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Have you heard this saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

We are going to take a dive in the Ten things one has to do to steal like an artist and be creative when you take in a skill to be a GRAPHIC DESIGNER. Everyone has creative potential. The key to unlocking it is a daily practice.

Ideas are all around you, combining them with each other couple with your own ideas will help you create something new. Creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the better it gets. Below are Ten (10) secrets which you can us to achieve the same goal; “Steal like an artist” and also implementing them into your life as a graphic designer.

1. Steal like an artist

A writer once said; ‘There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.’

Nothing is original, every piece of art work or creative work has been and will always be influenced by something else. Rather than trying to be original, focus on something and try to improve, remix, transform or build on an existing idea.

You can Create your art through things you collect daily.

Steal ideas from your friends, family, peers, music, movies, books, current events, and everything else you encounter. By pulling inspiration from a variety of sources, you will not only come up with an idea that is unique, but rich in value and meaning.

2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to start making things

Be it that you are writing, creating a new product, designing a website, designing a logo, flier or banner, or strategizing how to solve a problem, the only prerequisite to get started in creating is to forget who you are. You are free to copy your influencers when you first start out, tap into the mind of those you copy and figure out who and what inspired them. Study their influencers, as well.

With time you must have adapt their ideas to your own approach and you will have grown out of from copying. Once your own style is formed, others will begin copying you.  

3. Write the book you want to read

There is a misconception that you should write a book based on the area you have the most knowledge. As an expert on a particular subject, the book will be a good read, right?  Not necessarily.

The same goes for designers, you will surely want to design something that you design so well will first look satisfiable to you first before appreciations will come from others.

Many of us often have knowledge in areas of low interest to mainstream audiences, perhaps our professions or things we learned in school. Instead of succumbing to a textbook on these subjects, write the book that you’re dying to read yourself.

Your genuine enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter will make you dig deeper and create something greater than you originally thought possible.

It will help draw more greatly from your personal thoughts and ideas than a professional piece reiterating what many have said before you.  

4. Use your hands

We have two working modes, digital and analog, to stimulate all areas of your mind and he suggests that modern creatives are losing sight of the latter.

Schedule a time away from the computer and internet to use your hands. Write, draw, build, craft , do anything physical that creates a tangible result.

Something as simple as taking notes on paper or having a sketch of that graphical illustration will help build some creative ideas before putting all together on the computer.

5. Side projects & hobbies are important

By working on side projects and hobbies that take your mind off work and serve no purpose to make money. Hobbies like these acts as a form of meditation and give your brain a chance to rest and recharge.

Don’t put your mind away from the work at hand. We are often compelled to drop hobbies that don’t fit into the ideal public depiction of ourselves and pick up ones we think we should.

 Instead, let the aspects of what make you unique flourish and in turn, they will aid your” required” tasks and projects. 

6. Do good work & put it where people can see it

Appreciate the small audience you have in the beginning. Fewer eyes on your work relieves pressure and allows you to tinker and experiment until you get it right, but don’t be afraid to open up your audience.

Create great work, consistently improve, and share it with as many people as you can. Though there will be critics, sharing our work with others also helps us find like-minded people we wouldn’t likely have met. It helps us get new perspectives and improve our work even further.

If you remain stuck on doing the same things, you’re likely to remain stuck where you are in terms of creativity. You can get better by trying new things including traveling to new places or simply by working from different places.

To come up with new ideas, you must get out of your comfort zone. Do you realize that if you go to the same places, interact with the same people, see the same things and eat the same food every day, your brain can remain set in its ways? This is bad for creativity and so you should make it a habit to explore other places and cultures.

7. Be grateful

All the masters, including Tony Robbins, agree that being grateful is key to a happy life. Gratitude eliminates fear and anxiety and in this blissful state, creativity flows naturally. No matter how bad things are, there’s always something to be grateful for.

For instance, as a designer, you have the following things as an advantage:

  • Technology: with it, your work is easier
  • Knowledge: the numerous books you’ve read—including this article—and other knowledge sources have made you a reservoir of ideas.
  • Skills: the software you can use has made you a versatile creator!

8. Don’t fear mistakes

Mistakes are propellers. Mistakes are teachers. Without them, we would not know when we have trodden wrong paths and might follow them for years only to meet a bleak emptiness at the end.

Stop seeing mistakes as failures, and start seeing them as road signs.

9. Observe and note

Don’t just go through life; actively take down all the things you encounter. You can do this mentally but even better, you can do it physically by writing things down.

If you don’t observe, you will miss out on the inspiration that lies everywhere: on the train, in the cab, and in the coffee shop, while you take a walk down the street.

10. Adopt a growth mindset

Believe you can be more creative, and you will be. Those with a “fixed mindset” believed that they were not able to change their character, creative ability or talent in any significant way, whereas people with a “growth mindset” believed that traits like intelligence and creativity could be cultivated through effort and practice.

In order to adopt a growth mindset, let go of statements such as, “I’m just not a creative person,” or, “I can’t do that.”

If you hit an obstacle or something doesn’t work out the way you envisioned, think of it as a teaching moment instead of a failure.

Use this knowledge to improve your approach next time. Looking at things in this way will make developing your creativity a joyful experience rather than fraught exercise.