Do you ever feel like all the designers around you are somehow a notch above you when it comes to talent?
Do you ever wonder if you’re one of those “dime-a-dozen” designers that we, as a community, tend to make fun of?
Do you ask yourself: “am I at the top of my design game, or is my work lackluster and mediocre?”
I certainly do.
You been there?
Well, I had a small epiphany recently while reading a book titled The One-minute Entrepreneur.
While it may not be the most profound piece of literature I’ve ever read in my life, it definitely has a few gems and I’d like to share a spin-off of one of the principles taught in the very first chapter.
Here’s the principle:
“You are the sum total of the five people you hang out with most.”
When it comes to entrepreneurship, that means in order to be a great business-person, you should spend time around and learning from great business people.
So what does this mean as a designer?
“You are the sum total of the five designers you hang out with the most.”
Which designers do you hang out with?
Now, I’m not necessarily talking about going out for a drink, hanging out at the coffee house, or renting an office together.
You can “hang out” online, in mastermind groups, or even just through Dribbble, a forum, or some other sort of online media.
But if you’re ready to step up your game and take your design talent to the next level, it’s time to start paying attention and “hanging out” with five top-notch designers all the time.
(For starters, you can try checking out our list of 55 designers you should follow on dribbble.)
How to “hang out” with designers you don’t know
So maybe you don’t have the time or ability to actually spend time with some of your favorite fellow designers.
The principle still applies.
Here are a few ways to learn from designers you want to be like:
- Follow them on dribbble, pinterest, or other visual social media.
- Subscribe to their blog, if they have one. Focus especially on designers who have inspiration feeds you admire.
- Take their courses, read their books, and become obsessed with any resources they create and make available.
- Check back frequently to view their portfolio. Take note of new projects, new styles, and new techniques.
- Follow their tutorials (if any) step by step to learn new skills and tricks to great design.
Try a few of these online versions of “hanging out” and you’re bound to see your design improve.
Now, I understand that simply looking at others’ designs, following their tutorials, and subscribing to their blogs may not make you a million-dollar designer.
Part of design is simply having the natural-born talent. Some people are more blessed with natural ability to know what is right and wrong about a design, what makes a design sink or swim.
But, if you’ve already determined you’ve got something to give in the design world; if you already know you have a knack for it; this is a great way to take you ability to the next level.
Tell me who you’re going to “hang out” with
So, who are you going to start hanging out with? Who’s designs do you truly admire?
Leave a comment on this post and let’s chat.
PS: the link to The One-minute Entrepreneur in this post is an amazon affiliate link. I never promote books I haven’t read or don’t appreciate. This book is a nice quick read for any freelancer or entrepreneur. If you buy a copy, thanks for the small kickback.