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Real Ways To Become A Great Designer

Real Ways To Become A Great Designer

At first glance fashion shows appear to be nothing more than a chance for beautiful models to showcase the latest and hottest fashions. However, behind the scenes there is an arsenal of people working like busy bees trying to keep it all together. What may look like an effortless show is actually a result of the sweat and tears of a small army all lead by the fashion designer. So don’t be fooled by the celebrities and all the glitz and glam because there are a lot of things that factor into becoming a great designer.

Get That Education

Not every great designer has a degree but in today’s competitive fashion world it is an important piece. Just being talented is not always enough. Not only can it help to make you more competitive but it will provide you with invaluable tips of the trade. Fashion is more than just picking out pretty colors and matching them together. You need to understand the history of the fashion world so that you can really understand how it works.

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You will undertake classwork dealing with textiles, sewing, patterns and colors and they are all important in the fashion world. Additional classes such as mathematics, anatomy, and even psychology play an important role in the fashion world. It helps you to understand how the body is constructed and how it moves which can be beneficial when it comes to designing clothes for men or even full figured women.   The great fashion designers understand how women like their dresses to flow or how they desire shirts that are cute yet hide the dreaded belly bulge.

Choose a school that offers fashion design. Competition at the top fashion design schools is intense but aim high. Even if you are not lucky enough to be accepted into one of the elite programs you can still excel. Most designers have either an associate or bachelors in Fashion Design, minors or even double majors in marketing, business or finance are also common. This additional knowledge is helpful for designers who plan to run their own business or retail location. In the fashion world, knowledge is key and is what helps to separate great designers from the rest.

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Bag That Internship

What better way to become a great fashion designer than to work for one. Internships are a key part of your fashion design career. When the time comes make sure to lock down an internship. Not only can you get invaluable on the job skills but you also have a chance to get exposure and make a few connections of your own. Working with another designer on their runway collection, or in their retail location is the perfect way to learn tips for when you someday run the show.

Perhaps more importantly you learn about just how stressful the high-paced fashion world can be.   It also gives you a chance to develop your goals and think about the direction you might want to take with your career. Every great designer had to start off somewhere so make sure that you make the most out of your foundation.

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If you are lucky enough to intern during a big event such as New York Fashion Week or at some of the internationally known runways, you take your fashion resume up a big notch. Some designers later hire interns on full-time and even give the newbies a chance to showcase their talent on special projects. Make the most of your internship and make a lasting impression wherever you go.

Build Your Portfolio

Your portfolio will become your most prized procession and it’s importance cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to your fashion career. While you are in school and especially during your internships, include all of your projects that you complete. In the fashion world, your portfolio is your resume, and it speaks volumes. You will showcase your portfolio to compete for the best internships and later on the top fashion jobs in the industry.

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Your portfolio will showcase your talents as well as your weaknesses. Pour your heart and soul into each project and make sure that everything that you include shows your best skills and creativity.   This is your time to shine and put your stamp on those things that are important to you. Make sure always to have your portfolio on hand because you never know when you might get your big break. It might be while you are working behind the scenes at a fashion show or on your way to class. The key is to showcase not only your skills but your versatility. A great fashion designer can make a design for anything whether it is 100% silk dress or designer seat covers. Your portfolio speaks for itself, and you have complete control over what you what it to say.

Put In The Work

On your path to becoming a great designer, hard work is key. It is not uncommon to hear stories of long days and nights with very little reward when you first start out. You have to build your brand from the bottom up, and you must be willing to work for it. The fashion world has become more and more competitive. For the most part nothing will come easy or just fall in your lap. Its there for the taking but you have to reach out and grab it. Aim high and send your portfolio to whoever will look until you get your big break.

Don’t stop there if you want to open a retail store start researching what you should be doing. Talk to anyone who has experience that is willing to share some tips. Find out what steps you need to take to reach your goal and work towards becoming the next great fashion designer. Any designer will tell you that the fashion world can be so rewarding. Nothing beats seeing your blood, sweat and tears walking the runaway or on the racks at local boutiques but just know the road to becoming great is not easy. Though there may be some bumps and bruises along the way that just makes the end result that much sweeter.

Featured photo credit: Saffron Rare Threads event/Maria Ly via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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