Creative Woes

As a creative professional, I find it sometimes difficult to find the line between what is good enough and what is awesome. In other words, when I’m working on projects that are just for creative inspiration, how do I know they’re any good?

A few months ago, I made a list of about 16 different projects I would love to work on to boost my portfolio and to make myself more marketable as a designer. None of these projects are real, because I don’t have relationships with companies that require this type of work. Now, I have a lot of experience in these areas from my full-time job. But I don’t think very many people want to see work that all looks the same… And that is what my full-time job portfolio would look like.

So, in creating these concepts I have gotten to a point where several of them are really good, at least in my opinion. However, my opinion is very biased and I don’t know how to gauge whether it’s good in the real world or not.

Being a freelance designer means I don’t have the opportunity to put my work in front of large groups of people for critique. The only people who need to love what I do are the people who are paying me to do what I do. When I’m creating work simply for the joy of creating, I’m the only person whose opinion really matters. Right? Am I not thinking of this correctly? I figure if I can be proud of it, and possibly use it to demonstrate my abilities as a designer, that should be my barometer.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m rambling. All I know is there are a lot of things changing all around me right now, and I would hate (at this point in my career) to feel like I am not able to grow as a designer. Whether that is due to limitations in my current role, limitations in my own ability to sell myself, or a lack of self-confidence (quite frankly it could be a mix of all three of these), at the end of the day I’m the one who has to believe in myself.

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