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Learn The Mental Aspects Of Being A Successful Designer

by Designhill Tweet - in Webinar

Successful Designer

Graphic designing is not an easy job to do when it comes to building a successful career out of it. Many designers fail to take this job to the next level and get stuck to where they were 10 years ago. That is because they are ignorant of some crucial mental aspects of being a successful designer. To help them, Designhill conducted an online session with expert Ognjen Topic giving valuable tips to build a great career as a graphic designer.

When we hear of celebrity graphic designers and see their works, we normally tend to take them as highly talented people. But that is not the whole story. They are talented but there is a lot more going behind the scenes.

The fact is that such graphic designers cleverly manage a lot of things. They know how to address the mental aspects that they go through during their career. For instance, they understand what is their end goal and how to achieve it despite the pressure. They know how to cash in an opportunity and how to be determined and disciplined.

So, to address this issue, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace conducted an online workshop on: Learn The Mental Aspects of Being A Successful Designer. The workshop was conducted with the expert Ognjen Topic.

Ognjen Topic shared his experience on different mental aspects of being a successful designer. He showed how to manage your fear and deal with different pressures and how to focus.

About Ognjen Topic

Ognjen Topic is an award-winning graphic designer and Founder, Topic Creative with 17 years of experience in design. He is a Serbian-born American Muay Thai Kickboxer and holds several Muay Thai world titles and has fought some of the sport’s top competitors. Ognjen is a three-time world champion in Muay Thai.

In this post, we’ve shared the video of the session and transcript in the form of Q/As where you will be learning everything about the mental aspects of being a successful designer.

Transcript (Q/A): Follow These Tips To Take Care Of Mental Aspects While Building Your Successful Design Career.

Ognjen Topic: These are the topics that I will be covering today to understand the mental aspects of being a successful designer:

  1. End goal
  2. Fear
  3. Pressure
  4. Discipline
  5. Doubt
  6. Focus
  7. Opportunity
  8. Efficiency
  9. Determination
  10. Criticism

These are the aspects that I truly believe in and these have helped me be successful as a graphic designer over the years.

01. End Goal

Ognjen Topic: One of the first things that I realized, when I was starting, was understanding what the end goal was. For me, my end goal was, of course, the art, and then I am the Maui Thai fighting. Before making any decisions, you have to ask yourself first, what is the end goal and how will it be affected? Anything in between should not even matter. Because the only thing that will matter is the end goal and how that will come to become fruition?

Find the answers

So, how do you get your answer and realize what the end goal is? You can ask yourself, will I be happy with this decision? Let us say if I want to go out, but then the next day, I need to train, I need to wake up early in the morning. So, you ask yourself, will I be happy with this decision? While Yes, I will probably be happy because I will end up going out with my friends, I will have some fun. But how’s that going to affect my end goal?

So from there, like I was saying before, the end goal is the only thing that matters, anything in between shouldn’t matter. A couple of other things that I will discuss is talking about focus and discipline, and the things there that will, eventually, push forward to. And that will not matter where you have to have the end goal in such.

You do not have to like the process

Another thing is you do not have to like the process, as it just needs to be done. So, if I am working on a logo design, or let us say if I have to train, I do not like to train every day, but my end goal is to become a champion. So, let us say I do not want to study design principles. But I have to study design principles because my end goal is to be a great designer.

So, again, the in-between stuff, the boring stuff that not everybody wants to do, and not everybody wants to work on, has to be put aside. And the only thing that should matter is the end goal.

02. Fear

Useful fear vs Useless fear

Ognjen Topic: The next topic is fear. There are two different fears that I see. These are useful fears and useless fears. So, a useful fear is the fear that you can control. Useless fear is uncontrollable fear.

Fear is where you just get flustered and you are unable to control it. And that is when you start making either bad decisions, or you are going to not be as confident.

Turn negative emotion into positive

Fear usually holds a negative connotation. But as long as you take the fear and change the way you think, then it becomes an easier way for you to deal with fear. So, before I step into the ring, I always have fear and that is just something that is never going to go away. We are all human beings and we all have those same emotions. So, you just have to take that negative emotion that is looked at as negative and turn it into a positive emotion.

