5 pieces of advice about self-taught design

While on Youtube, I came across this video with Chris Do and Ben Burns from the Futur channel. I recommend the video, but if you don’t have time, their sound advice is summarised below.

Ben Burns and Chris Do with wise words
  1. You need to work twice as hard than people that went to design school! Self-taught designers wear self-taught as a badge of honour. Should they? No. Self-taught implies discipline, focus, willingness to achieve what you want. Take the initiative and focus on your own learning.
  2. Find out what people learn at graphic design school and find cheap alternatives.  Want to get art education but don’t want to have the money – go request a catalogue. Go through and get descriptions of the programme. Then get the online equivalent of that program. Find out cheap/free alternatives. (There is plenty online to get you started but here is a wealth of information: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b3c7kxa5vU-bnmaROgvog
  3. Know the rules and terminology. To break the rules, you must first learn the rules. Those formal rules do matter. Did you do the work you need to do. This might help: https://www.adobe.com/studio/print/pdf/typographic_terms.pdf
  4. Learn to draw! A lot of the best graphic designers start on paper and then more on to using software. You don’t need to be amazing at drawing to be a graphic designer but it certainly helps. One way of learning to draw is by tracing – once you trace enough things, you learn how to draw. However, there are plenty of great resources online. Look at Steve Huston’s tutorials online to learn fundamentals about drawing for free!
Steve Huston with some incredible free tuition

5. Build a portfolio. For those that are self-taught, the struggle seems to be how to build a portfolio. Bullshit. You can build a portfolio by re-doing advertisements, working for a non-profit or doing work for friends. Portfolio built through hustle. Portfolio – is a project that use demonstrate your problem solving skills and you actualise it for design. Pick something that wasn’t done well, and re-design it. 

What are you doing to say that you’re qualified?

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