Designers Are Their Own Worst Critics

..(and that’s not a bad thing).

Photo by Gerome Viavant

As humans, we constantly seek approval and validation from our peers through most of what we do. Feeling like we are approved provides us with a sense of security and self-worth, and people strive to achieve that through different means subconsciously.

As a designer; without making this sound as cliche as possible, I want to feel like the things I do makes an impact on people’s lives or delight them in ways they never would’ve thought possible.

A year ago, I told myself that 2017 was going to be my best year yet, and it was the year I was going to push myself to new heights as a designer. As a full-time freelancer, I’ve went through feast and famine more times than my poor heart could count and take.

I’ve had days where I struggled with finding work to pay the bills and then proceeding to question my decision to be a freelancer for the 1000th time, and whether I should go back into working a 9 to 5 job for some stability.
This in turn gets me second-guessing my design work and decisions and feeling like it’s not good enough.

I’ve had projects done where I wasn’t completely happy with the results and constantly feeling bad when I took time off to do non-product design related things. Some part of me felt like I had to push myself harder than anyone else because I decided to be stubborn about being a freelancer so I had no one to blame for my lack of work but myself.

Measuring Success

If it wasn’t for the support of my S/O who has been constantly supporting my decisions and reminding me of how much I’ve achieved, I don’t think I would’ve been able to push through this long. I decided to put together a post and a list to remind myself of just how much I’ve done and accomplished in 2017 to date, and to share with others who might feel like they are too hard on themselves.

Everyone measures success differently. To some people, success equals to the amount of profit they brought in. To me, success equals never being complacent, learning new things and challenging myself.

Here’s some of the things I’ve been able to pick up/got better at :

Got into Photography & Food-styling gigs

Model : Jessica Melnik @ Jack Lake

Got better at Illustrations

Sword in stone illustration, exploring the flat 2D design

Released 2 Games

Did the UI/UX and illustrations from scratch



Wrote posts on Medium

I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone by writing to share my thoughts and improve my writing.

Understanding How User Experience Designers Think And Work

Being a Freelancer is Hard Sh*t

Passions, Hobbies and Finding Yourself as a Creative

What’s in a Title?

Learnt how to use Principle

Draft for a shoe app

Picked Up Voxel Art

Dystopia, first of many voxel designs to come

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for little tidbits of how to overcome the feeling of always feeling like you’re not doing good enough.

I don’t have any worldly wisdom to impart as I am just figuring this out myself, but I’d say the best way to remind yourself of how much you’ve done is to put a list together, like I did. This will in turn allow for you to see how much you’ve accomplished.

Set goals for yourself and strive to meet it. Be alright with not being able to be perfect in every single thing you do, but never feel like you don’t need to improve because there’s always something you can improve on. Be open to asking other people for critique on your work and be alright with them not loving your work like you hoped they would.

Most of all, never get complacent.

Thank you for reading, you’re awesome.
Spot some grammar mistakes?Please let me know!
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