So, looking at negative fear as a negative is you know somebody being afraid or maybe you are a coward but you are not afraid you are not a coward. You are just a human being and fear is something that helps you throughout everyday life. Let us say if you are walking across the street, and you have you are gonna have a fear of getting hit. You look left, and you look right just to make sure there is no oncoming, oncoming traffic. Just understand that aspect of fear. Then, you can start controlling it and turning it into something positive that can help you.

Overcoming fear

So, as far as overcoming fear is concerned, know that fear will heighten your senses. As soon as you understand that, then right off the bat, you are going to start by working a lot more efficiently. For example, if I go into a flight, and think about fear negatively, then, of course, I am going to be scared. I am not going to be able to perform.

But if I fall back on my training, then all those senses are just gonna end up being heightened. Now you are going to be able to see everything coming, and you will be a lot sharper. That is how you can overcome fear. So, a million-dollar company approaches you with a big design project. And, maybe you haven’t worked on a lot of designs, or you do not have as much confidence in yourself.

But if you just say to yourself, I will take this project. That is because I know, throughout my training or working on designs for five years, 10 years, I understand the principles of design. So, if you just fall back on your training and the principles of design, then you are going to be able to succeed and in achieving something great for the company. So, that is one way that I always use to overcome fear.

03. Pressure

Ognjen Topic: Pressure can also have a lot of negative aspects on you and a lot of fear. But you just think about pressure as not giving yourself any other choice. It is not just about knowing that you have to go ahead. Then, you will end up succeeding. If you do not succeed, there is always a time where you can question yourself.

Know your interest and pursue it

Is this something true that I want to do for the rest of my life? If the answer is no, then that is okay. There is nothing wrong with that and you find something else. But it may be something that you do want to do for the rest of your life. It may be something that you are passionate about like designing. Then you will always find a way to overcome that pressure and continue.

That is one way to also check yourself and see if it is something worth doing. So, I was in high school, and I wanted to go to college for further art studies. I wanted to be an artist, an oil painter. But I asked myself, how hard do I want to work at being an oil painter? Am I willing to put all that work in to be the best oil painter? There are not too many oil painters out there making a lot of money off of it. Not a lot of great ones that can make a living off of it. And I was not willing to work that hard.

Do what you are passionate about

So, that told me right away that I was not passionate about this. I thought of something that I wanted to work truly hard at. What I did was I chose graphic design, and I chose specifically being a logo designer. I was passionate about that and I wanted to further my career in it. From there, I continued with my studies in logo design.

Another way to overcome pressure is similar to the way you would overcome fear. Just face the pressure to understand how it feels. Once you do overcome the pressure, it is going to be a positive outcome as your confidence is going to go up.

So, let us say you take on that client that is a multimillion-dollar company and they love your logo. Now you can charge a lot more money for the same project. And now you have a lot more confidence and you are a lot more assured in yourself. To take on bigger clients, you can ask yourself, Is this something that I truly want to do? If it is not, you go on to do something else. If it is something that you truly want to do, then you go back and think about the mistakes you made. Then, come back and fix those mistakes, and then you continue again.

04. Discipline

Ognjen Topic: The next one is discipline. You have to have discipline. Mike Tyson had a really good way of describing discipline. According to him, discipline is doing something that you do not want to do, but you do it as you would love it. And that is truly what discipline is. Not only that, but you can not let anybody derail you from achieving your end goal.

So, just ask yourself what is my end goal. Then, you say that you want to be a great designer, an athlete, or a basketball player. Then, you can not stay out late with your friends. That is because the next day you have to work out or you have to finish a design project. And maybe your friends want to go out and party and then you say to yourself. I want to go out and party.

Well, you can do that because you have the discipline to finalize that project. Or, maybe you just want to get better at something. Instead of going out and wasting your time, I do not want to say it is a waste of time. But invest your time in something that is rewarding. So, do not let anybody drill you.

