Today, I'm staying in to work on a pretty big design project. It's my first major client work since I emerged from my (too long) hiatus and I was extra stressed out when I accepted it. I'm gaining my confidence back, though. They loved the ideas I presented in my first pitch, so I'm very optimistic about the next steps!
Over the last year, I realized that my biggest flaw as a designer is my lack of confidence. I mean, I know I have some talent, otherwise I would have picked a different career. But I have this frustrating tendency to doubt my skills and ideas, which makes me censor potentially interesting concepts. I fear that an idea is too obvious, too twisted, that I won't be able to execute it... and so on. Then, I find the outcome deceiving (to me) and anxiously start comparing myself to other designers or artists, wondering why I can't come up with fun, daring ideas like theirs. That's where my inner Jimini Cricket starts blabbing: "Are you in the right field? Is your creative brain functioning properly? I think you're an impostor. Why did you drink so much coffee? Why am I talking to myself? Argh!" I finally had an illumination and opened my eyes to the fact that I do have awesome ideas, but I kill most of them before they get a chance to hatch and grow into bigger, bolder visual concepts. Hell, my right brain is slowly turning into a dusty cemetery of those ideas.
My only goal for this year is to open myself to my own ideas and develop my ability to brainstorm without any self-imposed censorship. So far, I'm doing great! I've been experimenting different strategies, like mind mapping, post-it notes, timeboxing... Combining all of these while working on the big project I mentioned earlier has been very effective. I came up with a lot more ideas than I used to. Good ones, bad ones, bizarre ones... It was refreshing to feel so many of them flow in my head! I'm going to keep using these brainstorming methods for my next projects. Hopefully, embracing every single idea in the early stages of creation will become an automatism over time.
Do you struggle with confidence like I do? What strategies do you use to get past your insecurity?
Turtleneck: thrifted • Kimono: H&M (old) • Skirt and shoes: vintage • Cube studs: Forever21
Here are some gratuitous cat pictures for your viewing pleasure! Guy was chilling on his favorite chair and Brigitte had just rolled off the doormat, which explains why she's covered in dust and tiny rocks. Tsk, tsk.