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6 Ways Designers Can Improve Their Craft

VitaliyKolos Inspiration Nov 21, 2017

Design in this day and age is constantly evolving, and you need to keep growing alongside it in order to keep up. After all, what’s the point of being creative if you stick to your comfort-zone?

As a designer, it is imperative that you keep honing your craft constantly. Here are six ways you can sharpen your skills.

1. Go back to design school

Learning design theory is essential, especially if you’re a self-taught designer who’s always worked independently. Pick a niche and try to get into the best design school you can find for that particular sector. For example, the digital design course at JMC Academy is known for its focus on in-depth design theory. If you’ve already studied technical design theory, go back to it with a fresh mind to see if you can find some inspiration there. You can also check out various online sources to fresh up your mind and gather some valuable design tips and insights. For example, such websites as Udemy or BitDegree offer a lot of design-related online courses which can even be taken for free by using coupon codes.

2. Keep your finger on the industry’s pulse

As with any other industry, staying at the top of your game requires awareness of how the field is evolving. Keep up to date with the latest news and trends in design through popular blogs such as FastCo Design, Artwork Abode, and Swiss Miss. If possible, reach out to a mentor who’s active in the industry and has a ton of experience.

3. Take on projects that scare you

If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau with your design skills, try to break the monotony by taking on a project you feel is beyond you. Attempt something new that’s either brazen and risky, or completely unrelated to what you do for your day job. This is the best way to test and expand your boundaries over time by forcing you to learn new skills and inspiring you to think differently.

4. Teach someone

Perhaps the best way to hone your skills is to teach others. Not only is teaching a great way to get some extra income on the side, but it’s also likely to be a highly fulfilling experience within your career. You can create an online course on a platform like Skillshare or Udemy, teach someone remotely through Skype, or simply conduct workshops where you live. You’ll probably learn just as much from the experience as your students.

5. Get feedback from the community

Hang out with other comparable and accomplished designers on sites like Facebook, Reddit, DeviantArt, Behance, and Dribbble. Not only is this a great way to participate in the community and learn from others, but you can also showcase your work and get constructive criticism from people who know what they’re talking about. Inbound.org is a great platform for designers seeking critics.

6. Seek out inspiration

Follow the masters and your favorite designers on Instagram and Pinterest to gain inspiration from their work. You can also buy books exploring the lives of both new and old designers. Looking at things through their perspective can help change yours.

Life and work is all about moving forward. As an artist and designer you can’t afford to get complacent. Any of these six steps could get you right back on the top of your design game.

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