For me, the hardest part of figuring out what I wanted to do later than the majority of my peers is feeling like I’m at the tail end of the career rat race. Of course it’s irritating to see less qualified peers land amazing jobs and move up in the world. But that doesn’t bother me as much anymore.
I’ve found that the most frustrating part of being new in the creative industry is the disappointment I feel with my work when it’s complete. I set very high standards for my projects and want to be proud of them. It’s discouraging to see the work of designers I respect and want so badly to reflect their caliber of design.
When I start to get overwhelmed by the thought of this, I force myself to watch a video I found on Vimeo (which, admittedly, is about every 2–3 weeks). There are a few things that bother me about the presentation but kudos to the guy who created this because kinetic type + After Effects = extremely difficult.
The video is reassuring for a couple of reasons:
1. Knowing Ira Glass (whom I respect greatly) struggled with this feeling speaks volumes to my confidence level.
2. The only way to move forward is to immerse myself in design — everyday — and keep pushing myself in my work.
Looking back at my projects from even January, I can see an enormous amount of progress. This is because between freelance, working at Stephens and working for Engineering, I’m designing or developing around 16 hours a day. If I’m not working, then I’m reading articles, blogs, books, watching videos, etc… that are design-related.
If you’re feeling stuck, or need a little inspiration, I recommend watching it, too.