{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Help! I have major imposter syndrome when it comes to design. I’ve read textbooks, I follow accounts for inspiration, I watch online videos, but I always feel like I’m missing a spark.", "post_id": "600ee9d87a214b002802ca7b", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5976222cab932800101a9ca4", "bowl_name": "Women in Advertising", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Help! I have major imposter syndrome when it comes to design. I’ve read textbooks, I follow accounts for inspiration, I watch online videos, but I always feel like I’m missing a spark.

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I love to collect inspiration. But what I’ve learned throughout the years is nothing replaces doing. It can often feel like keeping inspo boards is doing something but you gotta get down and dirty and just make work. Bad work. Mediocre work. Decent work. What happens is we have a taste level that becomes so high that we feel like we can never reach our role models. We can, but only though failure and learning. The imposter aspect comes from feeling like “you’ll be caught” for not being as good as you though you were or wanted to be. You just gotta keep working through it. Try new things. Allow yourself to be a student and keep learning. If things don’t work, really dig deep and ask why. See if you can correct that. Don’t be afraid to not get it right the first time.

likesmarthelpful

Been there. This is all great advice but also take note of what you tell yourself while you’re working and try to realign it with reality.
For example, my internal monologue used to be “I don’t know what I’m doing” whenever I started a project. I shifted that to “no one knows exactly what I’m supposed to do, that’s part of a creative’s job and they trust me enough to do it.” Shift “I’m a shitty designer” to “I have a high standard for my design work, and I can meet those standards. I am learning more with every new project.” It helps.

And when you’re trying to ideate, don’t try to come up with one great idea. Come up with 10+ ideas quickly, through moodboarding or thumbnail sketches, then choose to design & present the ones you like best. It’ll be faster, less stressful, and you might come up with ideas for future projects.

I know a lot of ADs have 0 time to sleep, let alone design for fun, but please give yourself time to experiment and make something terrible. You never have to show anyone. Just really stretch out of your comfort zone. Creativity is a muscle, and you need to work it out without style guides or client feedback.

likesmart

start collecting stuff you like and look back at it every time you need to start a new project! I use Pinterest religiously and have boards for each account, which is great because I can start to craft a visual language of inspiration to refer to for each brand and also have somewhere to look when the brand guidelines begin to feel restrictive.

It’s also helpful to be really specific when you’re pulling inspiration—what specifically makes a piece of work good? Are they doing something interesting with type, is the color scheme really nice, is the photoshoot style something you’d like to see in your own book, etc... I hope this is helpful!

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I think you have to accept Imposter Syndrome to some extent. It’s totally normal. Not just in our industry but across humanity. I’ve been working for over 15 years and I’m still afraid sometimes that they’ll discover I’m three toddlers in a trench coat.

Be patient with yourself.

Next: I’m echoing what everyone else has said. Save things that inspire you! Doesn’t matter what they are. A photo. Texture. A label on a beer bottle. Anything that makes you go “I like this!”

And when you feel stuck, take a scroll through the things you like. Pick out what’s working. Is it the color palette? Is it the way they treated the type? Is it their use of negative space? Then try to add one or two of those elements to your work. Or practice a bit by copying something you like. Get your brain used to thinking about the design elements in that way. A lot of the time, on the way to re-creating something you found online, you’ll discover a new solution that works for your specific project.

Good luck.

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Sounds like u do need just do. Don’t overthink, do it fast and do it wrong.

With this mindset, lol, it helps reducing the anxiety and before you know it the imposter syndrome will begin to alleviate

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don’t try being creative from the offset, make something clean and good and then you can play with it. having a strong knowledge of rules is key before you can break them. (also don’t watch kel lauren youtube vids she sucks ass at design 🤢)

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Can you recommend any good youtubers or other ppl to follow who show their design process?

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