Growing as a Designer

I grow by learning. I learn by doing. I advance my craft by being pushed.

I learned quite a few things today.

I like familiarity and I love doing what I'm good at. It is safe. It keeps the clients happy which, in turn makes me happy, but it doesn't push the envelope.

I don't like experimenting with the unfamiliar (techniques, concepts, etc.) while working on a project I am being paid for. I don't like the idea of looking bad and wasting the money/time of my clients on things I'm not comfortable with.

Most importantly...

I learned that some clients want, and are willing to pay for tweaks, redesigns, and experimentation, so I need to learn that it's  okay to enjoy that push in those unfamiliar directions.

I learned that I am so more demanding of myself than clients are. When someone wants something and I know that I'm NOT the expert in that type of technique, design element, etc. I get scared. I never think of trusting my abilities, doing the best I can and submitting it to the client. That just seems odd to me. I feel like I might disappoint the client, look like a fool or worse... I'll have to live with some horrible mistake that my client will love and I will hate.  Technically, that's their prerogative to like or dislike and mine to do my best to satisfy their visual needs.

Today I did it. I "tried" to do something that isn't really my thing, and the client actually liked it. It was an odd, yet enlightening feeling. After I got away from the design element, I realised that it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Is this how we grow as visual artists? I feel that I'm pretty good at challenging myself, but it really takes a client to push you hard, back you into a design corner and make you fight your way out.