Learning a new instrument in different ways

paint brushes in jar
Made in Canva

Instruments don’t always mean something you play tunes with. I can play a real instrument like a recorder and a piano/synthesizer with one hand but that’s not what I had in mind. I mean the instruments/tools you use in your work or hobby. Even doctors and surgeons use instruments in their jobs but they are not for playing a song with. An instrument can also be a metaphor. For example, a parent knows how to handle their kids because they have an instrument/tool for it. They have a way to calm their kids and so on. The instruments I’m gonna write about is things mostly creative people use in their work.

From a writer point of view, a pencil and paper can be the instrument. Maybe not when blogging because then technical devices are being used. Or maybe someone does in some way but I don’t. When I write a story then I use pencil and paper because I can think better about the plot. Things that are hand-written is pretty rare these days. Even letters are written with some other instrument. The problem with writing by hand is the slowness and that your hand get tired. Sometimes I write on the laptop because it’s faster. I actually like writing on the keyboard. It’s easier to find mistakes because the computer is correcting automatically. And if there are words you don’t know how to spell, you can find them online. You can still do that when you write by hand but not that quickly.

handwritten

Photographers, web and graphic designers also have instruments. Camera, photo editing etc. Adobe programs are the most used. It really depends on what kind of instruments you need and what you want to work with. I know Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Dreamweaver. Now I’m trying to learn After Effect where you can make animated stuff. It’s much harder to learn than I thought. It’s like video editing but more confusing. I still don’t really get it. I’ve tried to do tutorials but I haven’t got any decent results. But it’s still new to the whole thing so maybe I get it when I use it. People who are using it like pros and their work are great. I probably won’t use it to anything but it would be nice to at least know something about it. I’m not bravado enough to become a motion designer but it’s a skill there is no harm to have. I want to know how to play multiply instruments when it comes to design. I like to be as versatile as possible. It actually goes with the most things I do. I would get bored if I didn’t have a change from time to time.

Retire or keep on trying

two red wooden chairs
Made in Canva

Sometimes I wonder if I should just retire and forget everything. But I’m too young to do so. If I retired my pension would be quite small. I’m a healthy person and I have no serious problems that could affect my daily life. Every time I see someone who has got a job through an internship or got some great experiences from something, I get this worthless feeling about myself. Other people get things done and all I’m doing is thinking about it. They are also given a chance. If I was offered a job, for example, I would consider taking it. Things like that only happen to others.

You shouldn’t compare yourself to others but in some things, you can’t help it. For me, it’s design skills. I wish I was as confident in it as I am with writing. I have this thought in the back of my head that someone is saying, “even I could do that” Someone actually said that about a photograph I took once. What worries me about my designs is the opinion that it isn’t anything special. I had the same feeling when I got feedback from the teacher about an assignment in graphic design at Helsinki Design School. It was just a feeling and it doesn’t mean they really meant it that way. Now when I see work from current students, I feel even worse because the works are actually good. They’ve had ideas I would never have thought of. In the end, it’s the clients who choose who they want to hire and not what you’re teacher have told you about your assignments. I can’t see anyone hiring me though because my work isn’t amazing. Only average and no one wants to pay for something they can do themselves.

It’s kind of silly to retire when I haven’t done much. Or maybe having unfinished business is the better description. I feel useless and unwanted when it comes to working. You’re either wanted for an internship nor part-time work. Not getting any work experience in your own field is even worse. I have done another job application that isn’t in my field but I don’t know if that will change one bit. I suck at writing applications because I never know what to write. It’s so stressful so I wish I could retire from job search altogether. That’s probably the only thing I want to retire from. But as long as I’m at the age that I can work, I have the obligation (or forced) to do the job searching thing. All you can do is keep on trying and hope for the best.

Please drop me a bag of confidence at my door

confidence word in a bag
Made in Canva

I wish I was as confident in design as I am at writing fan fiction. I can use my imagination in that but not when it comes to other creative things. I feel I never gonna be any good. Even in the school assignments we have at Helsinki Design School feel like I have no talent at all. I can do crap probably but nothing someone would pay me for. Especially when it comes to drawing and illustrations. One of the assignments is to make a poster about your city or make something up. It should work as an outdoor advertisement. I make one of my city. I have this thought in my head the feedback will be “it looks too computerized” Like I got in the feedback on the Christmas card I did. I have the ideas but when it comes to making them, it’s totally different. Drawing on a computer isn’t easy when you only have a mouse. But I don’t think I can draw that well on a paper either. Please drop me a bag of confidence at my door because all I do is putting myself down. Posting drawings online or photos don’t get much attention. People just want to be nice instead of telling me how bad they look. If you got nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all, I suppose. The ability to draw isn’t important in graphic design though. There are so many better ones out there. If every designer could draw, there would be more unemployed illustrators. I shouldn’t feel bad about not knowing to draw because I’m good at other things.

There are so many good graphic designers so you feel like you’re garbage compared to them. I watched on Youtube a few portfolios where people show with motion graphics what they’ve studied and what projects they worked on. Most of them are in their 20s. How can you compete with them? They get a job before you ever do. I wish I knew at 20 what I wanted to do. Maybe I would got better or realised I’m not good enough and I would start over with something else. You need to have good ideas when you work with design but mine is not. I never get any new perspectives or fresh ideas. It feels like I’m not made for design. But there are other people who think the same some time in their life. It’s called imposter syndrome. Anyone can feel they’re not good enough. Also in life, you can feel you’re lying to yourself about your abilities. You don’t get better overnight. It takes time. I just hope it won’t take for years for me.

Design is not the only thing I don’t have enough confidence in. Also starting something on my own. It seems I won’t find a job in the open market. All they want is someone with years of experience and almost perfect skills. And young of course. Finland now has a new government but that won’t change anything when it comes to job search. If you have your own business there’s a lot of bureaucracy and also all about making a brand etc. It would be easier to get a job with someone else but when you can’t get one, what can you do. I keep thinking about this situation I’m in and there is no way out. If I don’t have confidence in my graphic design skills, how can I feel confident in entrepreneurship? I keep my goals small and one of them is finishing this graphic design education. What comes after that is a mystery.