It is always easy to neglect these things, especially as a creative. Sometimes, you are in a state of flux, you are being overly productive and in the middle of it, and you do not want to stop. Taking a break in order to eat, drink and sleep is hard. Gee, even standing up to go for a pee is. But it is necessary – not only to keep her runnin, but to maintain the level of quality. So if you feel tired, sleep, for heaven’s sake! Wake up in the morning and you’ll be thankful that you listened to me.
4. Time is a rare commodity. Spend it wisely
Let’s be honest, friends: being on time isn’t exactly one of our most renowned values. We might be excellent designers, but sometimes, we could just be not so late. Can you refer to this?
Well, many creatives I know can. Its because of the nature of our business. Read rule #1 of Workflow: You laugh at nine to five. So it is necessary to undertake certain steps to ensure our punctuality and credibility.
- Don’t take on more than you can manage. When you start off in the design field, you’ll probably take every job you can. You’re in your early years and besides needing the money, you’ll want to gain experience – and referrers, because you know that your happy clients are the best source for new jobs. And this is my point exactly: Happy clients generate new clients. You won’t do your client a favor by delivering crappy and unsolid work due to a lack of time – nor will you do yourself a favor.
- do not wait for the last moment to start work. Even if you think that you are able to do a job standing on your head, you should start working on it early. The longer you are in the business, the more you learn that a project’s true extent is being disclosed in the process. So do not make the mistake of underestimating your workload. This directly reflects on our next tip for time management
Iffyness can stem from a lack of self confidence. If you are not sure which version is to be the final one, try one of these approaches:
- Set up a contest and let your tummy be the judge. If you have got more than two possible finalists, put them in direct competition to each other. If you are working on a print job, print out all versions. Stack them up, turn them around (so you see the blank backside of the sheets) and randomly pick two. Place these next to each other – now act on impulse: pick the one your stomach likes best. Put the winner aside and pick the next two, eliminating half of the stack like that. After round one, repeat until you have only one final left.
- Compare your possible finals with the earliest version. Another possibility is comparing each of your potentials with your earliest comp, or outline. By doing that, you can see the benefits and disadvantages more clearly.
- Add context. If you are doing a print ad, open up the magazine or newspaper in question. If you have done that already at an earlier stage (which I recommend in any case), do it again. Play around by placing print-outs of your different comps in the magazine. Which one looks best in their natural surrounding?
- Outline possible follow-up variations. Assume this is to be the start of a series. Which version is most flexible while emphasizing the CI?
- Ask for an outsider’s opinion. For that, you have three possibilities:
- Your friends and family. People not in the business. They can point out flaws and open your eyes for things you haven’t considered. They give you a glimpse at the real world’s perception of a comp, even if it seems worthless: I like blue better than cyan because blue is my favorite color can be valuable information.
- Fellow designers. If they are not your enemies, they can give you a professional opinion and lead you the right way.
- A design related community. Various websites form a community where creatives can post their comps and get feedback from other community members.
Here we go!
These are the 5 Rules of Workflow and Getting it Done I consider vital for creatives. They are not intended to be ultimate rules – rather guides that have proved to be useful and work for us. Maybe they can help you come to better results with your work – being in the creative business myself, I wanted to share them with you. Can you relate to these guidelines? Also, possibly you have a rule of your own I haven’t mentioned? Share your thoughts!
- You perform to be the chosen one. When you have a new job in prospect, your creative juices usually start flowing immediately. Even before you accept the assignment, your mind is busy inventing ideas and approaching avenues. If you are a professional, you know this very well, because you never take a job blindfolded.
- You fall in love. If you had this glorious first idea, it is so huge that you get all excited over it. You start building up an emotional attachment to the idea. You begin craving it and you end up loving it to death – after all, it is a part of you, and before it, there was nothing.
- You exchange engagement rings. You simply love your (initial) idea so much that you can’t even think of another approach. that is because when you love something so much, you can’t think of anything better than that, right? So right now, your emotions are blurring your objectivity. To open up for other possibilities though, you have to free yourself from this emotional bond. Take a step back and forget about the idea. It will not run away, you have put it on paper already. Free your mind and go back to square zero.
- You wake up. Finally, after having detached yourself from your first love, you are able to come up with new ideas. Your mind is free and now capable of exploring your creativity to its fullest potential. This results in a bunch of ideas, including your first love, spread out on your desk. Now you only have to choose the best one. Sometimes, your CD or the client will want to do this for you. Sometimes, you will find that you had far better ideas after you let go of the first one. And sometimes, you will find that after all, your first idea is still the best. Sometimes.
3. A mistake can lead to very interesting results
The endless possibilities Photoshop and Illustrator offer are truly astonishing. When you are a noobie, they can be overwhelming. But wait, do not give up yet! There is a very good reason to let your mouse and pen have its own mind.