A little reminder to look at your own progression, not others

Sale canal on a sunny day

I originally posted this on my Facebook but after the response I got I decided it’d be good to share with you, just in case anyone else is struggling with self esteem and needs to know they’re not the only one.

I was going to post something whiny about how I feel pretty mediocre compared to my peers, but after my poor excuse for a jog this morning I decided to shut up and try harder.

Good design takes regular effort and training, just like running. I have to let go of my worries about follower counts and sales, stop comparing myself to other people and just do it because making I love making stuff.

My friends reminded I should look at my own progression and compare something I did recently with something I did a year or more ago. My main problem is I haven’t been using my sketchbook regularly for months and that’s the real issue here. How can I expect to get better at anything if I don’t actually practice? I have to realise that I’m not putting in as much time as the people around me who produce excellent work, and I’m going to need to change that if I want to improve.

If you’re feeling down because you are putting in the hours and feeling like you’re not as good as others, try to stop looking a everyone else. Instead get out your sketchbooks from the past few years and actually look at your progression. If you’re a digital designer take a look through your old hard drives and as much as they make you cringe, what you’re seeing is how far you’ve come.

As I worked in the same company for seven years, I actually redesigned more than one of the websites I’d built when I first started. I’ve included some small samples of the change in my approach to web design so you can see some of my progression too.

Aintree Boats 2010 & 2014

Chill out Beauty Training 2012 & 2016

Let’s all just agree to encourage each other and stop trying to be “better than” for the equivalent of a thumb spasm.

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