The 5 mind shifts to keep up and succeed in your Design school!

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I am happy to share with you I’m working on 
a New blog specific on Shoe design! 

If you follow me for a while, 
you may know I did work for Adidas and other shoe design companies in other countries. 

I will be able to tell you more soon and share 
with you more on Footwear design over there!

Let’s go back to our topic of the day :).

In creativity, there are the 2 mythical groups:

  • The group of people who are born with talent, 
  • And the group of others who don’t…

These 2 groups were enigmatic in my design school,
wondering who would succeed or give up.

That’s where I wanna help you to achieve your goal.

Hi guys, I’m Chou-Tac from

And today I would like to share with you a topic about the myth of innate talent when it comes to creativity.

How to succeed in your Design School and not give up!

Creativity unfairness

Creativity seems to be unfair for some people because some people seem to have the talent, innate talent, and some people just seem they don’t have it.

I realized it’s pretty much counter-intuitive. But the one who believes they have the innate talent will tend to give up.

While the one who believes they don’t have the talent will hustle more.

I was reading a book last night about How to maximize your potential and I stumbled into the article from Heidi Grant Halvorson.

The “Praise experiment”

When Heidi Grant Halvorson was a student at Columbia University, her mentor was doing an experiment on kids to see their reactions about How do they react to obstacles when they are praised or when they are not.

These kids were given a series of three exercises.

The first exercise was pretty easy.

Most students could fill it, could succeed. And at the end of this first exercise, half of the student was told: “Wow, you have done great. You’re very talented!” You have been praised by: They have the skills inside them.

And the second group, the 50 other percent was praising in a different way. They were praising: “Congrats, you have done a lot of effort! This is why you succeed”.

And then they have been given a second exercise, which is pretty tough. It was a pretty bad result for almost all of the students.

And then we have given them a third exercise, which was pretty easy, like really similar to the first one.

The first group tends to fail more than the second group.

Why because the first group Who has been told that they had the talent realized that:
“Oh, I don’t have the ability to do it. So there’s no point to carry on.”
They didn’t have the pleasure to work on that further.

And then for the second group, it was actually the opposite reaction.
They realized that: “Oh, that’s tough, I couldn’t make that thing. But I would just keep carrying on, I would just get carried on because I just need to put more effort if I want to succeed.”

When I was in my design school, some people get to feel that they are being praised, to be good already, because when they enroll in the schools, they already have skills, and they have been praised by their parents… “Oh you’re so good, and you’re so creative, and so on.”

And on the other part, some of the students actually had more difficulties starting from the bottom. And these people actually tend to hustle more.

They realize whenever they put on the work, they could make progress.
And this is how actually they could last longer.

It reminds me of the story of the tortoise and the hare somehow.
The hare is very fast and very reactive, and he’s very proud and has a lot of egos. And the tortoise is just starting from the bottom. And he actually just keep going, but with persistence, every day, learning more and more, and she should win the race at the end of the day.

Just to keep carry on with the article of Heidi Grant Halvorson is that she also gives some advice about the mind shift.

The 5 minds shift to succeed in creativity.

Mind shift 1: Allow you to screw-up

Anyone who wants to make it and to learn something creative actually is able to do.
The first thing is to allow yourself to screw up.

You are just too harsh with yourself.
You believe that everyone has an innate talent they just succeed from the first shot.

That says is just wrong. It’s just a myth.

It is something that you only see people like on the street drawing portrait, urban sketching… They are so good already because they have trained and this is something we tend to forget.

To realize we just see the end result of so much work behind.

Don’t feel sorry when you do mistakes.

Just for under bracket I, I do have a VIP students on my course Sketch Like the Pros and she was publishing one of her sketches.

And she was drawing something she knew she messed up.
She did a mistake she realized herself.
And she put in a comment: “Sorry, I made a mistake.”

