It bothers me when designers constantly compare their work to that of others. While in certain instances it’s good to use other people’s work as a yardstick to see if you’re on track, it doesn’t always make sense. Some of the most brilliant campaigns, logos, etc. were produced by an entire team of people. It’s true that there’s often a singular mastermind that provides the catalyst for an idea but from there, so many different hands reach in to bring the final outcome to life.
We’re all our own worst critics. But the danger of constantly comparing yourself to others is that you might just feel too overwhelmed to continue on your own path. If you go through life thinking that you’ll “never be as good as so-and-so,” what purpose is that really serving?
Overall, my work tends to be very simple. I work very much on a grid. I like to keep things clean. Yet, sometimes I wish my work was more layered or complex. But when I think about my interests, my true passion is editorial design. My goal has always been to work at ad agencies. I love the business side of things just as much as I love design. I enjoy the process of working with clients to bring their ideas to life, not just my own.
Sometimes, you just have to block out the noise and follow your passion. It’s a total cliché but you really do have to do what makes you happy (even if you have to do something else as well to pay the bills in the meantime).
I’ve been lucky that I’ve been working nonstop doing design since I finished school. It’s not always the most creative or the most fulfilling but I’ve been able to support myself doing what I love every single day and that matters more to me than always turning out the coolest new thing. ‘Cool’ is relative anyway. Just do what you do and do it well. Fuel your passion. Keep on being you. Be timeless.