Knowing When to Stop

In reading through the post LESSONS LEARNED – CLASS OF 2013, there were many comments from students that stood out to me as relevant to my own experience. One piece of advice in particular with which I immediately felt connected was the student who simply said, “Know when to stop.”  I tend to be a perfectionist and am known to continue working on assignments until the very last second, making sure that every last detail is perfect. While this can often be a beneficial strategy, after a while it begins to be counterproductive as I start second-guessing every last aspect of my work. I can see this becoming a problem with design, where constantly moving things around to get it “just right” ends up hurting the original concept and taking away from the idea of the piece in the first place. Although it is important to work carefully and to go over designs a number of times, it will be important for me to take a minute to step back, let the piece breathe, and accept what is on the page in front of me.

This also ties in with other students’ advice to “sleep on it,” meaning to take a few hours or even a few days to let a design settle in your mind before changing anything. Sometimes when you become so focused on a set idea in your head, it can be difficult to explore new possibilities and make the piece as great as it possibly can be. Along with my perfectionist nature comes a sense of impatience, and unhappiness when the vision in my head is not immediately translated on to the page. I’m hoping that through this class I can manage to listen to these pieces of advice in order to slow down my creative process and take advantage of the many ideas inside my head.


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