Design is all about the tools—the technology. And design has got absolutely nothing to do with the tools.
Just like ink pens and sign brushes, the mastery-required-or-we-won’t-hire-you tools you’re working with today will be replaced.
What is much more important is developing your design character
How important is function to you? What is the essence of design for you? How do you honor your personal design principles in the face of professional demands? Do you re-think these and other principles for each individual project?
At least as important is mastering your learning process
…because that will never end. Something new will supersede Photoshop, and Photoshop isn’t always the best tool for the job. Commit yourself to creativity first, to your design principles first, and then find—and learn to use—the best tools to fulfill your vision.
As your ideas and projects become more complex, you’ll need a team
Maybe you can master all the tools, all the time. Maybe you’ll choose to rally a clan of passionate associates who can do some things better than you. Use that learning process you mastered to learn collaboration, motivation and leadership. Take heart: I hear the best leaders are made, not born.
Take extra good care of your most essential design tool. Invest in it. Give it plenty of nourishment and rest. And make sure to give it a friendly nod when you spot it in the mirror.
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