How designers survive

How can a Designer survive in a world where “everybody can be a designer”?

How can you survive as a designer in a world where “everybody is a designer”?

Technology has made us all the same.

People started to ask themselves why they would pay you to do something they could do at home.

Everybody now has a copy of Illustrator, Photoshop or any form of design software. In addition the internet has made once exclusive design tools accessible to everyone.


If everyone has the same tools to work with, designers have to offer something that people can’t do themselves. Something they don’t have. Something that will make them come to you.


In other words, What will make you different?

Don't worry, we got your back!


These simple steps will make you the ONE!


First of all You have to Innovate!


People may have got the tools to design for themselves. What they can’t get are your incredible ideas!

If you have a portfolio full of thoughtful, well imaginative ideas, people will come to you for your creative potential, as well as technical ability.

We know it's not your first time to hear that and we know that it's easy to say this and harder to do and of course you need an income to support your living.

But all it takes is one small step to get on the way to refreshing yourself and breaking bad habits.

If you live just to earn your daily bread, perhaps you need to rethink. As a creative, you can choose to work with things that inspire you and make you stay motivated. choose that quickly because time moves so fast around us and it's easy to get stuck in one way of working, the way you've always done things. So push yourself to change and make sure you're passionate about what you spend the majority of your working life on.

Do that and you eventually you will be earning your daily bread from what you love and passionate about.

Second: To infinity and beyond!

Adding value is a quick way to prove yourself.

For example:

If you’re doing up a logo for someone, send along two or three mock ups near the end.

You could do a corporate identity mock up, or simple one item mock ups.

This will might have taken them all day to do up, but only takes you a couple of minutes.

Imitation is a great way to make things more “real” for clients. It helps them get excited about the work.


Be Careful, that's not the end of it, You have to push yourself higher.

So start out by trying to do things differently every day. Open your mind to creating by hand. If you're only creating by hand then open your mind to start creating digitally or something else entirely.

Push yourself higher each time! 

Third: Too good to resist!


This doesn't just mean you have only to be good, you have to let people see how good you are as well, they have to watch your art as if it's a masterpiece. 

Make sure your portfolio has all of your best art and always up to date work in it.

Make the portfolio itself beautiful. Choose a theme for your online portfolio that matches your touch and your style. Looking at all of your great work assure clients why they are putting out their money for a professional designer or should we say Artist.


By raising your own bar and ambition and by pushing your ideas and inspirations down, you will see a change in your results.

Be too good to resist.


Fourth: Give Back!

Pay back to the design community and to your clients.

You can give back by anything you can afford like:

templates, blogging, uploading freebies and tutorials to your website or a little free design work for charity causes.

If you even can't afford that, then create a side-project in your spare time. Do it with friends or family. Just make sure you do something that you feel passionate about and that can help others to succeed as you did.

All of that will help you to be the first person people think of when they think design.


After you know those steps to the heart, or have done them already ..

Feeling mentally exhausted and overwhelmed with the demands of your creative work, you are not alone!

This is something many designers experience throughout their careers.


We know how difficult it can be to flex those creative muscles when you feel mentally checked out. So, here are eight creative designers sharing with  how they deal with burnout and get in a better headspace, so the next time you feel burnout, lean on these designers’ advice to get back to your creative spark and your best work.


"Give yourself some creative freedom"

Usually, I hit burnout because my client work isn’t allowing for the same kind of creative freedoms as my personal work. So, I look for a middle ground. I ask myself what kind of client work I would want, think of local businesses that fit that mold, and turn their “re-brand” into a personal creative project. That way, there’s an off-chance that my personal work may end up being picked up by a business and used even though I created within my own guidelines.

- Joey Bareither


"Engage in physical activity"

I think of creativity as a form of problem-solving, and problem-solving wears me out. Just like athletes, creatives need rest days — only it’s our brains, not our bodies that need the respite. When I hit a wall, I take a day or two off and fill it with physical activity. Swimming and cycling are my favorites. This seems counter-intuitive, but it gives my brain a chance to recharge. It also helps me sleep much better which, in turn, produces my best ideas. When I get back to work, I find that the increase in productivity and motivation make up for any time lost.

- Will Dove


"Check-in with yourself"

When I start to feel burnout creeping in, I check in with my most basic needs as a human: Am I sleeping enough? Eating well and hydrating? Getting up from my desk to move around and get some fresh air? Making sure to take care of myself helps me to do better work and keeps burnout from becoming an overwhelming distraction from the things I need to do.

-Meghan Lambert


"Distance yourself from work"

Creative burnout is nothing to be ashamed of and has nothing to do with your worth, talent, or skills. Once I’m stuck, the only thing that helps me is to take a break and allow myself to get some distance from my work. Depending on what I need and why I feel burned out, I either take a rest, do sports, pursue a hobby that has nothing to do with my work, or follow a tutorial to develop my skills and learn something new. Nowadays, I’m very strict about doing something small everyday that fuels me and prevents burnout.

- Anna Wassmer

"Lean on friends & mentors"

Burnout is like a magnetic field that keeps your pencil from moving. To get through it, I lean on my creative friends or mentors. Let me tell ya — your creative mentors and friends can see the potential in you and spark a flame into your work. I can’t tell you countless times at the studio when I don’t think I can push through an idea and my studio mates see this and push me to step away, laugh a little bit, and know it isn’t the end of the world. Encouragement is key push through my burnouts. Sometimes we all just need a little support and a reminder that you are AWESOME!

- Kristen McGriff


"Allow yourself to hit pause"

My go-to strategy when I feel creative burnout creeping up is to give myself permission to pause and shift gears into something totally different; which for me could be my guitar, my bicycle, go for a walk, a video game, call a friend, etc. Even if I have a tough deadline, those things help me through and to learn how to be more preventative.

- Katie Chandler


"Change your environment & reignite your passion"

Creative burnout can and will happen. I don’t have a method that always works so I usually try a few methods, I call it creative inspiration troubleshooting. Change your environment — I work in our retail store but there are millions of distractions here. Working from home allows me to relax, stay focused, and chill with my cat and dog all day.

Also, remind yourself why you love design. It’s easy to feel uninspired when a project you’re working on isn’t your favorite. Look at your favorite designers' work. Get excited about design and remind yourself why you’re doing it in the first place.

- Mark Johnston


"Try something new"

I’ve found the best way to handle burnout is to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. We all spend countless hours drawing and designing and prototyping, so the most important thing is to build a healthy routine around that and keep things exciting. I like to channel my creativity into something different.

If I feel like my creative juice is running low, I take some time off work and focus on a different creative thing instead. I try out a new recipe or practice writing or go out and take a couple of pretty pictures with my phone (who needs a fancy camera these days eh?). This helps me stay inspired, so I can go back to my projects with a fresh head and some new ideas.

- Lilla Bardenova



Let us hear from you,

How do you deal with burnout as a creative Designer ?