Is anyone else lacking the motivation at the moment…maybe its the on set of the dark season here in London town.
I’m the only designer at my work sometimes it can be real hard to get going…anyone else in the same boat…or any yoda peeps got the know how on how to stay motivated through a project?
I wouldn’t say I’m totally lacking motivation right now, but I too work alone. Working alone in an in-house company in my opinion sucks! I would love to be part of a team atmosphere.
I think its the lack of critical feedback you get from a good tutor at uni, always pushing you further, and the short fast moving dynamic projects that you also do at uni. Sometimes I feel I’ve really hit a plateau.
I’ve never worked on my own like that and I think in some ways it must be fun, but tough at times, as you have both pointed out. A few friends of mine who are in similar positions seem to really try to make the most of getting together with other designers in their area and showing their work to other designer friend (in confidence) for feedback.
yo, I agree with you about meeting up with other designers in your area. I believe this would be beneficial to all who work alone to meet up from time to time as well as those who work in a group. I’ve been active in this field for 2 years now post graduation, and consider myself to be a young designer (26) due to experience not age. I haven’t talked with anyone in our field face to face about design since graduation. This forum and PDF.com are the only places that I network with other designers currently. I’ve never had the extra money to attend a conference, which I’m now saving for next year’s IDSA. I would even like to find a mentor in my area to talk with about refining my design skills, portfolios and any design topics. In short, I just need to get out there and meet up with other designers, which will help motivate me.
In a weird way it reminds me of some of what is being talked about here:
When my wife graduated with her masters in Art Therapy, one of the mandatory things was post degree, they all had to get a “Supervisor”, this person is essentially a mentor they meet with once a month, either one on one, or in a group, to talk about what they are learning on the job, answer common nubee questions, and work through problems. This mentor could work at the same place if possible, but most often it was someone who had been in the field for a long time and had their own practice, usually they charges $15-$20 per session… I always thought it was a good idea for ID.
I’ve been lucky. I’ve always had good on the job mentors, Aaron Szymanski and D’Wayne Edwards directly, and lots of others indirectly, but if I didn’t have those people to go to, I’m not sure what I would do? I guess make even more mistakes than I already made… hard to imagine…
I go through it myself, especially since I can’t talk to my friends about design, they’re all walmart what’s on sale shoppers. So core, pdf, etc helps me keep in touch with what issues other designers are going through. Also I make sure I do some inhouse freelancing so I get to interact with other professional designers in a work scenario. It’s excellent for learning new things, networking, etc. Actually now that’s mostly how I work, haven’t had the time to get my site up and do my full solo consulting thing. So I freelance with firms and get to learn new things from them that helps me grow and to keep being able to interact with designers. If I was just doing the solo consulting thing I would miss those opportunities to have something to benchmark myself against.
All good suggestions so far…
In addition, I’d mention reading lots of magazines (design & otherwise) & listening to podcasts like Lunar’s Iconocast. Also, taking classes & getting involved in outside activities (whether they relate to design or not) always helps. The more well rounded you are, the better you’ll be at whatever you do. I’ve taken night classes in everything from woodworking to accounting & they always change your perspective on what you do.
And, if you’re working solo, I’m a huge advocate of having a dog in the studio. I can’t imagine a workday without mine. Speaking of, she needs to go outside right now…
A dog would be a great idea. I love that Master Card commercial were the office is buying new chairs, laptops, a dog with dog bed and a ping pong table. It makes me want to get a dog. To bad though, when I said I work alone I didnâ€™t mean totally alone. We have a whopping 5 people in my office, the president of the company, the office manager, 2 customer service guys and myself the product designer. So unfortunately a dog is out of the question.
Great suggestion though!
Context is probably the best way to inspire/motivate.
I always like to take my work out of the office. Grab a pen, notebook and find a cozy cafe.
I have found that when unmotivated or stuck while working through a design it is helpful to speak with individuals from other disiplines (design or otherwise). I used to have a crew of fashion students that I would go have some beers with, and discuss what they were working through, and my enthusiasm for my work would be reinvigorated. Same could apply to an afternoon at a gallery, or an evening with the significant other at the symphony. The key is to disrupt the normal day to day grind.
Another good idea is to shake up your methods and tools.
