I’ve been super busy with lots of client work at the moment that I haven’t had time for much else but finally last weekend I got to have a bit of design time just for me… where I could do whatever I wanted. It honestly felt like such a treat!
It got me thinking about how we can get so caught up with designing for clients and their projects that sometimes we forget to nurture our own projects.
If you want to be a successful designer, it’s of course really important that you learn how to design to a client’s brief. I actually really enjoy immersing myself in the process, however it’s still really important that you give yourself some time to play and practice with your own projects.
This is really important for a few reasons:
Firstly it’s going to allow you to be free and experimental and will enable you to develop or refine your own personal style. It’s easy to get busy creating artwork for clients where you often have firm guidelines and parameters to work within. Although working for clients may be your bread and butter, it’s great to give yourself time to work on your projects. This will allow you to continually refine and develop your own signature style and discover new ways and techniques of working.
Being able to develop your own personal and unique way of working is particularly important if you want to start developing your own designs to license or sell which I think is most designer’s dream. All the experimentations and development you do will also help you when you’re creating work for your clients. Even if you already have a strong sense of style within your work, letting yourself create designs without parameters or within your own personal guidelines, will allow you to even further refine and develop your design style.
By giving yourself the time to explore and experiment, you’ll be opening yourself up to new ways of working or different media to work with. It will also allow you to refine and hone in on your design skills. By not having a brief to follow, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to do whatever you want without restriction and this is often when the magic occurs. You can explore with expectations or limitations and just see what effects you can create with different media and what you’d like to develop further.
It’s also important to give yourself the opportunity to reconnect with your art and create work that you love doing and that you find fun. Even though designing for a client can be really enjoyable and rewarding it’s can sometimes feel creatively restrictive. Being able to simply create something you love doing is really nurturing for the soul.
I know it’s often a question of time, but it’s worth carving the time (even if it’s just a small amount) to give yourself permission to have some fun with your art and design. If you’re anything like me, you may even find it meditative!