How Salvador Dali Can Help You With A Designer’s Complex

11.08.2015 | 3 min read

Being a designer is awesome! Especially when you love what you do. But what should one do if the imagination is flamed out because of endless amount of projects? Where can one find new ideas and inspiration? Where is this damn muse hiding?!

A new project needs to be presented but you don’t feel up to hold a pencil in your hand. Your moleskine is getting dusty and it lies somewhere in the corner. Even scrolling a Dribbble or Behance or any similar resource doesn’t throw more wood into the fire of your imagination.

Frankly speaking, don’t panic, because there’s nothing to fear at all. Every designer faces this feeling, even the ones who are your personal gurus. We’re just mere mortals and creative block is typical for all of us.

I’d like to share my own experience of fighting against the apathy caused by the lack of worthy ideas. Let me tell you a story of Salvador Dali’s entering to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. In 1922 Salvador was painting a picture in order to enter the academy. He was painting it for 8 days and 7 nights. The day before demonstrating his composition he considered it cheesy and he started hating it. Dali grabbed it ragingly and tossed into the fireplace. It burned to ashes and his work vanished without a trace.

He panicked when he realized what he had done. Salvador needed to demonstrate something else in order to be accepted to the academy. The night before the deadline he drew another picture, hating it even more, but it was too late. He brought the picture for the presentation: the committee was looking at it thoroughly for a long time and then decided to arrange a conference for evaluation. They came back in a while (it took ages for Salvador) and they announced the picture was… a masterpiece!

I call it a painter’s complex. “Designer’s complex” in our case.

Don’t try to do everything perfectly. There’s no limit to perfection – that’s what kills our imagination. If you reject all the ideas present in your head trying to find the perfect solution, you drive yourself into the creative block with your own hands. Remember what is the most important: you’re a designer and there’s something behind your choice of this path. You are capable of many things. Your imagination is infinite and it hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s just impossible.

Make your decisions easily, the project you’ve done today may become a masterpiece for your client, no matter how critically you take it. Don’t underestimate yourself, just close all those tabs and start drawing, because you’ve already seen millions of other people’s works – some of them may cause a feeling that other designers are better than you and you’ll probably think you won’t be able to create something similar.

It’s not true! Use the “Get shit done” rule.

Stop whining, your presentation is tomorrow, so sit down and get shit done!

Vitaliy is a graphic designer, sketch-equipped warrior and visual communicator with an eye on innovation. He can transfer his vision while creating epic masterpiece.

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