Being a design/art student is a tough major, you have to accept that you will get injured on this journey. While physical injury is VERY common, you also run the risk of being injured emotionally.
Every new project is a new opportunity to someone to make you feel that you are not good enough to be in your class or your major. We all know that person who just seems to good at everything they do and the teacher loves whatever they produce. In every one of my classes “that guy” has been there and not being as good as they are has bothered me, but never to this extent.
I went into my interactive class confident and excited thinking I knew what I was doing and that I would be “that guy”. Boy was I wrong! For those who do now know, Interactive is a class where you learn how to design and code web pages. Being that I had minor experience in the past (and I am talking 6-8 years ago) I thought I would rock it and be one of the best.
Plot twist, I was not. In fact, my first webpage was the worst in the whole class as far as design went. Needless to say I was devastated, became extremely emotional and started to doubt my choice of major. For the next couple of weeks I was caught up in a spiraling vortex of doubt and kept thinking that I was not meant to be a designer. There were many days when I was thought, “What other major would I be good at?” or “Should I just drop Graphic Design and only work on my Advertising degree?”
However, in the last few days I have come to realize that I love design too much to quit and if I want to stay, I need to work harder and just be a better artist and designer. No one is going to be there to hand everything to me and thinking this way won’t help me to get a job.
A Few Words of Advice
ONE-Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
It is so easy to get caught up on one tiny comment and let it deflate your ego entirely. In doing this you are only setting yourself up for failure. Critiques of your work are on what you should have done or, everyone’s favorite, “Well, I would have done it like this.” Take comments as constructive criticism and NOT as attacks.
TWO-Develop Think Skin
While you are probably thinking, “Isn’t this the same as number one?”; it is, but a little different. Developing thick skin takes practice and you will still have moments that make you feel inadequate, however, you need to learn from these moments. Realize that everyone is going to judge every piece of work your produce and someone is always going to hate your work. As I said before, stop thinking of every comment as an attack; take all of those comments and decide which benefit you and which do not.
THREE-Don’t Be Afraid of Change
The more you are out of your comfort zone the better! Always try something new and experiment with a new style or a tool you have never used before. These experiments can lead to amazing results or happy accidents. Take baby steps if you need to, not everything has to be a huge change. Trying new things will help you grow and make you a better designer.