Whether at school or in the industry, it’s an asset for a designer “to be unique”.
To be unique, some people think they rather keep there knowledge secrets to better shine. There is nothing wrong about it though. But I believe that sharing knowledge will get you shine much more in a long term. If one day your classmate needs assistance, take a minute to see if you can help.
Let’s look at 5 reasons why sharing your skills and knowledge will make you:
- Improve faster
- Extend durably your network
- Make your learning journey more fun !
1- Explain to better master your subject
“Always share the good things in life.”
- In class, if you got the point and your classmate don’t, spend a couple of minutes or more to reformulate the topic to them. It’s a great way for yourself to memorise the topic deeper.
- Your pairs may have unexpected questions. It’s a good opportunity for both to sharpen the topic.
- The day you have unanswered questions, you can count on your pairs to help you back.
“All students in the class
Are trying to figure out the same things.
Help you guys each other.
You will progress faster.”
2- Expand your network and friendship
“Spread the word out of the classroom” (Illustration from Alec Couros – Thinning the walls)
- If you already have a sharing mindset, give yourself an extra push to be surrounded with other people like you. More you share, more you will receive.
- If one of you feel weaker and may not feel in a great mood (stress, lack of confidence, overwhelmed…), your pairs will be there to cheer you up.
- The day you have a project and you feel stuck because you lack of a certain skill, tap on one of your friend shoulder and ask for help to unlock the situation.
- Exchange the best tips on where to buy markers, get discounts, or print high definition posters in your city. You will save a lot of time and money !
“Take a shortcut meeting students from senior years.
They have been through problems you are facing
and might answer to a good number of them.”
3- Learn and Compete
“Find great partners to compete with”
Your classmate are a good measurement of progress. If you see them evolving and yourself stagnate, you may wonder if you dropped into a comfort zone too long.
- I believe that competition is a great motivational boost to achieve more. As you evolve and improve with your classmate, it’s pretty cool to input some fun and challenge. Make your friends your best competitors, and give feedbacks to each other.
- Drawing is all about strategy. Think about friends who play chess. They compete, meanwhile more they play, more they improve there strategies.
If you don’t mind, I share with you few examples from my student time.
E.g.1 Show your work to public
I used to sit a huge sketching classes where we was more than 150 students (blending specialities of Design such as Fashion, Video games, Transport, Visual communication and Product design). For some students, such big classes was impersonal and boring. For some of us, it was a chance to play and have fun.
The teacher gave some assignment and went to walk around to look at the students’ work. He picked up a few to show on the projectors to the whole class and add some comment. Sometime, we could hear the “crowd” saying: “Wow !”. It’s not about showing off. It’s just that it feels good and give confidence. We also felt happy helping (indirectly) other students, having done something good enough to be followed. With some friends we hoped being picked up and displayed at least once per week .
After that, some work was displayed in the wall of the school. We could discuss about ours and other people work on how to improve ourselves. (Our critic sessions was informal and we learned a lot. We didn’t wait for the teachers to push us.)
E.g.2 Communicate on forum
My school has a private forum. To be honest, no much students went there to connect. But this is where I started to publish online my first sketches and share with other student designers. I enjoyed publishing some products, sneakers and even stuff within the group of Video game designers. This is how I connected to senior students and other design discipline.
E.g.3 “SKYPE quick sketching challenge!”
I got a friend whose name is David Vong – he’s an amazing artist I admire for his wide creativity and persistence. On Skype, late night, we liked to make some drawing challenges. But what to draw ? One randomly picked one word randomly, the other a second word. We combined both, and we got a crazy subject for our “Quick sketching challenge !”
We had 3 minutes to draw as fast as we can about these 2 words combination. It forces us to think and draw fast being creative in a short time. At the end of each session, we shared points and ways to improve.
I don’t remember who came out with the idea, but we had a lot of fun !
“Don’t feed your jealousy, but admiration”
4- sharing is a chance
Share your knowledge genuinely. Don’t expect to have anything in return. Positive things will naturally come back to you.
“Feel grateful of pursuing your passion
with other people like you. “
People who keep there secrets may also succeed. That’s all we can wish to them.
But I believe we have higher chance to succeed surrounded with positive people having a great and generous mindset. More you give, more you will naturally receive.
The journey is so much more fun that way, especially during your student time – when your mind is so opened and free to experiment new things.
“Make sharing a habit.”
5 – Don’t feel guilty “to steal” from others
“BAD ARTISTS COPY, GOOD ARTISTS STEAL.”, SALVADOR DALI
(Picture from Ocean Eleven)
Do you remember at school, when the teacher ask us to write an essay ? We needed to be original. We learned it was wrong to copy. We become so formatted that we limit our own creativity from using other people’s ideas. Instead, I recommend to “steal from others” toward a permanent improvement.
To improve fast and yet being unique.
Learn from others.
Make these knowledge yours
by mixing them up !
- Gain maturity,
- And create your own style
I will be glad to hear from your experience and your opinion. So, leave a comment below !
An experience where I import watercolour techniques to my sketches from manga artist.