I really like my employee, Kristin. She's the perfect mix of personable and professional. She has great style and is kind to Mister Boots.
Kristin has her senior art show this evening - which for design students is a bigger deal than walking at graduation. Kristin plays it cool at work but sometimes lets on that she's kind of freaking out. I can empathize. I remember not being able to eat and perpetually feeling dizzy for 3 months during the transition of going from school out into the real world. So nowadays I like to tell students now that if you work hard, play nice and have a clean portfolio everything will be okay. But I know that the senior freak out is just part of the experience.
Anyway, I asked Kristin to share her thoughts on design school. What she's learned. What her key takeaways have been. Without further ado - from Kristin:
What I Have Learned While In Design School
1. Having hobbies outside of design is important. They are where you draw your inspiration.
2. Be nice. Saying it is a small world is an understatement.
3. Be a sponge for good design. Collecting and cataloging good design helps you aspire to be better.
4. Most design work is done on the front end. Don't put off things and think they will work themselves out.
5. There is more than one answer to a problem and your professors aren't always right. Also, developing your own opinion about things is important.
What I Would Have Done Differently:
I wish I would have experimented more with design techniques, tutorials, and learned design terms faster. I actually have wanted to be a Graphic Designer since 8th grade but didn't do much with it until college.
Best Piece of Advice For Someone Wanting to go to Design School
I would direct them to this quote by Ira Glass. It helped me when I first started school (and still does).
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me... is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work....
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions --- It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Do you guys have anything to add? What advice would you give design students?
Related: An article I wrote over at Braid on Inspiration and Imitation: A Note For Beginners
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- A place for contemplation.
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate
- Brand Identity: Leo Evidente Photographers
- Spicy Taco Tilapia
- Being Elmo
- Balance vs. Alignment
- On the way to Long Beach
- The Color Purple
- Blogging | Matters
- A Post For Design Students
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Under Consideration
- Dream House
- Indie Shopography Deadline
- Burning Sage
- A Bowl Of Awesome and A Story About Eggs
- Walking to Work
- ▼ April (18)
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- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings