10 Reasons your work doesn’t suck, 9 of 10
Reason 9: You can’t see the forest for the trees
Have you ever seen someone for the first time in 3 years, and immediately blurted out something like, “Wow! You look great!”, or “Jeez, you changed your whole style. I love the blond thing!” or whatever? Happens all the time. The reality is, the big changes happen over time, and they’re an accumulation of several small adjustments. Design and creative disciplines are the same. You don’t improve in a single leap – you do it over 214 individual little steps. That’s why it’s called, “a journey”.
Weight lifters experience this another way – one day, they’re able to up their weights for a certain set of exercises or lifts. You can easily work it out that they didn’t go for 3 months able to lift 200 pounds, and suddenly at 3 months and 1 day, they could instantly lift 250 pounds. The reality is that it was a slow progression over time – so during those 3 months, they were able to increase by 5 pounds a week. It’s just the jump to another 50 is noteworthy, but doesn’t, itself, define the improvement.
Each layout, concept, copy block or illustration is “another 5 pounds”. Not a big jump, but a step on the journey. You might twist your ankle on that journey, but even an injury is a learning experience. You won’t notice a difference in the 5 pound increase, but one day in a few months, you’ll look at the bar and think, “Damn – that’s another 50. Sweet!” Keep lifting – you’re doing it right. That’s 9 reasons to feel better about your work. You “feel me” yet? One more to go, but that’s by no means the end of the conversation.