Help! I’m a Writer, Not an Artist!
If you consider yourself a writer and not an artist, my heart goes out to you! I was right, and I do mean, right where you are!
I know the thoughts of entering the graphic design world can be more than a little intimidating!
Believe me! Before I started creating my own printables, I commonly told people that I was NOT a graphic designer. And I meant it! I didn't feel like I had an ounce of creativity in my bones! Boy, did I surprise myself once I got going!
Where once I dreaded creating, now I really enjoy it! I even find it relaxing! I'd even claim it as one of my hobbies, honestly! Because once I let myself get over the hurdle of feeling like I couldn't design, couldn't measure up, and had nooooo idea what to create, I started realizing that just like anything, the art of creating can be learned.
As you go through this course (maybe even a time or two) I want you to peel of the limitations you may have placed on yourself and start letting yourself create. At first the designs you make may not be worthy of selling, but that's ok! Don't get rid of them! Use them as a benchmark to measure how far you've come!
I promise you — if you keep creating, keep trying, you will look back on your beginning designs someday, amazed at how far you've come! And when you do, you'll know you're making progress! As long as you are alive and continue to create, you'll keep learning and growing and your creativity will grow as well!
In the meantime, as you begin your new endeavor as a creative, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Practice, Practice, Practice!!
I cannot stress this enough. Plan times where all you do is play around with the design software without any pressure. Let yourself make mistakes over and over again. I truly believe that making mistakes is one of the many elements of learning how to do something well.
I am not a fan of the phrase, "Practice makes perfect." but I do believe in the phrase, "Practice makes progress." As long as you keep trying, you will grow in your ability do design and create.
Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself
We are all our own worst critics, right? It's so funny how I can see all the flaws in my own designs, but when I look at what others are doing, I think they are amazing! After a while, you will learn to appreciate your own abilities.
As you learn how to design, do not be hard on yourself. It will only serve to discourage you! I also recommend you listen to the video on how to avoid perfectionism several times!!
After you've made something that you like, take some time and really admire it. Be amazed at what you were able to accomplish! You deserve it! You're working hard!
Observe Other People's Designs
One way to really learn how to design when you don't know how is by looking around you. The world is full of creativity and design is everywhere! Look at billboards, book covers, advertisements, etc. For extra inspiration, visit a craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Spend some time scrolling through Pinterest. (But set a time limit! — Trust me, I'm speaking from experience!)
If you don't have an eye for design, you'll begin to train yourself as you observe. When you're looking, pay careful attention to color and font combinations. Also look specifically at layout and whitespace. Notice how people place elements in certain spots to invoke certain emotions.
I know this — the more you do it, the more you'll begin to realize things you never thought about before. The next time you're in the store, I challenge you to look at the cover of a magazine while you're in the checkout line. You'll see lots of design elements on a single cover of a magazine!
Ask Others for Help
When all else fails, ask someone else. Specifically, you can ask me! Or others in the Facebook group! I'm always amazed at how much help others can be when I'm having a hard time deciding.
One thing I do not recommend is posting in the very professional design groups on Facebook. I am here to tell you that I got eaten alive when asking for "professional" designers' opinions. Stick to people who will tell you honestly, but won't rip your heart out in the process.
When I'm asking for an opinion, I'll show my work to someone and just ask...what does it need? Or what is it missing? Is there anything that stands out to you? I don't always go with the advice I'm given, but oftentimes it will spark something in my mind that will lead me down the right path.
Walk Away for a Minute
When I'm creating something and I just can't get it right, I walk away for a minute. Then when I come back to it, I go with my first impression. Honestly, it's always worked! I think when you walk away, it's almost like your brain forgets that this is your work.
Then when you come back to it, you'll end up having more of an unbiased opinion (good or bad).
Stick to Pre-Picked Color and Font Combinations
When you're first starting, it's a good idea to trust the judgement of some who has a little more experience than you. Don't worry — if you keep practicing, you'll eventually be able to pick colors and fonts on your own.
To find professional color palettes and font combinations, a simple Google or Pinterest search will do the trick. Remember to stick to 2-4 colors (5 would be the maximum) and 2-3 fonts. It's very easy to get overzealous when you're first starting out and go crazy with too many colors and fonts.
Don't Give Up!
Most importantly, don't ever give up! Keep trying! I know it's a daunting task to learn how to design and create, but I am proof-positive that if you keep at it, you won't be sorry! In the end, your work will pay off and you will reap the rewards of pressing on!
I'll tell you what...the first time that notification goes off on your phone and you realize you just sold a product, you'll be so happy you didn't quit!