Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Do You Do When Your Design Gig Won't Let You Be Creative?

It's been a few weeks since I last blogged. Luckily, it's due to being incredibly busy. The last two years have been a lot hard work that consisted of countless meetings, mixers, coffee dates and dinners. It involved a lot of acts of putting myself in social situations I normally would never want to be in, but when you want to succeed rarely is your comfort going to be kept intact. Sometimes it even prevents me from being creative, which is what this job is all about. Lately, I've been asked by many designers why they don't get satisfaction out of their day jobs. They believed that after the long hours and hard work of design school was over that they would finally be able to be creative on a daily basis. They're finding that their jobs aren't perfect and want to know why this is.

What To Expect
Whether you're an independent designer or you're working for an agency or studio, you're no doubt going to run into projects that aren't creatively satisfying. In fact, some of the work might be down right boring. On top of that you'll have to deal with lots of other people who will want to put in their two cents. Then there's all the revisions and changes that are sure to come up. In the end, you'll start to question if this is what you really want, but don't worry, that's perfectly normal. You're looking to your job for happiness and it's not your job's responsibility to keep you happy. Your job is for you to carry out according to the needs of the project. Think about it like a relationship. Would you ask your partner to make you happy in every which way? No, I don't think anyone would in-their-right-mind want to take on that responsibility. You should be happy with or without your partner and they should only enhance your happiness.

Where Do You Find Creativity?
Well, just like I explained in the analogy above, its up to you to find your own happiness and in this case it's your creativity. And all you'll have to do is look for it outside of your job. Somethings you can do are keep a moleskine journal with you to jot down any and all ideas. Start a daily sketch blog. Visit some museums or attend gallery shows. Better yet, participate in shows. Or challenge yourself and design something special for yourself or someone else every month. The point is you need to look for other creative outlets other than your job. It's rare that we 100% enjoy what were being paid to do. Haven't you noticed it's always the things you do out of sheer love and fun that are the most satisfying?

So now you know that what you're currently going through at work is totally normal. As a matter of fact, it's only temporary. And in time your ideas and suggestions will be taken into account and you'll have more power in the outcome of projects. For now, seek creative satisfaction somewhere else and make it a part of your life. You'll see your whole life become a lot more fun when you do.

Happy Designing,

Dennis (aka tanoshiboy)

Have you been feeling burned out at work? Is the work killing your creativity? What ideas have you put into effect to remedy the problem? Let us know in the comments section and share this post using the social media buttons. Thanks for reading!