There may be times where we find ourselves in a comfort zone and decide to stagnate for a bit. There’s nothing wrong with find ourselves in a situation where for a certain time we might invest all our energy into a specific aspect of our work. Sometimes it’s necessary. However, it’s very easy to fall into a system, turn on the auto pilot and repeat the same thing every day. It’s easy to get so focused on our regular jobs that we put our portfolios down, the same portfolios that originally landed us that job. While it’s true that our design jobs will yield some amazing portfolio pieces, we all come from a time where we designed simply for fun. Revisiting our portfolios can help keep us grounded, make us better designers and act as a form of retreat.
If we could all get paid for creating whatever we wanted none of us would probably have concrete jobs. Since most of us are still aspiring to get to the realm where we get paid for designing, rather than design to get paid, we have design jobs. Design, as fun and invigorating as it is, can become very stressful and frustrating. Designing something for fun that could very well end up in our portfolios can help keep us stable in our day jobs. Dedicating a bit of time to design something that has nothing to do with work can be that little break that we need in order to give our all on our actual jobs.
Designing a piece for our portfolios can also help make us better designers. By revisiting our original works and capitalising on our strengths, we can push ourselves passed the boundaries which we already know. Or maybe not. Maybe we might just design something that we feel proud of for no reason other than we think it looks good. Either way, there’s no harm in designing for fun. It’s worth remembering that some of the best creations in life were entirely accidents. Maybe by designing for fun we might conceive the next most memorable poster in history or a booming trend for the new year.
Designing for fun can also be a form of retreat. It’s very easy to forget why we originally fell in love with design. Deadlines, pressing clients, designer’s block and immense self-imposed pressure can all throw us into a rut. Design then becomes a chore and a money-earning process for us, rather than the passion that burns within us. As with anything in life, we can’t spend all of our time on it and not get bored. I think this rings especially true for designers. Many of us tend to get bored rather easily. