The advice I like to give young designers, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens.
But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case. Pull out your product and be creative with those materials and you will be inspired as you go.
Let your inspirations carry you through to its completion and be very satisfied. No artist on earth designed exquisitely at his first ever attempt. We all follow a long development phase till we reach to a point when we are creating products people want. Don’t stop at your first design and criticize it till you are depressed. Instead do 100 creations in a month and there will be at least ONE of which you will be very proud. In the next months you will get better.
Self-critic is good and appropriate but remember, there are hundreds of differences in the design world. Some you will resonate with and others you will abhor. So when you do your critique remember to:
a) focus on the style you work in and appreciate the others.
b) Watch out that critiquing does not become an obsession leading you to either hate –or love– your stuff. Allow your self to be proud –even when it could be made better. Also, remember that nothing is 100% perfect, always learn what you will do to make the next one a little better.
c) Don’t compare your work with the most accomplished designers out there. Criticizing yourself for not creating like Picasso is to be unfair and unreasonable to yourself. If you are going to compare your work to another artists’ work, then choose the work done by people at the same development nouveau that you are in.
Critique your own work, but also ask others to critique your work.
a) Ask people who are not family and friends and who well be less inclined to say things just to make you feel better about yourself. Asking our best friends and family will result in dishonest and nearly only positive comments, which have no core.
b) Accept that we cannot satisfy everyone with our style. Some critics will not understand what we are trying to achieve. What is important to us is not automatically important for the next. Expect honest critics and don’t cry when it does not fit to our wishful thinking. Try to find the truth behind the critique, instead of working 100% against it or believing in it wholeheartedly.
c) Keep perspective, composition and silent when people are giving you feedback. Take time to reflect on what they said before speaking back, if at all. If they ignore the flaws in the work which you take more serious, remember this is because every one has a unique sense of taste. There is no reason to get depressed because someone has a different focus or taste.
Do not throw away our works. They are our only gauge to show our self how much we’ve improved over time!