Work toward achieving the goal

Again, there is a goal that needs to come to fruition. You have to work towards that. When it comes to work ethics, work daily and study design, even if it is something that you already know. So, if I finish working on a logo design job. Now, instead of just sitting doing nothing, or maybe watching Netflix or YouTube, I should do something specifically.

Improve on your past works

You may look at something that you need to change for your brand. Maybe you need to upload some newer work for your brand on your website. Or, you are not happy with some designs that you have done. Then, you go back and you change those designs, and you see how they work. So, many times, I go back and work on logos that I have done years ago, I just want to see how I would improve in doing those old designs now today.

You can also always go back and look at design principles. That is always great to look at and to study design principles and how other professionals have achieved great design. And then I think that biography is a great way to learn. Typography is communication and design also is communication.

Don’t leave it to luck

As far as luck goes, I do not believe in luck. I do not think there is such a thing as luck. Because to me, it is like an outside force that has some control over you. There is no outside force that can control me, the only person that can control me, is truthfully me, that is it. So, there is no outside source that can influence you. It is only you.

When somebody tells me that I am lucky, I take that as disrespect. That is because they are saying that something else outside of my work ethic has influenced me to become great. I think it is those years of practice and work that put you into that position.

Do not rely much on motivation

The last one is the motivation for me. A lot of people are always looking and seeking to find new ways to motivate themselves. But we do not need any motivation because motivation is very fleeting. It lasts for a couple of minutes. But when you are supposed to put that work in, motivation runs away from you. Then, there is no motivation.

For example, I need to go to the gym and work out and put the work in for my upcoming fight. If I look at a video that is motivating on the internet, that might be a fun video to watch.

But it is not going to be that fun once I get into the gym and start working out. The only thing that is going to help me get through that tough time is the end goal that I have to meet. And that is the only thing that matters, no motivation, no luck, the only thing that matters is the end goal.

05. Doubt

Accept your doubts

Ognjen Topic: To doubt is very natural, and it is a true reaction. There is always going to be doubt in your life, no matter what you do. When I step into the ring every single time to fight, there is doubt that I do enough work. I have doubts that I have done more hours in the gym. So, that to me is a natural emotion to have.

Control your doubts

But again, it is all about how you control that emotion. If you just take that emotion, and use it positively, change the way you think about it. Then, it is going to become a positive emotion. So, let us say if you take it out, and turn it into a positive emotion, then you can let it fuel you to work harder and smarter.

So, I may say that maybe I have a couple more days left until I submit this project to the company or the client. But let me just go back. And let me look at everything again, collectively as a whole. Let me see if I have done everything that I had to do for this project to be the best that it can be.

Similarly, when I fight every time I step into the ring, there is doubt that I do enough to secure the win. So, I end up working to my benefit, not necessarily harder, but smarter as well. Changing out from something negative into a positive is going to be beneficial to you. it is all about how you think.

06. Focus

Ognjen Topic: Focus is about thinking beyond the obvious. It is just somebody who is extremely focused or, or has a laser vision, on a specific task. But it is more than that. It is about not wasting time and being efficient. If you finish your work earlier, then, you do something else that is going to benefit your end goal even more.

Focus on what your competitor is doing

So, you can always work on your brand, or search for other clients to contact. You have to search for other clients to create contact with because now you are creating opportunities. As far as making better designs, ask yourself how my competition would solve this problem. You have to be always focusing on what your competition is doing.

Also, find out if somebody else has done this design before, and you are always further pushing your design. You can stand out from the competition and have the best possible design for your client. So, you are not just stopping at the first design or first option. You are further pushing forward to create something even better than the client thought of. So, you are always focusing on your work and working to your full potential.

I am also making small little minor adjustments. For instance, you are working on illustrator or Photoshop and zooming to 66,400% which is the maximum amount of zoom there. You are fine-tuning every single detail because it is always those small little new details that are holding the whole infrastructure. It is a base for a house. You must have a good base to have the product or the house stand tall.

07. Opportunity

Ognjen Topic: You must take advantage of opportunities, and you have to create opportunities for yourself. So, being an opportunist to some people has a negative connotation. People think that being an opportunist is like just pushing somebody out of the way. It is just doing everything that you want. I am not talking about that.

