How much pressure is right?

Do you work best under pressure or when the pressure is off?

For me, it depends on the project.

If the job is sort of boring, if it’s straight production work or if it’s pull these assets and whip together a new flier . . . I do better with a little pressure on.

If it’s a job that requires more creativity or conceptual work, I like to have a quite afternoon where I can just tune out all other distractions, dive in, and have a big chunk of time to work with no pressure.

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I’m a procrastinator by nature. I work the best with a deadline zooming in my direction :wink: It tends to motivate me :smiley:


I’m not sure I know what it feels like to design without pressure :joy:


I sure as heck know what it’s like to have to print something under pressure.
Like when you have 8 hours and one 150’ roll of fabric for a 7 hour, 120’ scenic drop, yeah, that’s pressure.

In Design school, I always liked working during the wee hours of the morning. That’s when the best ideas happen. But pressure is something I try to avoid. Get it done now, then if something else comes along, you don’t have to think about both at the same time.


For the most part pressure is irrelevant - it usually means someone wants something more quickly than I can do it. This is a warning sign that they other guy has unrealistic expectations and I try to avoid misunderstandings like this.

If my customer / boss / whoever is wrong about how long something should take, I blame myself because I should have worked that out with them before I started.

I love to have a big pile of jobs and just work through them. That’s not pressure, that’s fun.


Pressure is but a human condition that should not exist at all. With proper management, planning and the ability to say no (justifiably), it’s all a matter of putting in the time.


What’s pressure?

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Pressure is but a human condition that should not exist at all. With proper management, planning and the ability to say no (justifiably), it’s all a matter of putting in the time.

Yes, easy for any one person to say, but add more people to that mix - especially clients - and proper management becomes a thing of the past.

I agree. That was many moons ago, when I was a young pup. But you can hit a brick wall only so many times. A lot of non-design skills are learned along the way, like client relations, communications, negotiations, and your own credibility base. I learn to plan a step (or five) ahead, cover all bases, and always have the client’s best interest in mind.

I look at my mistakes in my younger days and in truth am glad I made them. There’s no pressure now, just a solution waiting to happen. I guess one has to be of a certain age to look through all that.

Perhaps no pressure for you, but what about for those downstream?
If there is none, I sure do wish there more of you out there with the same zen-like mindset.

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I suspect there will be the same evolution process, more or less.

No, I think the pressure is always a bad thing. If you love your job, there’s no need for the pressure, besides that’s the question of responsibility, not pressure.

If by pressure, you’re referring to deadline pressure, I’m the same way.

If I’m eager to dive into something interesting and challenging, I don’t need much encouragement. If it’s dull, repetitive or just plain uninspiring, I find it difficult to maintain focus without a looming deadline.

Another key for me to never feel ‘the pressure’ is that I know full well that a project could blow-up if a hard deadline is not met.

Came very very close to that with my most recent commission. It was the first time I needed to trust a Chinese sculptor … over in China.

Who knew that the Chinese don’t work for a whole week in the first week of October!?! And then, their studio was shut down by local Chinese inspectors with only 10 days to go in front of my drop dead date of Oct. 29th!!

Even tho I was getting paid a ton of cash and the presentation was global and would of given me some more street cred… I was fully prepared to miss the drop dead deadline.

Remarkably they (Chinese studio) pulled a 48 hour shift at the end of some very difficult proofs to bring everything together and managed to get the pieces shipped just before the inspectors closed the studio.

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