A Day In The Life Of A Brand Designer
29th July 2020
Storytime: ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to go to the arts field. What started as being a painter turned into Brand Designer & Strategist. And since I can remember, family, friends, teachers would come up to me and say:
“I have no idea how you come with such amazing ideas!”
“It’s unbelievable the talent you have!”
“How on earth did you whip that up THAT fast?!”
Naturally, one gets a little cocky. Hearing this over & over again, that you have such talent and that amazing pieces seem to come to you like magic, you start believing it (sort of, insert imposter syndrome here).
Then I went to college. And oh boy did I get my mind straight. Suddenly I wasn’t being called the best anymore, and thank God for that! You see, talent & creativity aren’t this mysterious thing and ideas don’t come from a divine muse & pure magic when I want to. I get ideas in the most inconvenient of situations: spending time with a friend (where it's rude to pick up your phone), in the shower (when you have nowhere to write) or just before falling asleep.
“If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.”
Creativity isn’t a special talent
The lack of transparency and conversation around creative habits has created this weird taboo & belief that creative people are a strange breed that either doodle a lot, are underrated geniuses waiting to be discovered or have a crazy wild imagination and can draw anything with incredible quality in less than a minute (I’m exaggerating, I know, but you get the point).
News flash: we’re all born creative.
Didn’t you come up with silly games to play with friends? Or awkward plays and fashion shows to present to parents and grandparents? Remember the weird drawings you made: full of colour and purple clouds. You weren’t afraid to fail or to show who you are. Society norms and adult life, in general, took away your creativity (think of standardized tests for a starter) and replaced it with the comfort of a safe routine. Now you search endlessly for excitement, new projects, the unknown, but you’ve forgotten how to think outside the box.
Now, you ask me:
“Well, if creativity is something we’re all born with, then how come some folk are way more creative than others?”
We practice. A lot. And by a lot, I mean all the time. And most of the times you have no idea we’re doing it. It’s internal discussions, mind games we play with ourselves, and some key daily habits that keep us from falling into a rut. You bet it’s hard work: we often don’t have the motivation or courage to try again and re-do a certain piece of work, after all “Who cares? No one will even see this or notice that tiny detail!” Wrong: you care. And if you’re serious about improving on a skill (whether that’s creativity or not) then you have to build discipline for when motivation fails you.
Wanna be more creative? Practice.
And you can also try out these 5 habits to exercise your creative muscles:
1️⃣ Do it every day
Practice needs to be a daily habit. Wanna learn how to cook? Do it every day. Wanna learn how to draw? Same thing. Wanna be the best brand designer out there? Work every single moment for it. Live & breathe your goal, find the why behind what you’re doing.
The masters you admire so much had years, if not a lifetime, of practice. But there’s one little secret: they all started as beginners at some point. We all do! And when you hire a creative expert to do something for you, it’s the value they’ll provide you with that counts, not the time it takes them to do it.
“If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.”
— Davy Greenberg
2️⃣ Schedule it
If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. We all get the same 24 hours every day so how come some people do SO much compared to others? You don’t need to lose hours of sleep; you just need a couple of hours in the zone completely focused.
When you intentionally carve out time to do it, you’ll get it done. The key here is being specific: say at what time and where you’ll be doing said task. For example:
“I’ll draw something tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow, from 15h to 16h, I’m going to letter 2 quotes I’ve already selected today.”
See the difference? If I say the first one to myself you can bet I’m going to drag that task out throughout the whole day and not do it, and then feel guilty about it. However, by writing in my journal or blocking in my calendar a specific hour to do that same task, I clear my mind of other distractions and things I need to do. From 15h to 16h it’s time to letter, not writing, not cleaning the kitchen, not anything else.
3️⃣ Step out of your comfort zone
Creativity is mostly about problem-solving. You say someone is creative and you notice their expertise when what would a be a complex problem to some they solve with simplicity and elegance.
If you want to become good at solving a specific problem (then you can make it your own business!) you need to know the different methods, answers, technologies that could come into play.
Experiment! Try incorporating stuff you've never used before, mix different fields to birth a completely new strategy and style that will set you apart from others. See it as creative self-care, to train your brain to think outside the box and to expand your knowledge even further.
Bonus points: consider yourself the eternal student.
4️⃣ Rest, don't quit
Don’t burn out. Don’t overwork yourself. You already know why this is bad for you (especially for your physical and mental health!) but for your creativity too… Our brains think best when we are rested and stimulated: remember when I said I got ideas in the shower? When you’re doing mindless activities, your brain starts to wander and imagine, and it’s beautiful. If you stress it out, don’t give it a chance to rest he’ll never have the stamina to think in new ways.
5️⃣ Practice (again!)
Honestly, it's never enough. Commit to something with all your heart and you'll succeed. Once you see and believe the benefit that your creativity can have on other people's lives, you'll never stop bettering yourself so that you can make others shine.
No, you won't run out of ideas. Your way of thinking is yours alone.
No, you won't "only have one good idea for the rest of your life." You can not only have multiple brilliant ideas, but you can also always work for it to reach more people.
And no, you don't have to be like person X or Y. That's shooting yourself in the foot. Why do you want to imitate someone else when you can be unapologetically you?
But there's someone you probably know that says all this beautifully:
“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
— Maya Angelou
Go on and create something beautiful.
Now that your creative juices, maybe you have an exciting new project on the way!
Check out how we can work together here!