Yes, in some cases, you have to do that, if you feel like the person is not beneficial in your life. You have to put them aside and continue your journey specifically. Because you are the only one that is going to be able to meet that end goal. So, if somebody approaches you with a great work opportunity. But you think it is too big for you to handle. You have to take it anyway. That is a huge opportunity for you to have. We can’t succumb to the pressure and the fear that we were talking about before.

Remember, pressure and fear will help you figure out that situation, as long as you put the work in beforehand. So, you know you have five years, 10 years of design work behind you. Then, you have to understand, you have been working on this for days. Every single day you are working on design, and honing your craft. The pressure and fear will help you, it will sharpen all your senses.

So, that way you can overcome the pressure. So, give yourself no choice, but to perform well. And if you fail, then you can go back and make changes or make it better next time. Or, you can say this isn’t for me, just like we were discussing before. So, a lot of these principles are all interchangeable. Once you establish that end goal, then anything in between the pain, the suffering, and the discipline should matter. The only thing that matters is that end goal.

You have to go out and search for clients. I have sponsors that pay me a monthly fee. But some of those sponsors didn’t contact me, I had to go out and search for those sponsors. The only way to find those guys was to search for them. So, if I never searched for those clients or those sponsors, I would have never received that extra income from my sponsor.

Search for clients and sponsors

So, you have to be the one that goes out, you can be embarrassed to search for clients or sponsors. You think they have to search for you. But no, forget about that. There is no embarrassment, do whatever it takes for you to become successful. And again, reach that end goal. So, you have to take chances that will make you stronger.

It is not guaranteed that you’ll always succeed when you take a chance. But if you take a chance, and you win, it will bring your confidence up. If you lose, because of the end goal, you’ll go back and rethink your strategy. That will make you stronger next time. So, taking these opportunities, and creating opportunities are extremely beneficial to your success and the end goal.

08. Efficiency

Work Smartly

Ognjen Topic: You have to be efficient at what you do. So, you are not wasting your time. you are not only working harder. But you are working smarter. So, with your experience, you’ll end up working a lot smarter, instead of harder. That is why experience is so important.

Let us say you do not have 10 years of experience in creating a design. You have to figure out a way to cheat that time and gain more experience by just continually working on your craft. And that is the only way to achieve the cheating experience aspect.

Micromanage Details

As far as micromanagement goes, many people have a negative connotation. They think that it is about controlling everybody. But that is not the case. Like I was saying before, working on those small little new details to me is micromanaging. The details could be like zooming in at 6400 to create the logo. Nobody will ever be able to see at 6400 when it is zoomed in. But if you built that base correctly, that design will stand the test of time.

So, if you are working on a logo design for a military-based company. You do not use the color pink. Instead, you will use a color that has hues of black, green, and gray. Using any other color will be a waste of time. So, that is something like being efficient with your time and your design. Unless you truly think that is going to be a better design, do not waste your time by going on to something else. Do something that is going to be more beneficial to the design and your client as well.

09. Determination

Ognjen Topic: The determination is persisting forward. So, after setting the end goal, you must remain determined to never let it be out of your sight. Finding a way only means to keep moving forward towards the goal by staying determined. So, the only thing that should matter is the end goal.

Be determined to finish the work

Even if you are not passionate about it, you have to be determined enough to continue moving forward. Let us say, your friends want you to party with them. But the next day, you have to wake up early to finish up a design for your client. Then, you have to stay determined to complete that design instead of going out with friends.

Or, maybe that night, you come back at midnight, and you have to work on the design, you have to work on that, that is the determination part. That is the part where you have to stay with that focus vision and not let anything deter you from that angle. So, a determination is something that has also helped me and fuel my drive for that end goal.

10. Criticism

Ognjen Topic: Take criticism, whether it is positive or negative from people. Let us say you want to have a project that you want people to criticize, both negative and positive. To me, both of them have the same amount of value. They both need to be a question and all your instincts will have the answer.