And this is where I just replied to her that she doesn’t have to be sorry.
I want her to show me all her weaknesses in VIP feedbacks that I can give it to her.

There are different steps when you want to learn something:

  1. Acquire the knowledge
  2. Apply it and of course, you’re not going to apply great for the first time.
  3. Practice till it becomes intuitive

I can help you to spot your mistakes and help them even better.

If you want to learn how to dance, the teacher will show you a demonstration first, but you will need to practice a few times so you can get it. So your body can learn it. So your body can have the feeling until it becomes intuitive until you absorb it.

So don’t expect to succeed at the first shot.

If you have the right explanation given step by step, you will for sure start on the right basis. So allow yourself to screw up. It’s just part of the process.

Mindshift 2: Ask for help

We realized that if you have too much ego and you don’t ask for help, you will kind of self-doubt of yourself. But when you ask for help, you can achieve more. Because you’re looking for help. You’re looking for surroundings, you’re looking for more brains to help you.

When I was a student in my design school, I was not the best sketcher. I was working hard. And one of the ways I improved much faster is to simply sit with the table of the greatest students In my class.

We had a table of four people. And I was sitting in one of the seats. And I was looking at how there were drawing. And then I tried to repeat, I tried to imitate, I tried to see how they feel when they draw.

This is how I learned faster because I didn’t do all alone by myself.

And it was very competitive. But what I like among designers is when it’s fair is that: even if we compete with each other, we admire each other.

And we want to help the overall so and see how we develop our own style as well on each of our personalities. We knew this is the only way altogether we can grow faster and better.

Mind shift 3: Compare your performance within the timelines (instead of comparing with others).

When you compare with the timeline, it means that you’re looking for appreciating your own progress.

Instead of just looking at over people’s progress and high status. You will have to appreciate your own ability to see step by step how you did better than yesterday, how you did better than last month, and last year.

And this is actually how you can also target and keep progressing like the story of the tortoise and the hare.

When you are the tortoise, just see that you’re a bit further, a bit further and you will keep going in this is how you go much more far and get closer to your goal.

Mind shift 4: Look for progress, not perfection.

And this drives us to the mind shift number 4.

You look for progress and not for perfection.

The difference in:
“Have to be good” and “To get better” is “To be” and “To become”.

When I was a student, I was dreaming about being a designer at Adidas, Nike, the big brands.

It would make the difference between saying “I want to be” a great designer at Nike or Adidas and so on… or Puma with “I want to become” a great designer at Nike Adidas or Puma and so on…


When you put the word “Become” instead of “To be”, the hustle process  naturally comes in between.

You know that the hustling will be part of the game. You know that you will have to go through a learning curve. You have to go through difficulties and obstacles and this is how you will have fun!

For your success, you have to realize that your toughest critics is yourself. And this is why it comes to mind shift number 5.

Mind Shift 5: Examine your belief.

Whenever you’re failing of something, don’t keep thinking that if you’re failing it is because you don’t have the talent.

Just remind yourself that: “You’re not good yet”.

If you put the time, if you put the effort, and you divide these two by learning with the right methods, then you always carry on again. You will keep going with motivation and fun.

Take it easy with yourself.

Don’t be too tough with yourself because the main constant to success is to put on the work and to hustle.

This is part of the game. It is what is making it fun and to be proud of.
Yeah, that’s it. That is what’s what I wanted to share with you guys.

No matter you have been praised that you have the talent or not, no matter that you believe that you can no you cannot, you will succeed.

If you have the belief that whenever you put the effort, you can do it because you can make a change in your life. Nothing is fixed.

If you want to create your own future, you’re the one who drives yourself. So don’t be impressed by no matter who is telling you have the talent or you don’t.

Just do your own things.
Believe in yourself.
Ask for help.
Go through to these, these 5 mind shifts.

I hope it helps you guys.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave in the comments.
I’ll be glad to carry on this conversation with you.

See you!

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About The Author


Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at : )

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