Graphic Designer – Torn Between His Fears and Creativity!

Introduction

The kind of fear which I shall tackle in this article is an every day feeling or phenomenon. Fear is a totally human reaction and feeling disregarding man’s age, looks, nerves, muscles or how bold he/she is. From the psychological point of view, fear is defined as one of the basic senses or emotions that man feels. However, it may accompany anger, pleasure, grieve, or sadness. Generally speaking, fear is associated with those emotions emanating from real tangible or intangible dangers. But, it stands in the opposite side with concern or yearning, which are normally resulting from a surprise, threat, danger of whatsoever.

Fear may appear when a man is exposed to an embarrassing or humiliating situation, or when watching others undergoing such fear themselves, or when receiving some horrific news. Frequency or long exposure to fear may lead a man to a state of lack of balance, especially when a man resists his fatigue, emotional setbacks, agitation, the organic changes he is undergoing resulting from the nervous apparatus, like increased rate of adrenaline, abnormal cardiac beats, which are all accompanied by excessive sweating, dry mouth and other symptoms. But, this is not the case at all. The case is, how can the graphic designer face this fear ? How can her control such fear in a positive way? How can he succeed to make use of his fears in a creative way?

This phenomenon is widely known among graphic designers regardless of their professionalism, but it hits it utmost levels among graphic design students. However, it takes a special form when it is brought to the work with all its problems. It stems from two main sources: Insufficiency of the student, and the expanding gap between what he has learned and the market demands. The other case is the inconsistency between the student and his co-workers, i.e. lack of a language of communication between the two. Insufficient knowledge of the task of the graphic designer, would also create an awkward situation to the designer himself and would lead him to frustration and tension.

Like other creative men, a graphic designer needs to live a unique state of creativity by which he can reach the climax by producing a complete work which realizes the long aimed hopes. Living such a state would require him to bring out a design, which is a simple and direct visual means of communication that penetrates deeply into the conception of the receiver.

But, where can this case be ?

How does the concept evolve ?

How can the graphic designer reach to a state of both creativity and invention? Both states mainly rely on the ability of the designer to overcome the state of confusion and uncertainty, which usually starts with the initial steps of concepts evolution. Afterwards, such state would gradually develop and turn to fear. It is quite essential that the designer should overcome his fears by overlooking this state, which the fear might reach.

To overcome this barrier, the designer should have three main things:

1- Self-awareness ,

2- Self-acceptance, and

3- Self-respect.

These conditions and perquisites can help the designer maintain his ideas, and the tools of executing them. On owning such conditions, the designer will be able to utilize and employ his personal potentialities, and be open to creative and artistic ideas and experiences. They would enable him to explore the truth, and to be responsible in his feelings, behaviors and practices. These main aspects would form an ideal setting to encourage the designer to work either alone or within a team, with a positive effect and outcomes which will guide him towards creativity.

However, creativity, or lets say “creative thinking”, and problem-solving skills largely depend upon the designer’s ability to organize and classify his information, and extract the important and useful pieces of information. To realize this, he should be acquainted with the required work, his environment, the message he intends to deliver, and the means to execute his ideas. All these would grant him a kind of self-protection and defense to his ideas. He would always be strong to break down his confusion and fear.

When would fear & creativity be created?

Both professional and non-professional designers have their shares in these feelings, no matter where they are or how old they are. It is a quite common phenomenon among workers if this creative field. But, graphic designers would reflect these feelings quite differently from the others. They work with high sense of professionalism and efficiency to convey a certain message to a certain audience, to present a certain service or a product in an attractive and distinctive way. Naturally, it is not necessary that the graphic designer has a belief in what he is creating; instead, he should employ his ideas or deigns to satisfy the desires of the client.

Here comes fear and concern. The good graphic designer may wish to realize perfection in his pieces of arts, by introducing a simple and good idea, a unique theme, unused before, and implementing it in a different way using distinctive techniques. We believe that these are the conditions of any creative work on invention, and they reflect the personality of the inventor himself, and therefore they should contribute to create a state of fear or concern which may lead to some kind of imbalance, they would identify the designer’s potentialities intuition and intelligence in overcoming this ordeal.

We must not ignore the correlation between graphic design and the different aspects of life, i.e. cultural, economic, political, social and other, which keep forcing themselves upon the designer. It would necessitate that he become informative and educated in various aspects of life. This would be a vital requisite in any advertising or media equation. The graphic design has become one of the most significant industries today. It is closely related to information technology and computer sciences. Moreover, a graphic designer is measured by his ability to speaking the Era’s language fluently!

Therefore, we realize that the task if the graphic designer whether he was a student or a worker is very difficult, because it requires a great deal of reading, development, competency, personal abilities, and technical skills. It is not enough that the graphic designer knows how to use the design programs, or software, simply because now every one can master them so easily, but he should be able to develop his techniques and qualifications, just like the driver. Still, the most important thing of all is the ability to create and idea and implementing it. This is and integral part of creativity and which would finally contribute to realize higher expectations. The most creative, informative, conscious, and knowledgeable graphic designers are those who can completely controls their fears and concerns. When a graphic designer reaches that level, he would be so mature and most capable of completing the work even if he was under pressure and would reach creativity at the end.