So, what do I mean by instincts? My instincts, I mean the experience that you have accumulated over the years of honing your craft. It comes out of constantly practicing your craft, and also from your experience. So, somebody positively tells you that your design is good. Still, you know that there are things that can be better. You can just take somebody’s opinion of the design but do not believe in everything they say.

You respect this person’s opinion. But could you improve to make this design better? Similarly, somebody tells you that your design isn’t good. But you have already tested that design or the logo by asking yourself questions about it. You are also following design principles that are tested over time. Then, take your intuition and your experience into thinking about your experience and your intuition. You know that you have tested this logo. Then, you shouldn’t take that negative comment as well.

But with that being said, I take positive or negative criticism from everybody. That is because maybe that person with two years of experience says something that may trigger me. Now, I have another idea or another way of achieving something. But chances are, I will most likely end up listening to the person because I trust that person more.

Set the end goal

So, the most important thing, again, is the end goal. Once you establish that angle, everything else has to be pushed aside. So, another example is in my fighting career. There is a lot of pain that you have to go through because this is a physical sport. You are clashing with another person and you are trying to inflict damage on each other. So, I have a lot of injuries already on my body. But these injuries do not stop me from being able to perform these tasks such as training and fighting.

So, yes, I have pain, but that pain is put aside because I can continue forward. I remember that end goal, which is to be a champion at another level. So, the same thing can be used for anything that you want to achieve.

Set small tasks

When the goal is to be a graphic designer, let us know what’s the painful thing for design. Well, the painful thing for design for me is putting in the work to create the logo. I just want to know if I can just press a button and have a logo created for me with my mind behind that. If that can happen, then I do not want to put in the work of creating sketches and ideas and hours of worth of my time spent on that.

But, the work has to be done. There is no other way to achieve that end goal. For a short time, the end goal is to create that logo for the client. And then the long-term end goal is to be one of the greatest logo designers or, or be one of the greatest logo designers in the world. So, it is those small little tasks that set you apart.

Designhill: How to deal with creative burnout after multiple rounds of criticism from superiors?

Step away from design

Ognjen Topic: I think the best way to deal with that is to step away from the design. Anytime you step away from anything, you have been working on for a long period gives you more clarity. You forget about the design, and then you go on to doing something else. Even if you are still designing, you go on to do a different type of project. Maybe something completely different.

Do some other creative work

Instead of doing a logo design, you do some print design, or some quick little exercise for yourself just to challenge yourself. Get your mind away from the original design that you have been doing. And then once you come back like I was saying, you have a lot more clarity. For me, usually, it takes about a day or two days to forget about design and get more clarity. And when I come back, I come back with fresh eyes. That helps me either come up with more ideas, or a completely different set of ideas.

So, I always put that in whenever I am creating a quote for a client. I always put in those extra couple of days for me to be able to step away from the project and think about something else. I know when I come back, it is going to be with a fresh mind, and I will be able to come up with more designs.

Designhill: What are the greatest challenges you record an encounter with in your designing career and how were you able to overcome them?

Creating a good logo is challenging

Ognjen Topic: I think the greatest design challenge was to be able to create a good logo. When I first started, I was not good at design at all. And it was all based on me not knowing. To me what knowledge was learning the principles of typography, and then learning the principles of design of good design.

So, I studied and I tried hard to study the principles of design. And that is really what set me apart from everybody else in college and class. Then also studied the principles of Gestalt. And those are some of my favorite design principles to learn. That is because I put those design principles in all my logo designs, especially the negative space one, which is figure-ground. I love doing those types of logos because they are just smarter designs.

And once you catch on to that smart design, it is very difficult for you to forget what it is. So, that helps with clients. Or not just clients but with our viewers remembering that design. For example, the FedEx logo with the negative space arrow between the x and the E. That is such a great and smart logo.

Designhill: What are your tips to create logo designs?

Ognjen Topic: I would learn print design principles to understand what creates a good simple logo. People only have a few seconds to see a logo and take it in. All the big corporate companies out there, always end up simplifying their designs. That is because they want them to be seen and remembered as quickly as possible,

Starbucks started with a very detailed drawing or design of a mermaid. Now, it is extremely simplified and a lot bigger. You can read it in small sizes, and it is completely appropriate for their brand.

