5 Tips to Upgrade as a Designer
Updated: May 6
As a designer, it is easy to run out of inspiration and get stuck in a rut. This can make you and your work feel monotonous, making you feel as though you are constantly doing the same designs and layouts that you’ve done a hundred times already. You might find a style that you love and it may have worked for you in the past, but every profession, especially a creative one, needs an upgrade, right? The magic lies in stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring things that you never did before. And, the second trick is to delve within yourself and understand what you need to get that creativity rolling again and do a better job.
One common and effective way is to become a beginner and get back to the basics or start from scratch to reinvent yourself. But, there are also plenty other ways that you can upgrade your skills as a fashion designer. To become extraordinary in your field, you also need to try out extraordinary things that will help you get to that level. You start little by little and create habits that will result in something large in the long run. Essentially, you practice practical things in achievable ways that will develop your skill overtime making you good at what you do. If you’re looking for 5 tips to upgrade yourself as a designer, keep reading.
1. Read up
Education is for life and you can never say you’re done with learning. But if your preferred learning method is curling up on the couch with a book and a beverage, there are excellent design books that you can get started with. Put the phone on silent for a while and keep away from any distractions, and focus solely on the book in front of you. Before you get started, plan out a book itinerary, which means pick out the books that you’d like to read and the ones that will guide you towards your goals. Selecting a book to read should not only have the information that you are currently seeking, but should also inspire your creativity. If you’re not into books, then social media can be your friend. Follow your peers, mentors and great graphic design pages on the internet and make sure you sign up for their blogs (can hyperlink here.) These blogs and social media updates will help you get a hang of trends, latest updates in your field and give you insight on how you can be better at your job.
2. Upgrade your skills
If you’re really looking to upgrade your skills, nothing does it better than practicing. A professional course or diploma can only help you understand the nuances, get all the information right, and help you with the tools you need. If you truly need to upgrade your skills, you need to step up and take charge of it. There are plenty of softwares and tools available online that will help you expand your skill set and expose you to what you’re capable of doing. If the free version is holding you back, it’s time to invest in the paid version and let it help you create the best designs ever.
Some of the best designers aren’t afraid to experiment. There’s no fun in sticking to the same old style. They may have worked for you in the past, but it’s time to try something new. Get creative with different textures, colours, designs and mix things up. You can even set-up a goal for yourself everyday and that can help you build up the skills you need.
3. Upskill online
The great part about the internet is that it comes loaded with specific courses on diverse topics within designing itself that will help enhance or polish your skills. If you follow design books or are up to date with design on-goings on the internet, you will know that there are courses that will help you gain an advantage in a specific direction that you are taking. Want help understanding colours, basics of designs and more? There is a course for that. But just because we are talking about specifics, doesn’t mean you can’t sign up for a broad-spectrum course that will cover everything fashion designing. If you’re confused about what courses to take or how to even begin the process, think of your goals first. Make a goal plan for yourself about what you’d like to achieve in your professional career five years down the line. Now think about what resources and knowledge you will need to get there. Once you have certain goals in mind, pave out a pathway that will lead you there.
4. Meditate to innovate
To create impeccable art, you must look within. All the creativity and inspiration that you need to create wonderful artwork lies inside you and you simply need to explore it. To reach your potential, we recommend meditating. The relaxation it brings you will certainly help in creating exceptional designs, making you think outside the box. Use meditation as a powerful learning tool and it will help you reflect within. Reflecting at your previous work also will help you understand the mistakes you have made or how you could have done the project better. As designers, we are used to working in fast-paced environments and getting the work done before the deadline, but that’s not always helpful. By practicing mindfulness and introspecting, you can rise up from the daily grind and truly recognise the art that you are creating. Every design you create is a form of art that should be born out of inspiration and should be thought- provoking. With meditation, you can delve deeper into merging your client’s requirement with creativity that will invoke emotions within people and your masterpiece will be more than just visually appealing.
5. Maintain a journal
If you practice journaling in your daily life, you will understand how efficient it is in problem solving. Create your personal and digital design journal to note down all your powerful designs, notes on how you could have made designs better and key takeaways. Another thing you could keep a record of, in your journal is feedback. Although we deal with criticism on a daily basis, while creating new designs, ask your peers and mentors for real feedback and note it down. This way, you can look at it even years later and get inspired by it. Feedback not only helps you improve your skills, but also enhances your productivity. While maintaining a journal, you could also include work that has inspired you in the past and note down the things that are good or bad about it. You can include your own work and work of other designers around you. As you note down what you liked and disliked about the design, it gives space to analyze it better and establish whether or not it did justice to your expectations.
Be as detailed as you can while jotting down these points because they need to be relevant and make sense to you even years later when you look at it.
The only thing that will make you climb up the hill in a profession like fashion designing is practicing. That doesn’t mean putting in all your time in a single design in order to perfect it, but to take down notes from every project that you work with, so that it enables you to create something better the next time around. Success doesn’t happen overnight, so give yourself the time and space to improve on your mistakes and get inspired to create something that you will find worth adding in your portfolio or collection. Learning and adapting these small yet effective practices can make a big difference. But more than that, first recognising that you need to upgrade and taking the initiative to work towards it is all that it takes. This will make a positive change in your artwork in the long run. Even if you dedicate 30 minutes each day to any one of these habits, you will slowly start noticing changes in the art that you create.