Developing Ideas

First off, I would like to mention that this is my 200th post. Thank you everyone who reads this blog and supports me. Thank you to all of my followers, friends, and family for the inspiration to keep living my dream and for the interest in it. It’s been a blast and I can’t wait for 200 more. Alright let’s get down to business.

The ability to use a program, like Illustrator or Photoshop, does not make you a  graphic designer. To be a graphic designer, you need ideas. Ideas are what separate the users from the designers, and the good from the bad.

So how do you get ideas? Ideas come in many different ways and forms. They often come sporadically, which creates a serious problem. As a graphic designer, on the professional level, the successful designers are the ones who can come up with killer ideas on the spot. The fact is, some people were just given the gift of creative thinking. Those are most often the successful creators. So what if you struggle coming up with good ideas quickly. Is there a sure-fire method? Not that I know of, but there are ways of improving your brainstorming and idea developing processes.

Method 1

Stimulate your brain. The best way to do this is to keep going to inspiration sites. You may think it is a waste of time, but casually look. You don’t have to look just when you are working or designing something. If you are bored and have an extra 5 minutes, go to your favorite site and start looking. You may not get an idea right away but the more good ideas you stuff in your brain subconsciously, the more you will get when you need a good idea. Numerous times I’ve been faced with a task and an element of a design I saw pops in my head, and the journey starts. You may not get an idea when you see the inspiration, but it will come when you need it. Need a couple sites for inspiration? Here are my top 3:

From Up North – http://www.fromupnorth.com/

Serial Thriller – http://serialthriller.com/

Pinterest (here’s mine) – http://www.pinterest.com/calebminear/

Method 2

Just start going. This may seem crazy but if nothing is coming, just start making something. You can start on paper with some doodles if you like, but just start something. Put some text on the screen, and try different fonts. Eventually you will find you will get an idea just from seeing the words or elements on the screen. It is easy to delete something and undo something, so just start it, even without a plan.

Method 3

Take a break. If you have been trying to find a good idea for a while, the best thing to do is not think. Often the inspiration you take in is stored in your subconscious. If you keep fretting for an idea, you are using the conscious part of your mind. To access your subconscious mind, stop thinking. Work on something else, or better, walk away. Go talk to someone and you will find you will get an idea. Why do you think you get so many good ideas in the shower? There’s nothing to focus on in the shower, so you start rushing through your subconscious mind.

There may not be a sure fire way to get ideas on the fly, but these methods are great tools for accessing your full potential.

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4 thoughts on “Developing Ideas

    1. No problem. Here are a few quick suggestions from me (not a recent media graduate, but still what I have learned)

      -Make your portfolio diverse but still project a similar and cohesive style. You are going to be hired for your style so pick things that reflect your style.
      -Don’t make it too big. I am probably guilty of this, but you don’t want it too big that a potential client is overwhelmed, but you don’t want it too small so they aren’t convinced. It is about finding the right balance. Personally I have a lot in my portfolio but, unlike I should, I do not treat my portfolio as my professional portfolio. I would suggest about 15-20 items.
      -Get advice from other people. See what people like and don’t like. Put the popular ones in there and put the most prestigious clients in there as well to impress potential clients.
      -Your portfolio is as way of selling yourself, so make it you. Choose your best, most skillful work as well as ones that evoke your style strongly. The reality is if you have bad work you won’t get a client because you aren’t to their standards. If you have a bad portfolio, you won’t get that client because of false perception and bad communication. So make it you, and if you are good enough the clients will come.

      There’s some quick advice, hope it helps. You can always email me too.

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      1. If you go to Customize, there should be a tab that is titled “Front” or something similar. In that you can set your Front page and then your Posts page. You will need a page set up previously. Mine is just titled “Blog” and nothing else. Then set that and you should be good to go. I see you are using the same theme.

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