Unfortunately, fear and concern are a wide spread phenomena among higher studies students of graphic design or designers who explore the labor market. Academically, the state of confusion which the student or the employee undergo is but a part of the fear which the academic plan would create, or the method adopted by the executers of this plan or that. It is also attributed to the absence of accurate specialization among people of graphic design, absence of correct understanding to the identity of the designer to be made, multiple producing bodies of this cadre, lack of a clear strategy to gather all these people and identify the components of the producer (or the type of designer) and the wrong mix between knowledge of computer and concept of graphic design.

People working in the graphic design are living this fear, concern and confusion, and what complicates the matter is the absence of the real criteria of the graphic designers, that is accepted in this realm. Moreover, what add to this problem are the lack of taste among the clients and their ignorance of the role played by the designer, the chaos and disorganization in the market, and the mixing between the academic and the non-academic graphic designer.

However, due to the limited scope of this paper, it wont be proper to address this subject elaborately. I will explore it in another paper.

How to identify the sate of fear among the graphic designers ?

There is some kind of integration between the hidden personality and behaviors of the graphic designer, and what he doesn’t want anyone to about him. Therefore, we are looking for a designer who is a real leader, and who can control his hidden shadow, giving the fact that this shadow is a strong and powerful personality currying a large suitcase, he know what is there inside it, he knows as what he takes out of it, and he knows as well what he can put inside. He should be able not to waste the first part of his life filling that suitcase with things, and wasting the other half emptying the same suitcase ! This is what actually reflects a huge instability, insecurity, and a struggle with the first half of his life.. or just accept it the way it is and try to deal with the other half. !

Designer’s shadow is the mask that he wears to hide many facts.. trying to choose a mask which suits the world he is searching for to gain the acceptance or help.

Indeed, we admit that the designer is like any one else, he also has weaknesses and strengths. The other mask which the designer may wear id the strength factor. It reflects his physical, conceptual, social, economic stability, and which we consider the major components for success and creativity. Doubtless to say that fear helps to intensify a state of physical, psychological and conceptual depression which leads to negative results, especially if the designer does not possess the components to absorb the shock, contain the consequences, correct the matters, and to direct them in a way he deems appropriate.

Here, we are not calling for facing fear, but, we call the designer for learning some tricks to contain fear and to terminate it by encouraging hi to identify the objectives and find means to realize them, identifying his own potentialities, upgrading his talents and qualification by increasing his knowledge, experiences, practice and training to realize some kind of physical and psychological comfort. In addition to that, belief in ones abilities and self-encouragement is a kind of an intellectual and mental sport, and some of the main tools that would enable the designer to overcome his fears. Knowledge is an indispensable requisite and nourishment to the mind and soul with useful information in addition to the physical sport would all contribute to face fears, promote one’s experiences and self-confidence.

Fears and creativity: Opposite Powers

Whenever there is fear, there will be stagnation, strangling one’s abilities and willingness to stat far from moving forward, preventing any attempts to resurrect once again with richer production, and would lead to seclusion and

to a paralyzed life, empty of vigor and ambition.

And whenever you see creativity, you find pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, balance, stability, strong-will and above all, challenge.

Now, lets take a closer look to these expression, how did they change and develop, when we tackle fear and creativity. This is similar to asking two little children to draw a picture. One would reject the idea, maybe out of fearing that others might mock at him, while the other is bashful, chaotic, he would take the brush and colors and draws what jumps to his mind uncaring of what others think about his work. This is called challenge. One is challenging to overcome his fears, rejection, failure and as a way of change & innovation.

Creativity is a symbol of life changing. It is a motivation to overcome a feeling of threat of anything that is new, even if was produced out of change. It is a motivation to develop the ability, strengthen the willingness and call for innovation and transformation in both public and personal life. Leaders, businessmen and graphic designers would not become great, successful, and creative if they wouldn’t become innovative and moving forward in firm steps towards adventure and prosperity.

How can you defeat your fears? It is by seeing things as they are in reality, trying to accept them, believing in them, and endeavoring to look at them with different perspectiveH try to handle them in a completely untraditional, way, especially when you embark on building a concept, implement it, and adapt with your surrounding because deep in your heard you know that unusual, untraditional things would make a creative designer of yourself. Hence, creativity is having a designer doing anything without fear, the fear from rejection or failure, and from losing control, and be open to everything that is exceptional and different.

Creativity is a deep belief in that every form of difference or change is a positive state more than a negative one. Because there is a stat of change.. Because there is an ability to see extraordinary things, to find a different and untraditional answer to every question, and the ability to create and to execute an idea, and tackle it in a very unique and unprecedented way.

That’s why we say that fear and creativity are two opposite powers. One of them is confined on itself and vanishes, and the other grows and persist, bringing to the researcher dozens of questions which help him to reach to better results, with a very traditional thinking which thinks in the present and in the future in a different perspective, that is armed with the tendency to innovation, and admiration and interest in everything that is different and unique.

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