Why Good Designers Can Never Do Their Best Work
Do you find yourself constantly dissatisfied with your creative endeavors? You’re not alone.
In one of Tobias van Schneider’s recent email newsletters, he discusses why he has a hard time saying what his favorite project is, because he’s never 100% satisfied with any of them.
I relate deeply to this point. I feel it all the time in my own digital design work. It’s not uncommon for me to love the direction a design is going at the start of a project, but by the time it’s complete I’m cringing and wishing I’d done so many little things better.
When you’re first starting out this is a common feeling
It’s not just imposter syndrome, it’s also that you have a gap between your vision and your skills. You can picture something in your mind — or you see inspiration elsewhere that you know you can match — but when it comes down to executing that vision, your skills and experience fall short of what you were aiming for.
A young designer who can recognize this gap is destined to become better, as they’ll always strive to improve their skills so they can start to execute their aesthetic visions more accurately.
A young designer who’s always satisfied with their work won’t achieve much. Either their vision is lacking — so even a mediocre skillset is enough to realize it — or their lack of attention to detail doesn’t even allow them to see their execution gap.
I thought this feeling of constant dissatisfaction would go away with experience
Surely after 18 years of digital design, I’d get to a point where my skills are enough to execute my vision?
Well, yes, they are. Most of the time.
But the thing about good designers is they are always learning. Every project I work on teaches me something new about design. Every unique problem solved adds new tools to my design arsenal. By the time I’ve gotten through a complex project, I’m already a better, broader designer than I was when I started it.