If you typically use a computer, try not turning it on for a full day and see what happens. If you use precise drawing tools, try watercolor. If you draw at your desk, try drawing on the wall. If you typically spend all your time working, try putting it away and re-arranging your office. etc…
Oh, and since you live in London, go to this on November 24th. That should shake some things loose.
Lots of good suggestions there.
I already do most of them. I’m still linked with my old uni (through a KTP project) so I go up there every now and again. Its good to speak to my tutors…although they are a bit more relaxed now they see i;ve got it fairly coved. My girlfriend is a furniture designer so we used to talk about work stuff but in the end it frustrated me as all we seem to do is moan about the company’s we work for rather than talking about creative ideas. I go the pecha kucha going on in London which are always fun…the London design week was also cool
I’m also hoping to get some work doing 1 day a week teaching/tutoring nest year which I think will help alot.
The company I work for is very flat and everything is fairly laid relaxed, they just let me get on with it…I’m pretty much my own boss, which is great in one hand but bad in another, I guess there is no perfect job.
the motivation lows really come from the lack of acknowledgement for the design process from others…to many R&D tech heads here.
Alot of time I think/know they way the develop process should run then hide back in my shell when I don’t feel I’ve got the experience to tell these guys how to do it. Then after the zillinth change and the project running over time, and lacking the constancy I get frustrated with it all.
they have offered me a job, after the KTP project (which is a government scheme to get grads in to jobs) I’ve provisionally accepted but keep thinking about leaving. but then I think I wont get the freedom I have here…
just peeked into that pechakucha Night and found that they’re coming to Belfast next Wednesday 1st(the day I return home from Cov for a wee short holiday)…schweeeeeet!! It mentioned Marcus Fairs from ICON magazine and Max Fraser are going to be there…should be well worth a visit! Just wondering what should I be expecting from the night?..
As for inspiration… I just try not to get stuck in a hole, because then the panic sweats come on and I start wafflyn and doing stuff that I think is important but really a pile of cow dung!!! Sport usually a good relaxant, and then I always try to tidy my work area before I sit down and gether all notes so its like starting fresh from the point I left off, and not organised chaos…!!
yeah the pechakucha night is pretty sweet. The format is each speaker has 20 slides and 20 seconds to speak about each slide…around 6mins per talk…so its fairly high paced.
I’ve been to quite a few of them in London and they have always been very inspirational…regardless who is talking. It normally has a networking session…(free drinks small room and lots of creative folk) at the start middle and end…I swear I’m hooked on to bombay sapphire now.
yeah spot on regarding the sport…I haven’t been out on my bike for ages, gona start riding to work as getting sick of the buses again.
My favorite! Forgot to mention that as a way to find inspiration!
I’m the only designer in a very small company as well. Altogether we’re 5 with 3 of them working at the client’s office most of the week and my boss now being on maternity leave. That basically leaves me being in the office all by myself with no personal interaction whatsoever. Sometimes it can get quite scary when I realize that there are days I hardly even say 10 words while at work.
My colleagues are all IT people and talking to them is fun on a social level but doesn’t work so well when I really need feedback.
So currently I’m really hitting the lows here as well and even consider my options. This is when I think about my time at college and how much fun it was to simply go to the student bar for a coffee and chat with other students who work on entirely different projects.
On the other hand being the only designer I get a lot of freedom I wouldn’t get at other places. In order to keep me somewhat motivated I love reading all kinds of different magazines, or even books. Going to a cafÃ© to work there can be nice too. Basically any change of scenery.
Then again in the long run I will need to find someting else. I used to be a workaholic when it came to design and projects, now I just fel drained and tired when I come home.
Re: Rosso, that sounds even worse off than me, work starts to become such a chore…which is never a good thing. Have you been there long?
I have been here for 10 months. All the other working conditions are right as are benefits (flexiblehours, they pay for my gym, pay for all material without asking a lot of questions). Just this lonelyness is getting to me and not having other designers to talk to.
Trying to compensate with freelance work but even that proves difficult due to conflict of interests. Also been thinking of getting in touch with other designers but here I’m afraid that it might be difficult aas people are so closed up by nature already. Often I fear that other designers might see me as competition especially as the market here is quite small.
Does anyone have experience with this, positive and negative?
a few drinks usually chew through that… maybe set up a local designer happy hour to establish some relationships with other designers. Include different types of designers so it seems less competitive maybe?