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.
I’m gonna tell you a little about how it is to study in Helsinki Design School. First a bit about it. It’s a private school and it’s situated in the centre of Helsinki. In school, you can study e.g. fashion design, interior design, photography and graphic design (the one I study right now) I’ve also studied photography there so my angle of the educations is from experience. We meet twice a month (Friday and Saturday) and we get two assignment that needs to be finished until the next meeting. The teachers give professional feedback. The grades are from 1 to 5. The education language is Finnish.
There are different angles to look at it. I’ve read online about how someone thinks the school doesn’t give you a real diploma. Another one is, people shouldn’t waste time and money studying there. Go to a real school, they say. Well, Helsinki Design School is real. Just because it’s a private school, it doesn’t mean it’s fake. Private schools in Finland is not that common so people think only local schools have real educations. But that’s where they are wrong. So it’s isn’t cheap to study there but there are much more expensive schools in the world. Besides, here the teachers are professionals in their own field. They know how it is in the design business. You get to go to places you wouldn’t usually go. The school is under a year but you get to learn a lot. It really depends on how you look at things. If you look for instant success, you’re in the wrong school. If you’re not looking for a long education or you’re not really sure what you want to be, then this school is good for you.
So far the graphic design education has been interesting. Even if some of the subjects are familiar (like the Adobe programs) I still have learned new things. I always got the assignment ready in time. I’ve expected the grades would be the lowest which is 1 but I haven’t. It just proves I’m not that bad after all. My goal is not getting a 5 because grades are only numbers. It’s the feedback that counts. It’s a big plus that I know how to use the tools so I’m not totally novice. If I was a beginner the assignments would probably be more difficult to do. We are about 40 students so the class is quite full. But you can always ask your classmates if you need help. It’s always nice to go to school when the subjects are interesting and the atmosphere in the classroom is great. I didn’t regret the photography course and I don’t regret this one either. If your hopes are too high, it can disappoint. During the course, we’re making a portfolio of our best work and we’re gonna present it in front of the class the second last day. This Friday and Saturday it’s time to wake up early again but it’s worth it. I’m actually really excited to go back and learn new things.
Every school has its downsides and Helsinki Design School is no exception. I know a few who didn’t get what they wanted from the photography course. Some even quit because it disappointed them so much. In some things, it did disappoint me but that’s not really the school’s fault. The course was quite new then and it had its downside. It didn’t help me get a job or contacts. Some employers don’t really appreciate people who studied at this school which is a shame since you really do learn how the industry works. What I did get from this school was working in a photo studio, old school photography and visiting an advertising agency. It also ensured me that photography is not something I want to do for a living after all. I don’t remember much about what I learned there though. Some have found success after they went to this school so maybe the school isn’t as useless as someone might think.
I don’t look for success. I applied because I wanted to add another skill to my resume. I’m not satisfied with only one skill. I’m the happiest when I can do different things. Versatility is the key and that’s the reason why I want to learn different things. Helsinki Design School is perfect for me. I don’t have time to study for years. The length of the education is long enough and I can do other things too. That’s why I applied for the internship I wrote about in an earlier post. (FYI, I did get an interview) It would be a great addition to this education. In school, you learn the basics but you learn the best in a real life situation. Every person needs the motivation to continue with things they like the best and this is mine.
Another new year is here. It’s 2019 and another opportunity to plan ahead. But to anticipate the future is the hardest thing. Don’t ask me what I do in 5 years because I don’t even know what I do next week. I can only wish things but they won’t become reality. Life should be full a surprises and not something you plan ahead. People make bucket lists or make new years resolutions. I don’t make neither of them. It’s a waste of time and they never come true anyway. I don’t hesitate with decisions. I just hate rushing things.
Having so many disappointments in life, you don’t expect much. You appreciate the things you got. People usually complain about things they don’t have. I don’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t see anything good in anything. I always try to see good things in everything. I didn’t plan my life to be in the state it is now. But the past is the past. I only want to look forward. I can look back at the past for a moment but then move on.
There is at least one thing to look forward to this year. A certain thing that really is going to happen. That is the graphic design course I’m on. It ends in June. There is still things to learn and things to do. One is a portfolio that we’ve gonna present in front of the class. I hope that goes well because I don’t like public speaking. I’m not as nervous about that as I was before. Of course, it’s easy to say it now. I can never anticipate how things like that will go. I know when I get there. I haven’t started planning the portfolio yet so I don’t know what I put in it. It’s not the first time I make a portfolio so there are no problems in that. The thing is what work to put in it. The other thing is what to tell about the assignments I’ve done. Finding what your strength is also difficult. The best thing about presenting your portfolio is straight feedback from the teacher. It’s a long way to the presentation day so no need to stress about it.