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How to start out as a designer in 2021?

Your iPhone, your apartment, your favourite sneakers, your coffee cup - everything has been designed & created by someone. I believe that we are all born creators - it’s simply built in our DNA!


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Janis Sne

2 years ago | 7 min read

If we take a closer look at our fascinating world - Humans undeniably have a desire for the creation process! Your iPhone, your apartment, your favourite sneakers, your coffee cup - everything has been designed & created by someone. I believe that we are all born creators - it’s simply built in our DNA!

If you have that gut feeling inside of you saying, I want to pursue my curiosity for design - Here are a few ideas that can help you start out as a designer in 2021!

  1. Do it only, because you love it! …and never forget why you started it. 

“ There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns” by Edward de Bono.

Don’t pick a profession in the design industry, just because it seems like a well-paid job or it looks easy! Being a designer for sure is a wonderful path to follow, but it's full of challenges and uncertainties. Whatever you choose to put your mind and effort into - Do it because you love it, do it because it makes you happy! If things don't make you happy, move on and try a different path in life. To succeed in your career, passion is the most important aspect in everything! 

2. Purpose and clear direction in life is key to greatness!

Believe in your vision & dreams. Create a vision that is clear and full of purpose. Visions are driven by passion and dreams - and they are reflected through real efforts to create real results.

Most people will say that hustling and working hard is the most important thing in life to achieve something. If you are not doing a job that makes you happy - it’s a hustle. But there is a flip side of the coin - if you follow your passion and do a job that you love and feel energized by doing it - it’s not just your job, it’s your life and it's part of you! People who love their work are giving their absolute best, which helps their well-being and it helps the rest of the world. Finding the right combination of clear direction & passion is priceless - not only in your career but in life as well! 

3. Having big ideas is great, but taking action is what counts!

Don't be a person who only does planning- TAKE ACTION! Don’t be a person who is spending most of the time planning and trying to figure out every little detail. Even though planning is a crucial part of everything, what is more important is to take action and do something. The longer your ideas stay in your head, the bigger the chance your self-doubt will kill these ideas over a longer time period. Do it, even if not everything is 100% figured out! A lot of answers will come in the process. Overthinking leads only to procrastination.

4. Think ahead - Learning is a never-ending process if you want to be great at what you do! 

In this digital age - it's simply not enough with your high school diploma! Most of the people that work in creative fields are having strict work & learning routines. They work to improve their skill set daily, whether it’s learning new digital tools or educating themselves by reading books. 

The more time passes, the more people care less about your high school diplomas - but more about your unique skill set & personality! This is why so many famous companies were created by high school dropouts in their garages. Dedicating a good amount of your time to learning new skills is the best thing that you can do to help your career and your future self. 

5. Follow your inner voice.

We live in a noisy world full of distractions - and social media may not help this situation. Often people might tell you what's right and what's wrong. That being said - the most important truth is the one, that comes from you! We all have different opinions, backgrounds and life stories which makes us all unique. Follow your inner voice, follow your inner gut feeling for what is right - it’s the best thing you can do for your future self. Even if things fail - it's part of the process! What is more important is that you follow your heart. Learning how to trust yourself and how to listen to your inner voice is a sign of a great leader. 

6. Be very specific & be a niche in your profession! 

Word “niche” is often understood as a bad thing, especially in the business world. However, in the creative industry having various unique skills can be rewarding. Being original means that other people can not replace you, because of your unique skill set. It’s better to be an expert in something than being good at everything, yet not an expert in anything. 

7. Fail quicker, bounce back! 

At the end of the day, everyone is a human being and nobody is perfect. Don't kill yourself over unrealistic goals or situations, when things fail. It's part of the process and you will fail once in a while. It's important to understand that this is a natural process of creativity! What is more important, is how you get up and bounce back. Don't work hard, instead work smart! One of the reasons why I love to work with digital softwares is the ability to fail quicker, so I can grow faster! Design is problem-solving - If you can speed up the process, you can be more efficient and train yourself to find solutions faster. Use everything that is necessary - Your iPhone, your laptop, your iPad or whatever you have - to speed up your learning process. Ask the family for their opinions, ask friends for support on your projects, do everything to make your a reality! 

8. Put all of your energy into a single project at a time - Don’t multitask!

The ability to have a deep focus is becoming very rare these days. I remember, the very first time I found out that you can actually train your concentration & focus - it was mind-blowing to me. Yet it’s something nobody teaches in schools or even in workplaces. The ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task is almost like a superpower in this world. By training your concentration skills, you can learn how to get into a state in which you are achieving your full human potential. We live in a very fast world, this is why it's so unique to be different and swim against the stream - Do what is right, not what is faster or easier! If some of your ideas take a lot of time and they are very complex and other people might be sceptical about it - Do it even more! If you succeed, you will find yourself on a path, where nobody else has walked before simply because of the great challenges you just embraced. I recommend checking out the book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. 

9. Be crazy & take risks - but back it up with hard work! 

No one likes people who just talk about great ideas - but then do nothing! Having the ability to dream big and have a solid amount of work in your portfolio is an awesome recipe for success. There is something special about people, who have great ideas and can actually execute most of them. Be your own worst critic and learn how to sacrifice short term pleasures to win long term goals! If you take various talented people from different backgrounds, they all share one common thing - A great amount of work experience that gives them the ability to build a better understanding of how things work in business, design or any other industry. 

10. Learn how to say NO! 

I know that a lot of people struggle with turning down projects or clients that they don't want to work with, just because they will look bad or lose the financial benefits. This is wrong! 

Even though it might sound easy, it's not. We often feel that by saying no, we turn people away from us and we say bye-bye to a potential collaboration or job. By saying NO, you say YES to other possibilities out there! By saying NO, you give the ability to someone else, who might be actually interested in this project or client. Being able to say NO says a lot about a person. The people who respect you - will accept it. And believe it or not, they will come back. If they don't - it's neither worth your time and effort. Be honest! 

11. Celebrate and enjoy the ride! 

Sometimes, after a hard project or client - it is important to take some time off and really appreciate your success! The learning process and work might be exhausting - mentally and physically. Remember, no matter how hard it is - you should still enjoy this path! Overworking leads to burnout and this is very bad for everyone. Take a step back, take a few days off, watch your favourite series, go out with friends and just switch off your mind from work-related topics. All of us are doing hard jobs and we forget how important it is to sometimes look in the mirror at ourselves and admit - YOU ARE GREAT!

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Janis Sne

I believe that we are all creators of our own reality - it’s simply built in your dna! By following this inner passion to create, my intention is to explore the unknown territories in design & concept art. In my work, I like to fuse sportswear & footwear concepts with 3D softwares. This fascinating combination is the leading force in my projects and it fuels my imagination to look beyond the obvious. As creator, I simply follow my curiosity by combining unusual sources of inspiration that naturally grow into more advanced & distinctive concepts.


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