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What Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer?

What Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer?


So what's it take to become a graphic designer? What is the key elements to really lasting in the graphic design industry and making any long-term impact?

Well, let me tell you a quick story. So I was at the Park the other day. I go to the Park each day. We have this big like gym equipment that's set up. They pull-up bars and push-up bars and just all these things I need today I go there and I do a daily workout. It's nothing crazy. It's about a 15 to 20-minute workout just something to refresh me in the midst of my day as a graphic designer digital marketing manager. Just to get out of the office get some rest of my eyes get some Sun and just really refresh myself.

The first key to being a long-term and sustainable graphic designer is having a ritual that gets you out of the office and gets you some daily activity. So for me, I bike to work each day. It's about a three-and-a-half-mile bike ride. I'd bike to work and then I bike to the Park for about a 15 to 20-minute workout. Very simple. There's some pushups, pullups, some crunches, the mountain climber is just some really basic stuff just to get my blood flowing and to keep my body stronger.

And then I bike back to work jump back in for the rest of the day and then cycle home at the end of the day. So it's nothing insane. I'm not going on 25-mile bike rides or doing 2-hour workouts. I'm just getting some physical activity. And it helps me actually in the second part of my day have mental clarity.


Understanding long-term sustainability

Now, something I've noticed while at the Park is really crucial to understanding long-term sustainability for graphic designers. If you want to be in this for the long run as I'm at the Park I'm doing my workouts daily so I'm daily making investments into my health and my well-being mentally and physically. What I find is there's people who kind of walk by. It's a pretty busy local Park and they're like Oh cool look at this workout equipment.

They're the normal Street clothes. I didn't plan for this but they get on there and Hey man I bet I can do 25 pull-ups or I can bet I can do 30 pull-ups and then they bet their buddy and they get up there you know maybe they can do 25 maybe they can do 30 I can usually do about 10 in a row and i do 3 sets of 10 that's not record-breaking. That's not setting up for the Olympic, weightlifting competition or the Olympic pull-up competition, or the Guinness Book of World Records but it's consistency.

And so some guy coming out there doing 30 push-ups in one sitting more than I can do in one sitting. But does that once a month? Is he gonna get any stronger? Who's gonna end up being stronger? Me or him? Well, I'm not sitting here to brag. It's just a concept. I will end up being stronger. There's consistency outweighs burst and creative ingenious to go and do 30 push-ups. Same thing in becoming a graphic designer.

If you want long-term sustainability you need a consistent regimen of design of mental clarity and a determination to make it each day as a graphic designer. So what can you do each day to grow your skills? Do you need to be looking on different graphic design sites for new products that Adobe is putting out that can make you a better designer? You need to be researching the up-and-coming trends and the things and the colors that are going to be using and typography and how it's shifting and changing in the digital space when we need user interface design vs print layout.

Are you growing and changing? Are you setting up specific times each day to work on those skills? So how do you make it in the graphic design industry?
You continually put effort towards the pursuit as a graphic designer each and every day.


The next thing is are you showing up on social media or are you writing blog posts on a weekly or even every other day basis to consistently put in work out there so people can find you?

If you only show up on social media every once in a while if you only show up in a blog article every once in a while it shows inconsistency. People don't hire inconsistent people. People hire people who are at the cutting edge or continue to grow and get better each and every day.

If you just talk about design and think about design is this big great philosophy and these great tactics. But you never put in the work and show the work that you believe in. What I mean by when you believe in it when you stand behind the design you produce to believe in your design is to have a true concept that's delivered through visual communication. You shouldn't have to explain to yourself to your audience the power of your design. They should be explaining it to you.

They should be saying to you how when you have created the type in that way and it pushes my eyes towards this image and the image you use to really compels the motion that's when you can start to unpack it and say yeah that's the purpose of the design. I'm glad you caught up on that.

You shouldn't sit down with a client. A client means and says Hey this is my philosophy on design and this is what I believe about designing this one do for you. Just show them in your work. Show them the work that you do. You produce and say that it has a visual concept and show that. Consistency is the only thing that's going to give you that type of design skill and putting your work out there is the only thing that's going to get in front of somebody to say Hey Wow. Like what that guy's doing? I need to hire that guy.

Two books that I have found extremely helpful to me in my graphic design career and just in life in general to accomplishing things that I put my mind to.


So Good They Can't Ignore

The first one is so good. They can't ignore you so good they can't ignore you is amazing because if you're a designer and you're kind of just in this position where you know you like it but you can be frustrated by it at times and you're not quite sure if it's your passion it's what you were made to do. So good they can't ignore you Trump's the idea that passion is innately something given from birth and it is something that we create is something that we bring up from inside of us. It is only found after you work very hard.


Deep Work

Now, Cal Newport followed that up with Deep Work. So good they can't ignore you was the call for the fact that hard work is what gives you the work that you love not passion not gonna mate like Oh, I have this ultimate gift and excitement of this thing and I just have to do it every day. Hard work is what gets you to that point because at first, you suck at something just how it goes. And then when you put the work in you start to see yourself progress and become great at it.

Deep Work was the book he followed up with deep work talked about how to get more from the passion that you've built through hard work. How do you take it a step beyond so deep work is an amazing book about how to live in a distracted world but be focused. So how to remove the distraction to really dig in and accomplish things. It gives you stories, techniques, and tactics to really boost those aspects of your life and to find that thing that you love and work hard at.

It is by hard work not by innate passion and passion that just flourishes up from nowhere. It's found it's fostered. And then Deep Work allows you to take that found thing that you love after putting in the work and really honing in on a thing that you've worked hard at. And now found that you love it. And it takes you to the place where you can really grow beyond the average. So it becomes somewhat of a master.


Last words

Comment if you have any questions share this out if you think it would help somebody if there's somebody struggling with okay how do I really become this great graphic designer? How do I just step beyond the normality of my graphic design? I feel kind of just in this area where I'm not amazing but I'm not terrible. I just need to continue to grow. I say consistent effort perfect practice where you're consistently being intentional by getting better every day.

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