Erwan who is an upcoming student product designer, has just send me an email. He’s from France, 20 years old and will join soon the ISD Rubika design school at Valencienne (in France).
How to start in great condition and progress fast?
Your question is pretty interesting as it’s a sign that you are proactive, which is one of the quality needed to succeed at a design school. I saw you will leave your hometown to study in an other city. Awesome! 🙂
To become a designer is a great journey. As you know, there is no magic wand that will make you become a great designer in a day. However there is solutions to reach your goal and rise your level much faster.
Let me share with you 12 Tips I discovered when I was student myself. I hope they will be helpful to you – as you can apply them from your first day at school.
1. DREAM BIG, GROW BIG
Your degree should not be your ultimate goal.
Imagine 2 fresh students having both zero skills studying at the same school for 3 to 5 years and both will be graduated. On paper, there is no difference. However, if you look closer: One will progress like a rocket, enjoy and get hired before his graduation day, while the other may still struggle with his portfolio.
Don’t dream of getting your degree. Dream of much bigger! Join a company you love even if it looks impossible, create your own design agency with your own philosophy, design for a better environment… Dare dreaming big. That’s the vision you should have even before starting your school!
Pause, and spend few minutes at thinking what makes you thrill! And imagine yourself in few years. 🙂 “Target the moon and you will reach one star, then maybe an other one. And so on.” You may wonder, how to know if your dream is big enough? I don’t know. But what I know is that if you dream does not intimidate you, it’s not big enough.
Few readers from the blog from India tell me that their dream would be creating wheelchairs for disable people in their home country – so they can serve their country – the place they love and wanna take care of. Know why you are studying, and you will find strengh in it. Why? Because you are not doing it for yourself, but others.
2. FIGHT YOUR FEAR
The key is: Even though you are scared to do something, just do it.
3. MAKE UGLY DOODLES
Be proud of your ugly doodles! They are the one will help you get results.
4. Cut down your phone distraction
A good way to increase your skills faster is to eleminate daily task and distraction that are not worth.
Don’t let your phone and apps dictate what you should do.
5. Draw anything you love!
Start from what you enjoy the most.
6. GET INSPIRED
Browse and spot designers you feel inspired from. If they have a sketching style you admire, study them.
Steal their techniques and mix them up!
Once again, don’t hesitate to explore other fields of art. I personnaly enjoy Celia Calle who is a fashion Illustrator. She also did comics cover for Marvel. I admire her lines and worked on importing her feel into my product design sketches.
7. Feel stressed? Remember to have fun!
- Pause your work for few seconds
- Adjust your body posture to be straight
- Inhale deeeeeply from your nose and exhale slowwwwly from your mouth.
- And smile. 🙂
Your brain is gonna be fulfilled of happy chemistry that will relax you instantaneously.
8. LEARN YOUR SKETCHING FUNDAMENTALS ASAP
9. Compete with your classmate
10. Visual communication
A great project deserves a great presentation to be appreciated as it whole value! When I was student, we realised that as Product designers, we had to study visual communication too. Our ideas had to be visually promoted.
Study people presentation and try to extract the best of them. Don’t hesitate to study magazines, brochures, posters, packaging… Study their composition, colours codes, fonts and spot what is working for them… so you can import them in your work.
11. Enjoy letting your ideas divagate.
12. Think benefit, not technology