Not really that creative


HB graphite pencils Deutsch: Bleistifte der St...
HB graphite pencils Deutsch: Bleistifte der Stärke HB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When I am delivering my presentation design course a lot of people tell me that they would love to develop their design skills but that they are ‘not really that creative’. As I have mentioned before, I find this quite amusing as I am not really that creative myself. Some people are born with flair, but most of us have to work at developing their design skills. It certainly doesn’t come naturally to me.


About eighteen months ago I enrolled in a Bachelor of Graphic Design course so that I could develop my design skills. Since then I have struggled through the course, one subject at a time, and I must say it’s not talent or good results that makes me continue, just dogged perseverance and an unwillingness to give up or give in. I’m not sure if I am improving or becoming more creative, but I am learning a lot and I think that putting the principles into practice must surely pay off in the long run. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be studying for the next ten years or until I think I have a good enough grasp on the subject matter to forge ahead under my own steam.


What I have noticed since I started the course is that I’m a lot more tuned in to design. I notice colours and patterns. I appreciate beautiful packaging, I admire wine labels and linger over well designed websites. I see a lot more beauty around me and I think that’s a good thing.


I think one of the tricks to being creative is to develop an appreciation of what works and to be able to articulate why something works, rather than just liking it. My design course has helped me do that by introducing me to the rules and principles of the craft. Writing this blog has also provided me with the opportunity to share some of the things I’m learning about.


I would be very interested to know what you think about creativity. Do you have any thoughts on this topic or are there any topics that you think I should be writing about? I’d love to hear from you.


4 thoughts on “Not really that creative

  1. I am sitting at my study window admiring the newly blooming pink roses, the kangaroo paws just about to burst into flower and the hibiscus with its lime green new foliage. The garden was hardly “designed” – more just a happening, but it is certainly pleasing to the eye, mine at least. Nature has so much to teach us.

    1. Hi Bev
      You are completely right. Everything you ever wanted to know about design is all there in nature. I must admit that I have developed quite an interest in this since I started noticing colours and patterns more. There is a beautiful book called “Design by Nature” which I might talk about in more depth when I get a chance.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.

  2. Hi Jimmy and thanks so much for taking the time to respond.
    I agree with your comments that the culture of the university has a big influence on the way students are taught to think about design. I had not really considered that before. The course that I am enrolled in is delivered by a university that caters to mainly to young people and also to people in the defence forces (and the spouses of people in the defence forces) who would like to attend a big city university but are stuck in a country town. The academic staff are mostly visual artists and although they are pretty good, they do focus on the artistic aspects of design which, as you may have gathered, is not my forte. I notice from reading your blog that you are also studying. How do you find the course you are doing?
    I like your blog, by the way!

  3. I think design courses vary so much from school to school, with the differing approaches creating very different designers.
    My university is very much a business and engineered focussed one and the design school produces more entrepeneurs than out-and-out designers. Due to the subjectiveness of design, along with the age and level of most students, the culture of the university/course has a great bearing on the designers it creates; whether that be artistic, creative, ‘real world’, scientific, strategic etc.

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