CategoryDesign

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Creative Blocks

My biggest frustration as a designer has always been the dreaded creative block. I’m all set to work on a project, and as I sit down (or stand up, with my new standing desk- woohoo!) to start working on ideas, and suddenly: Nothing. I’ll spend the next hours (or sometimes even days) banging my head against this creative wall, hoping that something jars loose and I can actually get started. And of...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Distraction

As a designer, one of the most difficult things you have to deal with is constantly getting distracted. It’s easy to blow 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there on things that do not further your work or your goals. This is especially true if you work for yourself and from home; with no one around to keep you accountable, it’s effortless to blow off work to do any number of other things around your...

Portfolio Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague!

As a designer, your portfolio is one of the most important things you can develop since it gives potential clients and employers a glimpse of what you can do and how (and if) you can help bring value to their organization. However, there are some pretty common mistakes that you can make with your portfolio that can lessen its impact. Avoid these like the plague! 1. Burying Your Work Under A Bunch...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Comparison

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes I tend to get stuck in these little negative feedback loops wherein everything everyone else does is awesome and everything I do is awful. It usually happens innocently enough; I’m browsing Vimeo or Dribbble looking for inspiration, or I see some sort of featured piece in an email, and I am overcome by this revelation of awesomeness that...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Self-Doubt

There are a lot of designers that I look up to, and every time I see their most recent work I often feel a tinge of jealousy. The pieces they create are so amazing, and not only do I wish I could design like that, but I also wish that I had the self-confidence that I presume they do. It’s easy to contrast that with the struggles I often feel trying to be creative, or the lack of confidence I feel...

Line Starburst Animation

For a recent project I was wanting to create a line-based starburst animation with varying segments within the line “bursts.” The animation is pretty straightforward, but I didn’t really want to spend much time on the artwork itself. Fortunately, using the Transform and Path Erase tools make this process pretty quick and effortless. Check out the video for the whole process that...

Things I’ve Learned As An Independent Designer

Not far into my career as a designer, I realized that I had aspirations to work for myself as an independent designer. In the nebulous stages of thought it seemed like a dream full of non-stop fun and creativity, and what designer wouldn’t want that? Of course, when you are dreaming anything is possible, and the not so fun aspects of reality never seem to cloud that fantasy. But once you...

Design Trends for 2017

As an opening caveat I will note that I have no Magic 8-Ball into the future of design trends, although if I did it would probably always say “Don’t Count on It.” Nor am I by any means a trendsetter, as my inimitable fashion sense would no doubt make clear to any one. To be fair, through, I don’t wear socks with sandals. I mean, my sandals are way too tight for that…...

Church Marketing Doesn’t Suck (And That’s Probably a Bad Thing)

Having worked in church marketing for much of my career, it can be without a doubt a very mixed bag as far as the quality of the marketing is concerned. From complete misunderstandings of one’s market to the downright cringe-worthy, it’s effortless to multiply examples of just how bad church marketing can be. (The actual reality is that secular marketing is just as prone to being awful, but when...

How To Have A Useless Career

I was recently involved in an interesting discussion regarding some of the most “useless” majors one can study in college. Of note is that this discussion took place in a community devoted to all things visual media, and of course visual media related majors (art, fine art, studio art, photography, video production, etc.) perennially make top ten lists of most useless majors. For those of us in...

After Effects Wishlist

Ever since I first jumped headfirst into After Effects back in 2010, the application has gotten better and better. However, as with any piece of software that one works with on a day-to-day basis, there are always those “I really wish I could do this!” moments or “Wouldn’t it be great if Ae had this!” functionality privations. What follows is an entirely-subjective-and-likely-applicable-only-to...

How To Be An Art Thief

If one is involved in any sort of artistic or design related endeavor, it won’t be long before one is met with this perennial justification for lifting someone else’s work: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Ostensibly dripping forth from the lips of Picasso, the essence of the idea is that sometimes great art or great design (depending on which one is engaged in) will at times involve...

Follow Your Dreams! (Over a Cliff)

I came across this thought-provoking video from Mike Rowe about following one’s passions. The gist of the video can be summed up in a great takeaway line: Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it. Be sure to watch the whole thing before going any further. The idea that Mr. Rowe is trying to convey is that oftentimes our passions (in the colloquial sense of...

So You Want to Become An Independent Designer

As I have worked at becoming an independent designer on the side for many years, I thought I had an idea of what to expect from doing it full-time. However the reality is in many respects much different, in both positive and in negative ways. Yet there’s still nothing I’d rather be doing. I’ve always thought that there is now no better time than ever before to work in design. To be...

Design is Not Art (And That’s a Good Thing)

When I first started in design I was a very insecure designer. I didn’t yet have much experience and was still very rough around the edges as far as my technique and skills were concerned. It was difficult to feel confident about anything that I was doing. But even deeper I always seemed to struggle with trying to justify my then nascent profession. When people would ask what I did for a living...

Jason Watson

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