Designers share a problem with politicians and business consultants: nobody knows what they are actually doing. I can shed some light on what designers do.…
Many creatives know this phenomenon: They start a new project on a promising topic with excitement, but when they can’t come up with an original idea instantly — they lose interest. They come to the conclusion that they picked the wrong topic. So they restart with a new topic, only to find out that the grass isn’t any greener on that side of the fence either.
Where do these commitment issues come from?
It is fashionable to be outraged about lies in mass media. News agencies, corporations, and — God forbid! — even politicians all seem to mislead us. And they get away with it! How is that possible? Niklas Luhmann has some answers in his classic book from 1995 titled “The Reality of Mass Media”.
The digital revolution was a gold rush for curious minds. Nobody knew what digital media actually was, only that it was about to impact our lives profoundly. It was unknown territory waiting to be filled with new artforms, designs and ways to understand the world.
Ask: "Does it need to be done?"
Almost any creative person I know has to deal with heavy doubts in their process. And to a certain extent this might be an unavoidable part of our artistic lives. But I might at least pull one painful thorn out of your side: The question of whether your project (yes, the one from which you are procrastinating right now!) is good enough or not.
Pick a small topic for your creative project!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your creative project is to pick a topic which is too big.
As an artist and designer I keep making one mistake time and again. So if this article sounds like me giving advice to other creatives… it is actually an attempt to keep myself from making this mistake yet again.