Art is everywhere, from the covers of books to the sprawling environment you find in video games and even those famous company logos, our world is surrounded by creativity. And it’s one of the most incredible beauties of the world that make life a rich experience, but many of us take for granted.
Sure, most of us would adore and applause for any art piece, but none of us have the slightest idea of how difficult and challenging the creative process can be unless you’re a creative native yourself. So, to raise awareness on how demanding art and design can be, and help our artists better understand their situation, here are some common pitfalls in the life of graphic design.
Double-Edged Sword Of Perfectionism
Firstly, we have our most infamous candidate — perfectionism. In some cases, perfectionism helps identify our mistakes, isolate errors in our creative work, and bring us closer to the masterpiece we have in mind. Supposedly, it would go over the rough edges of our work and make it feel more thorough and worth of display.
However, more often, does it do the exact opposite. Perfectionism tries to find all possible errors in our work and hinder any form of progress from ever happening. It forces us into the endless pursuit of a “perfect finished product,” thinking that the more we polish and detail, we’ll soon get to that ideal state.
Secondly, we can’t talk about the pitfalls of graphic design without the inherent self-doubt and anxiety that comes with any creative work. Any artist would agree that putting their artwork online for the world to see is nerve-racking, and even more so if it’s subject to the critique of your client.
An artist could evaluate and provide feedback on their work quickly, but it’s an entirely different experience when you’re subject to the input of others. It makes you doubt your abilities, gets you into thinking that you’re not good enough, and flushes you down into an unhealthy mental state.
Art Blocks and Creative Burnouts
And last on this list is none other than art blocks and creative burnouts. Just as a person can’t keep running forever, there’s also a limit to how much creativity you can regularly crank out of the brain. And when an artist or graphic designer forces out too much, they run the risk of putting themselves in a dangerous burnout state.
When going through a burnout, an artist will feel utterly devoid of any artistic ability and won’t make anything original. And regardless if they’re working on a deadline, no sliver of external motivation can help jump-start the creative engine.
What’s The Solution?
As you can see, the life of a graphic designer and any creative, for that matter, is very challenging. It comes with its own problems and difficulties, much like any other profession. However, not all hope is lost because there are simple practices a graphic designer can adopt to help alleviate the negative impact of said problems.
#1 Avoid Draining All Your Energy
Number one, avoid draining all of your energy and thinking that you can keep going. Creative work is more taxing than you think, and regardless of how talented and skillful you are, the adverse effects of overload will surely take its toll on you. And, before you know it, you’ve got backlog for the next two weeks or so with no time left for yourself.
Think of it as a trash bin; the more you cram inside, the less useful it becomes, and when you don’t take the trash out, it will soon start to overflow and cause an even bigger mess. So, don’t bite off more than you can chew!
#2 Change Of Pace
Since art and design tax your body on a mental level, one of the best ways to give it the reset it needs is a change of pace. Instead of compacting your week with as much work possible, set some time aside for other things. Go and try out a different creative hobby you can enjoy, like music or maybe even playing games with your friends.
And if you want to stay within the confines of art, why not try taking up a personal project? Instead of doing commission work, try making something for yourself. A piece you can enjoy, and possibly even share with the world!
#3 Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Finally, don’t be so hard on yourself when you make a mistake or trip now and then. No one is perfect, and other artists like yourself also come to terms with their own form of shortcomings or failures. It’s natural, and no one can fault you for that.
Understand that everything is a learning process, and we are all subject to some stumbles in our creative journey. Just make sure to learn from them, and you’re all ready and set to go forward.
You Are Strong
Henri Matisse best said it that “creativity takes courage.” So, to all the artists out there who are struggling and pushing through, remember that you hold exceptional strength! And if you know anyone who needs this message, feel free to share these with your art friends, too.