Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being a design student, you can’t help but wonder what it’ll be out there, in the corporate world, where you have to cope and adapt to a lot of things than you can actually do just being a student. I’ve read plenty of testimonials on how enjoyable work can get and it all depends on how you can perform or how you can make it all work for your career. I’ve also read testimonials that can tremendously discourage you to even join this field; I kid you not!
I can’t help but think of this scenario. You’re a graphic designer. You step into your office like any other day. Your boss calls you in his office and assigns you your new graphics project. You work on it for hours, weeks, months, maybe even a year. You finish the job, you make the client happy. Then one day you still come back to your same office like any other day, and you have another assignment waiting for you. The cycle continues…but wait! Suddenly this strikes you; where’s the fun? What have I done for myself out of all this? Slowly the guilt just keeps on nagging you and makes you wonder; is that what I really wanted for myself?
So dear future self, if you feel like you’re stuck in the ruckus above mentioned, may be it’s time you started your own personal project; start working on something that makes you happy and gives you that “You know what? I’m doing the right thing!” kinda feeling. I know you’ll be asking why should I even do that, I already have so much on my plate. Well this is why YOU SHOULD attempt a personal project:
1) A test to your creative juices
- You’ll be working day in day out; it’ll be one monotonous cycle and the rush to finish your commercial projects can sometimes rust down your creative skills over time. Your personal project would definitely be a challenge to those creative juices that may have dried up, and you’ll have your chance to replenish and rejuvenate yourself.

2) Escape mechanism
- That sheer motivation you’ll get when you start something of your own, that interest, that boost of energy and enthusiasm, it sure will be great stress reliever and will let you to lose yourself in your own world of dreams and creativity.

3) The best lesson you can have for Time Management
- All those woes of never being able to manage time with so many things happening around will start to shrink. Well that’s not going to happen at once, but gradually you’ll learn to do everything in ease. All you would need is a method of trial and error, where you, in the end, teach yourself how to juggle and manage time between your work schedule and the newly started pastime schedule.

4) An add-on to your portfolio
- Working on your self-initiated project can be the extra boost your portfolio might need. As the content increases, so does the quality of your work. What’s the harm in keeping more works in it; at least the variety in it will speak for itself.

5) A dare to do something new
- You know, there’ll be those times where you’ll think ‘Oh this looks like one fancy software, must try it once’ but never get to them. Start that project and try out those softwares or tricks and tick them off that darn long to-do list. Make that book cover, brochure, CD cover, or fanzine that you’ve always wanted to do. This way you learn something new, and enhance your skills further on.

If you’re a student reading this, you might want to bookmark this and make it a reminder for yourself in the years to come. If you’re already that full fledged corporate designer and need that reminder, don’t wait for a blogger to remind you. You can start this any time you want, and bring out the best out of you all over again.
The writer is a final year media and communications student specializing in Visual Communication at Manipal University, Dubai.