try one out when designing your next project? By trying something new, you not only develop new skills but also challenge yourself to learn something new, which will set this project apart from the rest. This experience can then be used in the future.

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Attend Conferences

Conferences are a great way to keep your passion for the graphic design industry alive. At least one person at a new conference, whether it is a fellow graphic designer or a speaker, will be sure to give you a new perspective on graphic design. This fresh perspective on things will allow you to try out new processes in your own graphic design work. I bet you’ll be rushing back to your desk in anticipation to try them out.

As mentioned before, it´s not just all about the speakers, as conferences offer a great chance to network and to speak to others about your ideas and plans.

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Set Goals

It is a lot easier to keep yourself motivated if you feel as if you have accomplished something. However, to stop yourself from struggling to meet deadlines make sure you are being realistic when you are setting your goals, otherwise the goal of achieving milestones will prove demoralizing if you set yourself unrealistic and unachievable goals. Therefore, set yourself small tasks at first and as you get more successes under your belt you start to set yourself more ambitious targets.

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Seek external and internal stimulation

We are constantly surrounded by the creative output of human beings and nature. Taking a closer look at everything around you can often spark new ideas and will give you an insight into how some of your own problems can be solved. Whether you go somewhere obviously creative like a museum or just to the park or forest, there will always be something out there to stimulate your senses.

The outside world is often very useful to give you ideas, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. It can be just as important to take a break from the computer and the outside world to seek motivation and inspiration from within. Take up an activity that doesn’t require much brain activity so that you can let your brain focus on creative problems. For example, lots of people enjoy running as a way to get the creative juices flowing.

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Find Common Ground

One of the biggest motivation killers on a set project can be the client feedback. You’ve done your best, you’ve done everything that the client has specified and they still aren’t happy. This is where one of the biggest challenges in graphic design lies: to maintain your levels of motivation despite these setbacks. To combat this it is necessary that you and the client find common ground to solve any problems that have arisen on a project. There is never just a single solution to a problem, so there will be a solution that will incorporate both the needs of the client, but also your vision. It doesn’t mean that you have to make elaborate changes to a design but by making small changes, you will be keeping your client happy whilst exploring your own creativity.

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Of course, these methods are just an example of possible ways to motivate yourself and as everyone is different you should adapt them according to what works best for you. Nevertheless, maintaining your level of motivation requires modifying and changing your own behaviour to get the best results.

Written by Chloe Lloyd

Louise is from Twago, Europe’s largest pan-European platform where freelance graphic designers, programmers and translators can find work. Louise is a graduate with an interest in how graphic design professionals can optimise the use of social media and apps to bring their ideas to a wider audience.


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Adriana November 2, 2011,21:38

Chloe, this was a very motivational article. I always try to keep myself motivated by setting goals and trying to reach them :)

Boris Köster February 19, 2012,19:43

Thank you very much for sharing. Your website looks awesome. “Try something new” – thats it!

Regards
Boris Köster
CEO
X-ITEC IT-Consulting

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