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The 5 mental faculties

1. Common sense*

Showing sound and prudent judgment.

As a designer our creative motivation is like a wild fire. We get excited and high on possibilities when involved with a project. One thing we need to rein in - is to balance creativity with grounded self-discipline towards meeting our clients expectations and intrinsic limitations of a project.

Don't hesitate to consult wise colleagues on issues. Definitely exercise it when getting the client's brief.


2. Imagination*

The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality.

This is the inner theatre where images, ideas, concepts and words are projected. This is the quintessential quality for a designer; without it might as well change profession. One thing I've learned over the years is to never take for granted these projections. Write them down, sketch them and store them for future references. A bank of ideas is always a good starting place when embarking on a new project.


3. Fancy*

A liking based on whim rather than reason; an inclination. (whim*: a sudden, capricious, or eccentric idea or impulse).

This is what I call the trend setting new design style arising trap. We spend years acquiring a personal signature and being exposed and wanting to learn form the work of others (which indeed is necessary). But, all of a sudden, we experience the *fancy* syndrome. Deep down, starting to wish you could do just like that and/or be just like that... Sounds familiar? Well you get the point. Being a designer is having this marvelous capacity to absorb, synthesize and translate new ideas into our own. We can't be the *other*! Accept this humbly and be yourself.


4. Estimation*

Approximation of the value, worth, or significance of (something).

Another aspect that is - how can I say - almost the secret of the gods - is how to calculate the worth of a project. What a task it is, to acquire the experience to evaluate the expected cost (and profit) of a job. Though this might seem like a lesser issue - in a designer's life - this is called the *survivor skill*. Have not - design not!

Would it be interesting for you to learn and share more upon the how of this? Use the comments link below to let me know.


5. Memory*

An individual's ability to remember experience in general or to recall particular experiences.

Through our *imagination* talent and expression capabilities - have you not ever wondered how we actually memorize our experiences? Do you - after a project is completed - ponder on what went well and especially, what went wrong? Do you always find somebody/something to blame or are you capable of accepting that your lack of experience was the culprit? What useage do you make of this introspection, in your next projects?

Experience takes time - that's why we start as junior and years pass (usually) before becoming a senior designer. Don't jump or try to jump stages in your profession. This will make for a more satisfying career.

Hope these words boost your determination. Never give up!


* definitions: The New Penguin English Dictionary.


Article: Feed your talent: Don't kid yourself!

-> next: What do you think of FLASH (everywhere)???


Editorials by Carole Guevin


Essays — ethics — business of design — brain bytes — digital creative culture.

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