Make it simple, appropriate, and memorable

One of the other print ideas is from another designer, Sagi Haviv. He’s one of my favorite designers. And I learned this from him. He says that three things are in play when you are creating a great logo design. Those are making it simple, making it appropriate for the brand, and that it works at all sizes.

So, we are talking about the smallest size that is 16 by 16 pixels. That is the favicon that goes up in the web browser. So, your logo should be seen from that size as well. And then making it appropriate for the brand. That means if you create the logo for something that is military-based, then you are not going to use the color pink. This is because it just wouldn’t make sense. So, you are trying to make it appropriate for that brand.

And then last but not least, is creating a simple design where it can be read quickly. Then, the design should be memorable enough as well.

Designhill: How to deal with client revisions? And do we need to set a limit with revisions upfront as part of the agreement with a client?

Ognjen Topic: Yes, you need to set a revision account with your client. You want everything to be as clear as possible with clarity. So, you never want to go back to the client to introduce another set of rules.

Set the rules upfront

What I do is, every once in a while, yes, I will either set it up with my client. If it is a new client, then maybe I won’t set those rules with them upfront. And if they are unhappy with the logo, or they just need simple revisions, then I will do those for free. That is because I am trying to create a partnership with the company which may help fetch me more business from them. But I would say it is a lot more beneficial for you to set these rules upfront, rather than later down the road.

Designhill: How do you bounce back from being unproductive to productive in your design career?

Keep your end goal in mind

Ognjen Topic: Well, like I was saying before, know your end goal. Your goal may be the best that you can be, maybe it is not even to be the greatest designer. Well, then your answers right there, you do not have to search for anything, then you have to just come back. And again, start by putting a pencil to paper and start working on the design.

Let us say if you do not have a client that you are working for, just choose something. Maybe you are driving down the road, and you see a logo that needs a lot of work on and you take that challenge. You come back and you say to yourself that you will spend three hours on this design today. And I am going to see what I can do with this design within three hours. And that is how you become more productive and get the creativity going.

Creativity is a process

Keep in mind that creativity is a process. It is not something that you are just born with and it is not a talent. I guess maybe it can become a skill. But again, it is not a skill. It is just a process and just time. All you need is time. I remember when I used to work at a graphic design agency, and we would sit down and start discussing ideas. In the first hour, there were no creative ideas whatsoever. It was just talking about the design because it is something new.

It is something intimidating when a client comes to you with a new design. That is because you are just starting from thin air. I mean you have no ideas and you have no background of anything other than the client’s brief. But you put pencil to paper, write down ideas, some creative words that can help you out.

And then you just start sketching, and within that hour, that is when those creative ideas start coming right after that hour. It takes just about an hour and a half for me to become creative. So, instead of thinking that, as a waste of time, think of it as it is just part of that process that you have to go to.

Designhill: What do you do when you hit a creative block? How do you overcome it?

Ognjen Topic: It is all about that end goal. And, I have never had a creative block. Even if I am working on something that I didn’t want to do. Maybe it was a design, where I worked for my graphic design agency, and I just didn’t want to work on it. For me, there was no creative blog.

Do some research

But if you do have a creative block, go online and research what good design principles are. I guarantee you within 30 minutes to an hour, you will come up with some more fresh ideas. It always works. So, again, that goes hand in hand with that idea, of being productive and having a creative process.

And not only that, you can always go outside and gain some outside perspective. You can have some more creative ideas from the outside world. Like today I was just sitting at a cafe. And I was just looking at the lines that were formed from a building, just a structure, something that has nothing to do with graphic design. But it gave me an idea for a logo that I brought back down, and I sketched out the idea. So, you can always just take a walk outside and look for just look at shapes, look at shapes. That usually helps you get creative again, or break that creative block.

Designhill: How do you find inspiration, create those designs, and what is your mind mapping for the process?

