10 Creative Myths – a worthwhile read by Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner over at Design Taxi.
A Design Education Manifesto, by Mitch Goldstein, on AIGA Voice.
Always Take Risks
It is easy to learn and then repeat exactly what you have learned. However, you will not grow that way. I can see value in the regurgitation of knowledge if you are a lawyer, but I have a hard time with it as a design student or a creative professional. You should be pushing yourself and you should be taking risks, especially in school. Big risks. Trying what may not work. Asking questions that may not have answers. Seeing if what you throw against the wall sticks. In my experience, taking risks in school has always paid off big time.
There are many opportunities available while in design school. For example: collaborative projects, extracurricular activities, and freelance work. These opportunities will not always come to you, you must go get them. Every school has a publications department that designs and produces internal and external collateral. There is no reason that you should not be the person designing these projects. Make contacts and ask for work. If you are talented and a little lucky, you will get it.
Be aggressive in terms of your academics as well. There are two kinds of design professors at school: pushers and pullers. Some professors will push their knowledge on you. Others will make you pull what you need from them. Ask questions of both. Challenge their statements. Ask for precedents. Beyond the curriculum of the class, ask your favorite faculty who they know that needs an intern (because they do know people, I assure you). Ask faculty if they need any assistance with their own work. Find out which exhibits they enjoyed at local museums. It is very important that as a design student you do not sit back and let things happen to you. Be aggressive and create your own luck and opportunities.
Break the Rules
I lecture to my students that they should “fuck the rules” as long as they have a good reason. I have consistently found that the students who are conservative, stay inside the lines and try to appeal to the teacher, are the students who do the most predictable work. Not bad work, just predictable. Defying the rules forces you to stray from the path of least resistance and ultimately make work that is more interesting, more meaningful and more fun to create.
But, that does not mean just be a contrarian for its own sake. It does not mean ignore any and all guidelines. It means take the requirements into consideration and break past them with good reasons and solid ideas. Breaking the rules just to be different is foolish, breaking the rules because you have a much better idea is smart.
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“You went freelance to have a happier work-life balance, enjoy all the perks of working for yourself and be your own boss. So why do you feel so miserable, stressed and exhausted? When we work for ourselves, we often make mistakes that lead us to despise our businesses rather than enjoy them. We forget the original reasons why we went solo and become trapped in a vicious circle of negativity. Whatever you’re doing wrong, I’ve put together these top tips to help you become a happier freelance.”
Have a Morning Routine
When you work from home, it’s all too easy to roll out of bed and stumble straight to your desk. Before you know it, it’s 11am and you’ve not even had a shower or had any breakfast. Adopt a healthy morning routine. Get up, have a shower, get dressed, shave/put on make-up and relax and have breakfast. Start work at 9am like everyone else, if you can.
Know When To Stop
Guess what! Just because everyone else is working 9am until 5pm without stopping, doesn’t mean you have to! If you’re having a bad day or you’re feeling unproductive, put down your tools and take the rest of the day off. Put an “out of office” responder on your emails, saying you’re in meetings and add a suitable voicemail on your mobile. Clients won’t know that you’re really in your local swimming pool or catching up with friends, so don’t worry about it!
Get Out and About
It’s easy to get cabin fever when you work from home, so turn your business into a virtual or remote one, so you can work wherever you like. Ensure you can work on your laptop and access your files from anywhere. This means you can tap into the Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop or even go on a short break and continue to work. Make the most of being your own boss and have a better work-life balance.
Don’t Overburden Yourself
It’s all too easy to book in too much work, especially when you want to make as much money as possible to avoid those quieter months. It might seem strange at first, but you really should stop over-booking yourself and have a more manageable workload. I’m not saying turn work away – just try and find ways to manage your workload more effectively. Why not create a really strict work diary and tell new clients that you can work with them but can only schedule them in on a certain date? It might not work for everyone, but you could certainly give it a try.
Pat Yourself on the Back
Freelancing is tough. It requires discipline and skill. Loads. If you’re running a successful business – and, by successful, I mean that you’re making ends meet – then you should be darn proud of yourself. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you’ve achieved. Not everyone can go solo. You’ve done it, so be happy about that!Read More
The Lost Type Co-Op is a Pay-What-You-Want Type foundry.
Founded by Riley Cran and Tyler Galpin, originally in a whirlwind 24 hour adventure to distribute a single typeface, Lost Type has blossomed into a full fledged foundry, distributing fonts from designers all over the world, with its unique model. Users have the opportunity to pay whatever they like for a font, you can even type in ‘$0? for a free download.Read More