Design Principles and Technique
When one begins to learn design principles and technique, it is natural to imitate. No one picks up a guitar and just creates, without first learning Smoke on the Water, Smells Like Teen Spirit or some other classic rock anthem. Designers are the same. And it’s the most necessary step.
“How many hours does it take to master something?” Type that into Google and a big, bold “10,000 hours” will appear. To me, that estimate is much too low. Think about it. A forty-hour a week employee will work 2,000 hours a year. Do you become a master at something in five years? I think you’re barely done imitating at that point.
But it is critical in these years not to be limited to a single source of inspiration. Diversify your thinking and influences. Push yourself to grow. Not to become a master, but to eventually find your own voice.
Mastery is overrated –it may even be impossible. To me, it’s not about the summit; it’s about finding your own path to the top of the mountain. That’s much more interesting.