Designer Moment: Finding your inspiration

This past week, I had an AH-HA moment. My “discovery” was actually pretty obvious, but it was the first time I felt like it really clicked for me.

In an effort to take on projects for my portfolio and to gain experience, I started networking at work. I reached out to a few of my go-to graphic designers and told them I was looking for design opportunities. Two days later I had an e-mail in my inbox asking if I had time to work on a process graphic for some senior staff at the firm presenting at the Out and Equal Conference. OH BOY!

I started working with this very talented designer, Shawn, who graduated from the Corcoran. He is playing Art Director and I am the designer. Shawn recommended I go through each and every step of the design process, so I started by thinking/researching (really this is one step to me). I always try to sketch at the phase, as well.

Somewhere along the way while I did research online, I made the CONNECTION. Design conceptualization is not about the skies parting and the BIG IDEA idea magically landing on your lap (although I know some designers who disagree but they’re a rare breed). What I have learned is that it’s about creating a catalog of design ideas in your mind that you build through your entire design career. So as you are presented with design challenges with each new project/client, you reference your design catalog while also adding to it through research — unless you’re lucky enough to immediately come to your idea. Now that I understand it better I am able to look at other designer’s work and now better get how they connected the dots in their designing.

This was a CLUTCH designer moment for me because I’ve found coming up with good ideas to be quite tricky! This is a major step in the right direction and I feel truly empowered.

More to come on my process graphic adventure…going to save the details for a later post.

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