“Being overconfident can do more harm than good— (especially) if you think that everything is going to be easy for you and you deserve everything right off the bat… people get into a lot of trouble and their growth gets stifled a little bit if they're not open to just toiling away in the dark for quite some time…”
Simple truth from Episode No. 07 guest, Nick Misani, a Designer, Letterer, Lover of ornament and decorative arts.
More and more, people are picking up the tools of the trade at a younger age. Today we can view and share so much great design and inspiration, but because we see it so instantaneously we think it comes easily or even worse—quickly. To make something look easy, you should understand all of the work that has gone into it. Design is built on history and the ability to take in passed down knowledge. As in any master-apprentice relationship, you learn by doing. Nick calls it “toiling away in the dark,” and as you grow you apply your own stylistic interpretation, and make it your own.
Overconfidence, I feel, stems from superficial accolades. We get caught up in the number of likes, shares and retweets that we sometimes forget the time it takes. Who doesn't want to rise through the rank quickly and fast, but there something to be said about learning the proper ways of the profession and being guided to greatness. Being overconfident can get in the way of your creative growth. Don't let it. As you learn from all the Creative and Art Directors, let them build you up. They should push you to make you a better designer, a better person. And if they are not willing to do that, or can’t, it’s time to move on. Being humble in this field is a virtue and there’s a fine line between being proud and being cocky.
It’s better to know other people feel that you’re good, rather than you exclaiming it yourself. You’ll have a lot more longevity in this industry, and then you'll be the one teaching a young designer someday.
Other Insight via The Simple Truth Series:
- Having Self Doubt
Lisa Pertoso: Learning Designer, Writer, Comedian
- Becoming too confident
Nick Misani: Designer, Letterer, Lover of ornament and decorative arts
- Moving past a creative block
Justin Teodoro: Artist and Illustrator
- Learning as you go
Eli Neugeboren: Illustrator and Educator
- Having a side-hustle
David Soto: Graphic Designer, Hand Letterer, Forever a student