As a designer, creativity must be a powerful weapon in your arsenal. But how does one simply “learn” to be creative? A lot of people think it’s something you’re born with. I kick rocks at that theory.
As a musician, I have found many parallels to design, so I’ll share some analogies on how one can ‘learn’ to be creative (or at least rant enough to where you think I’m a bitter person).
Think about this, you may be good at Guitar but not good at drums. That’s similar to being good at logos, but not at layout design. To be considered a well-rounded designer, you need be proficient in all fields, the same as a well-rounded musician should be able to play different instruments.
I, Nighthawk, love vintage designAnd so called “design styles”? That’s similar to genres. Personally, am not a huge fan of skeuomorphic design, but I love Vintage. As a musician, that’s similar to say, learning some Led Zeppelin songs because I love me some Led Zeppelin but also learning say, the Backstreet Boys (even though I'm not a huge fan) 'cause I get paid to play both. When learning how to play guitar, you don’t pick up the guitar and start writing music. You look to someone who inspires you and learn songs you already know and love.
So why would you open illustrator and make a poster from scratch? Take a poster you absolutely love, and try copying it, as if you would with a song. You design snobs right now are saying “but Nighthawk, that’s considered copyright infringement, you can’t copy someone else’s work”. If you’re practicing, you sure as hell can. When I was good enough on the guitar to venture out with my own stuff, I did. It was awful. So I kept learning from the masters to become better and better. The same thing goes for design. I copied the Paul Rands and the Milton Glasers of the world....even designs from people I’ve never heard of. Then when it came to an actual assignment, I took little details from what I learned – whether it be line work or textures or color schemes or typographic treatments – then BLAM! a design that’s all my own, inspired by other artists.
Bob Ross: "The imagination is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets."So saying “I wish I was born with Rhythm” is just like saying “I wish I was creative”. It discredits the hard work you put in to being a visual problem solver. So remember, whether you can or can’t, you’re right. After all, I quote my hero, Bob Ross: “The imagination is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets”...
Now get back to work.