After spending a week in the design studio of one of my clients, I am thinking a lot about creativity and intention. Most of my clients are designers – jewelry, interiors, software, food – all involve similar requirement to create something new and exciting that also serves an important purpose for its intended audience.
I don’t believe that all people can be designers. The ability to design requires a certain amount of gift, innate talent. But just because one has that gift or that talent doesn’t mean they will be extraordinary either.
This takes practice. Creativity and intention are essential to one another.
I started thinking about this today as I read an excellent article on how to practice. This article is relevant for anything one wants to excel at – whether design or learning a new language or becoming a better parent. But it made me think in terms of my designer/entrepreneurs.
Specifically, how little time they give themselves to practice design once they are engrossed in the responsibilities of running a business. I have seen many talented designers produce one or two exciting offerings, only to fade away into obscurity. Is this because they did not continue to practice the skill of design? I know other designers whose work becomes repetitive over time. Again I ask, is that lack of practice time?
To all you designers who find you only have time to design on command (commission work), when you are preparing a new line, or late at night when you’re not busy selling and bookkeeping, please consider this: your skill is ultimately only as salable as your excellence. Make time to practice even if other things suffer (or preferably, by paying someone to cover other, non-design tasks).
If every design you make is for a pupose, then you aren’t giving yourself the time and analysis needed to take your design to the next level, and the next, and the next. More important, according to the article on the best way to practice, when you do your art without the time or the intention involved in good practice, you make permanent those things you do and choices you make that undermine your talent and your vision.
So go ahead, give yourself the gift of intentional practice. Your soul, your creative center, your customers . . . and your bottom line . . . will thank you.