I have been reading design articles for a few weeks now, on and off. This post at somerandomdude.com has some great tips. The tip which inspired this post:
Tip#3: Design everything you do
As in, to learn to be a designer, design all the time, design everything. As in, to be a photographer look for photos everywhere, take photos all the time..
The idea behind this is – if you are constantly trying to practice design, if you are constantly seeing photographs – whether you are designing or you are photographing, the eye and the brain will be trained.
We tend to fall into the trap of thinking that being a great designer or photographer is a natural ‘talent’ and only some ‘gifted’ people can be good at it. Of course, talent and gifts help with the first few steps, but what are talents and gifts if not honed and sharpened with a lot of training?
This is just like writing isn’t it? When you write anything, if all your writing – be it an email or a note to yourself, gets the same kind of attention as your best piece, you get your writing practice everywhere, and your growth as a writer accelerates exponentially.
So the, this is the key – to totally immerse yourself, wholeheartedly into whatever you are learning – this has proven to me to be the best, quickest most wholesome way to learn and get better faster.
By totally immersing oneself, not only do you get better but your perception of the world around you changes. All of a sudden you notice things which you have not noticed before like that ray of light on that one flower in a sea of dark green leaves, or that beautiful turn of phrase, or that exquisitely designed font which looks so good on that website.
Whether or not your photography or design skills or writing skills are good enough to make something beautiful from that observation one , just the fact of you observing new beautiful things is a breakthrough – now inspiration and ideas are everywhere around you and without your knowledge you will grow and get better.
Total immersion – by designing everything, all the time is the way for me to learn , and a fun way it is.