As the summer starts to wind to an end I can’t help but look back at all of the design projects I have created in the past couple of months. While doing this I always try to critique myself on what I could have, and should have, done better in an effort to hone my personal style as well as expand on my knowledge of the programs that I use. After many a night thinking about this sort of thing I have come to realize what 3 steps most designers, and probably artists for that matter, go through on their way to creating their own style and brand image.
After realizing, of course, that we want to become part of the broader term “artist” our first step is always to try and become as good as someone we look up to. We constantly try and recreate the style and imagery of that particular master that we have so vividly engraved in our minds. This helps us to better understand how to manipulate the tools that we use to create as well as the medium we create them on or with. Most of the time, after many critiques and harsh scrutiny, we begin to realize that what we can create from our own minds is much better than that of a previous master. It slowly sinks in that, because they WERE a master, means they had an uncanny ability to relate to the masses of their generation. Well hey, this is a different generation now isn’t it? The answer is yes. And with a different, more savvy, generation comes an audience that cannot be fed the same styles of art. Whatever your definition of art may be.
The second step is in realizing this information and expanding on it. We begin to branch out and create extraordinary things that may have never crossed our minds. The only problem with this step is that we have TOO MANY ideas and begin to create things that seem to have no connection. We take our previous knowledge and skills and go on a frenzy of attempting to get whatever point we are trying to make across. In today’s world we can see this step most prevalent in the millions of social media pages that display even more images of what upcoming artists deem as “good work”. It is in this, the longest and most grueling stage, where the real artists are born. After being in stage 2 for quite some time, many either burn out or become distraught with the feeling of failure after being criticized from their peers. We have to remember at this point, that these criticisms come not to hurt our feelings or to get us to give up, but to make us better. Learn to deal with the punches and you will make it to stage 3.
At this stage, stage 3, we start to realize how to take critiques and make them constructive. We begin to realize that nobody truly cares about our work unless we can become businessmen and women in order to sell our products we have strived to create. I don’t necessarily mean “sell” and “products” in the tangible sense but more so in the figurative. It is at this stage that we begin to put all of the pieces together and harmonize. Our own specific style begins to emerge and people take more and more notice. Some of us, if we’re lucky, even find a niche that has yet to be catered to and can actually make a lifestyle out of our work. Many people never reach this stage or even spend their entire lives trying to reach this stage without even knowing it.
I’m here to tell you that, along with the new website design, comes the new Nick Hammond Design. The learning will never stop, nor will the constant struggle to create better work. But I can tell you that our style is here to stay.