I’ve been at this for 8 years, self-taught. I’ve read all the “standard issue” material, from J.M. Brockman, M. Vignelli’s Cannon, The Type Primer, Itten’s color theory and everything else that a college curriculum suggests. I had a deal with Fine Arts Academy students, they supply me with all the material and I in turn help them learn the software, which in this particular academy is really badly covered.
From leading an maintaining a web store, doing tons of web graphics and promo material, to freelancing and launching 3 products on the shelves, I’ve always had a feeling that I’m missing something! Looking at famous designers such as Bierut, Sagmeister, Sher I noticed that “IT” factor that they all have…and when I look at my portfolio, it feels dry, uninspiring and even amateur. Maybe it’s because I’ve been looking at it for too damn long, or I’m too much of a perfectionist, Idk!
The strange thing is that wherever I go, I can re-design my surroundings on the fly in my head and do it right, but when I design my own stuff, I end up disappointed because I know I could do so much better, but there’s something in the way. I wake up at night because I came up with a brand name, a logo and an entire concept in my sleep. I love diving into new projects head first, and I believe my ideas are good if done well, yet there is a gap! A gap between what I know in my head, all the theory and what comes out on the other end. This missing link keeps eluding me for years now, it’s tearing me apart inside, I ended up on several antidepressants.
…so…as I’m looking at the studios and prominent designers like Tobias Van Schneider (also self taught), I keep wondering “what is it that they have that I can’t seem to grasp?”, “why does their work seem so rich and meaningful, while mine feels like it’s been done by a badly callibrated AI?” (at least to me). I believe I could do much better oce I grasp that elusive factor! I also produce music and I have a workflow that grants me a certain quality standard and I want to do the same in design, create a workflow that will allow to produce good if not great work on a consistent basis.
Two months ago I positioned myself as a studio called BLAKBOX and I haven’t had a project since than. I’m sick and tired of Upwork, low-impact material and meaningless projects and I wanna do real design!
So here it is, my portfolio: https://blakbox.org/
I’d love your input on it, guys. Look at it as if you haven’t just read all this, as if you were a client or another agency. Be honest, and tell me, is my design really that bad? Btw, all of these projects are the result of my “brain farts”…and some of them people keep asking about (Frostar beer, Nexus). Maybe I’m being too self critical, but maybe I’m missing something crucial.
What do you think, how do I break out of this mental-shit hole? How do I close the gap? Does any of you also struggle with such things? Is it because I haven’t gone to college? Were you in college, did you learn something that sets you apart from non-formally educated designers? Do you notice the difference?
Anyway, thanks a ton, I hope this topic even helps someone to not feel so alone in this, in case there is someone who suffers the same dilema as me.
Thank you again for your time and have a great day!