Rules for keeping your zen with design!
We all know that being a Graphic designer can weigh heavy on the heart, mind and soul. If you have ever dealt with a truly difficult client (I am sorry to say this, but yes – they exist). It can be very difficult to express your concern for the overall design without sounding like a total control freak.
You have to remember that sometimes the best thing for the client (not always the design) is to do what you have been asked to do – they are paying you at the end of the day. However, I personally feel you should voice your concerns and leave it with the client to decide.
For example, say the product you are designing is about being a green/clean/recycling machine it would make sense to use green/browns – neutral colours however, if the client wants the colours to be hot pink and bright purple because that is their favourite colour combo then that is exactly what will be happening. If you have told them your view and they choose not to listen, then that is on them.
3 rules for the Mind
So rule one to keeping Zen is to remember to let go – this doesn’t mean you do not care but it means you have to remember that this isn’t your project and if the client sees it going in another direction then you let them take it there. All you can do is give your opinion and let them decide if they want to listen to you. There is this famously annoying but so relatable song… Once it’s in your head, it kind of takes over… LET IT GO, LET IT GO – I AM ONE WITH THE WIND AND SKY…
Rule two for keeping your zen is regular breaks, now that does not mean you are allowed to skive but sometimes you need to get up away from the situation, so go make a cup of tea, or visit the rest room, stretch your legs for five, hell distract your colleague next you but be sure not to lose too much focus – but I promise you, we all have those days.
Rule three? Have a go on another project, or if you have complete creative block then get onto your pintrest and look for inspiration – make a board that is entirely for the project you are stuck on. You could try listening to your favourite song and scribble the first things that come to your mind.
Sometimes you need a distraction for you to truly see what is in front of you.
3 rules for the body
Rule one – Sleep. Yep that is easier said than done – I am literally writing this blog at 1 AM knowing full well that I have to be up in a few hours but it really is true. I definitely do better when I have had my full 8 hours, it is just so unheard for me. However, I have solved the puzzle just be dreaming up the answer I needed. So pay attention to your dreams. The Beatles hit “Yesterday” came to Sir Paul McCartney in a dream.
Rule two – my favourite rule! Food. Always, always pack an interesting lunch, if not go somewhere you love. On a diet? Subway salads are amazing (other food places are available) if you have food allergies, there are some awesome apps to help you. There is a quote that I read (probably on facebook or Instagram) “some people live to eat & some people eat to live” as someone who is a complete foodie, this quote truly perplexed me! So for all you foodies out there – pack a super lunch, sometimes a bit of food can bring the happiest of moments!!
Rule three – staying hydrated. Keep your fluids ah flowin’ – my friends and I have a Friday after work tradition depending on the season – in the summer time its “Pimps o’clock”. Sometimes a good drink after a day in the office is a great way to blow off some steam, just be responsible.
So long as you are sleeping, eating and drinking properly, I am sure you will start to see an improvement in the creative juices.
3 rules for the soul
Rule one to keeping the soul sane is music – music can truly feed the consciousness, awaken and inspire new ideas that can bring fourth solutions to any perplexing problems you may be facing. All you need is to find some good music to vibe to. Here’s what I have been listening too lately:
Rule two – Make time for the people you love. Working in a creative industry can really take over your life – 9 times out of 10 you are doing what you love and as a result it is so easy to be consumed by that. Make time for the people that make you happy. If there is someone who can help put a smile on your face and melt your worries away, then make some time for them.
Rule three – what hobbies make you happy? Do you play a music instrument but haven’t played in a while? Do you like to draw but seem to run out of time? Maybe you like to write? Or play a sport? Whatever your hobby is, make time for it. A great quote I heard “you die once; you live everyday” so make everyday a good one.
Being a designer of any kind can be both exhilarating and emotionally draining so I hope my rules (advice) can help you through the more draining part of the job. If you are like me, then I know that you will find the tough times are truly worth the exhilarating times. So keep your head up and change the world with your ideas.