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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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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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