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Posted February 2nd by Design Splat in #WW - Writers Wednesday, Lily

Today we have our second Writers Wednesday #WW! This is the first post from our guest writer Lily. Lily will be writing every week about something design related to inspire and inform and fuel your passion for design!


Good Design is Honest

When trying to decide what to write for my first column, the wise words of my mum came back to me. Years ago if I was ever stuck on my English homework, my mum would always tell me to “write about what you know”. Well, what I know about more than anything is how to be me. Don’t worry, I’m not about to embark on some self-indulgent exercise telling you my life story, but what I mean, is that I know about my own individuality. It is my belief that every person goes through periods in their life where they doubt who they are, forgetting those intrinsic things about them that define and separate them from the other 6 billion people on this planet.

I had one such moment the other weekend, when out for cocktails with a friend. As I was putting on the standard girls’ armour of foundation, blusher, mascara, hair spray, a mini dress, high heels and so on, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was hiding who I was underneath all those layers – using them as a mask to prevent people from seeing the ‘real me’. Why was I so afraid to show myself in something as basic as my appearance? Was it in case I left myself vulnerable to exposing what makes me unique? Designers have these lapses in confidence too. Is it good enough? Is it edgy enough? Will people like it? Will they respond to it the way I want them to? But questions like this do the same thing that the makeup and clothes did to me – act as a barrier, shielding the vulnerability that lies in the design.

Every painting, photograph, fashion design, make up design etc portrays the creator’s personality. If we allow doubts to creep into our minds, and into our work, the design becomes less honest – less pure. As a result, the work no longer truly reflects the individual, and the result will always be less than desirable. For good design, we need to embrace the doubts and fears, for undoubtedly a certain amount of vulnerability is human, but we need to rein them in and take control over them. We need to have an unwavering faith in our work and ourselves so that the pieces become a true reflection of what makes us stand out in this world. Did Van Gogh falter when he couldn’t even get service in local taverns because his work was so condemned? Does Banksy stop, or change his style when critics slam his work as “mindless acts of vandalism”? No. A good designer has a style as unique as their DNA, and a truly good designer sticks to his style, his uniqueness. As a result their work is undoubtedly pure and instantly recognisable.

That’s when I realised, that good design is honest. An honest reflection of who we are. Whether you’re an illustrator, MUA, photographer, graphic designer, writer, musician, or any one of the 6 billion people who share this world, stay true to your style DNA and your work will surely benefit. Don’t be afraid to let the industry, and the world see the real you. Hiding behind fears and doubts is always counterproductive. It may lead to a design you will never be truly content with, or may make you act in a way that you regret on a night out. Next time you pick up your tools to create your next piece, stick to your guns. Hold your head high and celebrate who you are, and your unique style – no barriers, no fears and no doubts. I know next time I go out for cocktails I will.

Love Lily


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