March 21st – 23rd saw the illustrious design convention, Offset, return to Dublin’s Bord Gais Energy Theatre. The convention centres around talks from Creative Designers / Artists / Illustrators, from all principals of the industry. From Advertising, Animation, and Childrens Books to Photography, Visual Design, Magazines and everything in between. The speakers were from all over the globe, with a tremendous amount of Irish talent representing the country at the event, which ran over a 3 day span from Friday to Sunday, March 21 – 23 2014. Its an incredible opportunity for designers, young and old alike to get instant creative inspiration from industry professionals, the ones who have worked hard, honed their craft and pave the way for all designers in the industry. Its also astounding to get an insight into their story, how they started, their thought process of a piece a work, and how they do it. The following is a brief account of what I have learned from these incredible speakers over these 3 days;
The best of the best did not reach where they are now by not working, and by that, working hard, very hard. It was incredibly inspiriing to hear all the designers and artists talk about their own personal story and not just their work. It gave a complete insight into their working day, the effort they put in, and what it takes to reach their level. By committing yourself and working hard, you can achieve what they set out to do. Setting goals, setting targets, and sticking with them, altering them slightly along the way to suit a changing landscape of a project. These people are the best in their field for a reason, there were no shortcuts, although, I do believe that part of success comes from a “It’s who you know” type of business, buts thats only a partial aspect of the success. It all comes down to hard work. Turn up and make something every day.
Dont Fear Fear
Although the subheading looks pretty hard to read, it’s very straightforward in its meaning. Sometimes your greatest foe is yourself, this fear that when your work is made public and people can see it and consume it, there will be a terrible backlash, potentially so much that you be put off doing what you love just because of negative comments someone has made. But this is never the case, sure there will be people out there willing to put down your work, anonymous people who doesn’t affect you. It’s very easy to sit behind a screen and mock something that you have nothing to do with, and as my co-designer said only recently, “People always seek to destruct, because its easier than to construct”. Ignore the naysayers, your work speaks for itself.
Always make something
This feeds into the first lesson slightly, but means quite simply, turn up and make something every day. This is the only way to better yourself as an artist and will make you feel much more accomplished with your work. You can only grow from your output, and if your output is constantly being produced, everyday, the only way for your potential is up. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Remember, nothing is perfect. Know when to say, this is what I want to publish, and know when to say it earlier in the process. If you want to learn something new, dive in at the deep end, this is the only way to learn it, get hands on with it, and learn as you go. I myself have spent too long searching for tutorials on different processes, which is great, because it gives you a general direction, but spend time with your software, get to know by just diving straight in and experimenting with your knowledge of the tutorial you just learnt with a new aspect of the creative process that your yet to master. Learn by failing, but more importantly, learn by maxing your output, Make something every day!