Ognjen Topic: So, mind mapping for me is the one that I do before I begin the project. I read the logo design brief that I sent over to the client. And then I get inspiration from there. I see what they are after, who their competition is. What do they want to achieve with the design project?

Once I do that, I just start writing words that are associated with that company or with that logo design. For example, I need to create a logo design for a personal trainer. I sit down and I look at some words that are associated with that person. Well, athleticism, right off the bat, strong strength, power, ability, speed, function, and explosiveness. From those ideas, you can start by picturing what that logo can look like. And you just start sketching. That is usually how my process evolves over the questions timeline that it takes for me to create that logo design.

Designhill: How can we be more confident about our design decisions when working individually as a freelancer?

Use your experience

Ognjen Topic: Instead of following what people are doing, or trends, be confident through your experience. So, maybe you have 10 years of experience, then be confident enough to create your trend. You can say that you will be the trendsetter. And I will have people following what I have done in design. It is always scary to come up with something new and out of the ordinary. But that is the stuff that sticks out as long as it is good.

Designhill: Is it important to have a mentor and how do you find one?

Ognjen Topic: No, it is not important to have a mentor. I have never had a mentor. And everything I have done was simply through questioning myself through these principles that I have gone through today.

Everything goes back to that end goal. If you set that end goal for yourself, then the mentor doesn’t matter. But having a mentor may help you create a quick way to achieve a certain goal. But it is a lot more fulfilling if you create that idea for yourself. And if you come up with that idea, and then you follow that idea in pursuit of that end goal.

So, I do not think you need a mentor. As long as what you are achieving and what you are trying to do. All your questions will be answered by asking yourself those self questions.

Designhill: What skills and qualities should a great graphic designer possess?

Ognjen Topic: Well, of course, you have to be hardworking. You have to be able to work on designs daily. But you shouldn’t be working on something that is geared towards designs daily. And you should spend a couple of hours working on those things. If you truly love something and you are passionate about it, then that shouldn’t even be a question. It shouldn’t be a problem at all, you should be always working towards that goal.

Also, it may be something that you are trying to learn, but you are not passionate about it. Then, you have to set all the painful stuff aside. That is because thinking about a good design and working through tough times is painful mentally. But again, that end goal should be able to give you the answer. And you should be working through those tough times.

Once you break through that barrier of working through a tough time and create a logo design, that will give you confidence. You can confidently go into the next project.

Designhill: Should we follow our passion or should we be practical?

Have a practical approach

Ognjen Topic: It depends on a lot of things. When I wanted to be an oil painter, I was practical with myself, even though I was passionate about that. I had to be practical. Because I had to ask myself, Well, how hard do I want to work at this passion of mine? Is it just a hobby? Or, is it something that I truly want to become great at? And what are my chances of being able to paint to sell a painting for $10,000 20,000 100,000? knows?

Well, the answer may be that you do not want to work hard enough towards that goal. Then, you should be practical enough to say to yourself, this is not for me. Let me go on to something else. Or let me find something within that field that is similar, but that I like a lot more than being an oil painter. Being practical and realistic to yourself is important.

So, consider these key aspects when you are planning to pursue graphic designing as your career. You should watch out for the flaws in your career and check out if you are following the right advice given by the expert here.

While you are running your graphic design business, you can join PrintShop by Designhill, a leading creative marketplace. At PrintShop, open your online store to display and sell your art works at an attractive price. You can also look for more work at Designhill.

Wrapping Up

As a graphic designer, you should take into account some mental aspects to make it a successful career. Expert Ognjen Topic advises the designers to pay heed to their end goal, and manage other aspects like fear, pressure, discipline, doubt, focus, determination, efficiency, and criticism.

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Designhill is the most reliable and fastest-growing custom graphic design crowdsourcing marketplace that connects a thriving community of graphic designers from across the globe with clients looking to source high quality graphic designs such as logo designs, banner designs, packaging designs, merchandise designs, web designs and many other designing works at affordable prices. In just six months of going live, the startup has helped more than 1500 businesses source unique graphic designs and has paid out more than $70000 to its ever-growing community of 29,000+ graphic designers, logo designers, visual artists and illustrators from all over the world. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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