When it comes to the topic of education, I feel really passionate about it. Now, it’s not just the benefits of staying educated that I find so critical to the success of being a designer, but more importantly I find it’s critical for you to also teach and share your knowledge with other designers as often as you can. Why do I feel this way?
Many experienced designers say that you’ll learn the most about yourself and the career your first year out of college. I do agree that during that time you’re a sponge and are focused on taking in anything you feel will benefit you long term. However, I also feel like I learn more about myself as a designer every time I’m teaching or talking with other designers about their struggles, or the industry. It’s in these conversations that I have eureka moments of my own. Which is why I decided to create this blog and share my experiences with you all, and to create conversation around your frustrations and opinions on the industry as a way to help you all where I can, but in the process learn more about myself as a designer. This blog is just one small piece to the bigger goals I’ve had around education.
The idea of teaching and sharing my knowledge with other designers is not new to me. When I was in college, I would speak to seniors in high schools about what to expect once they went off to design school. Shortly after graduating from college, I was reviewing portfolios and sharing my experiences with hundreds of college seniors in order to ensure they got off the ground with confidence. I suppose you can say I’ve been working towards this blog for a while now.
To be honest with you all, I love teaching more than I love the actually craft of design. The reason is that I too have weaknesses and probably the biggest weakness for me is I like to give. Sometimes too much, but giving and sharing is what teaching is all about. The reward is the immense gratitude I get in meeting and hearing everyone’s stories and helping them move forward in their careers.
What started out as just a personal brand and blog to help designers has turned into a commitment to not just you all (the design industry as a whole), but future designers to come. The positive feedback and interest I’ve been receiving from everyone has confirmed that perhaps I should be trying to reach more designers and freelancers. So, with great enthusiasm I’m excited to announce that I’m working on developing a number of tools and resources that will help support and further enhance the lessons I’ve been sharing with you all in this blog. And to start things off, I want to announce the The Designer’s Handbook which will become a guide to helping you navigate the design industry. It’s not designed to teach you the craft, but it will focus on the most important lessons of the industry and come packed full of interviews from other notable designers. If you want to stay up to date about the progress of The Designer’s Handbook and be notified when it launches, you can do so by joining the email list. As a bonus, you can also subscribe to my free course on The Art of Presenting Your Design Concepts at that time.
In the weeks and months to come I’ll be sharing with you more of the cool things I’m working on to help you all grow and reach your goals as designers. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
The topic around education is pretty simple. It’s a two-way street. You want to be sure you’re always learning and also trying to teach and give back to others in the process. This can be done at different levels, but the feeling you’ll get from just knowing you’re well-educated gives you the confidence to take on new challenges with ease. With my book The Designer’s Handbook my goal is to do just that. Share with you the things that me and other designers feel matter most, so that you can navigate the industry with confidence.
Fear usually stems from the unknown and the more you stay educated the less unknowns you’ll encounter. Knowing what’s around the corner will provide you with the motivation and confidence to move forward.
Now that I’ve shared with you why I like to spend time staying educated, next week I’m going to share with you the importance of moonlighting on projects outside of work.
Communication is important to me, so I’d love to continue the conversation with you all in the comments below. What resources do you like to use to stay educated?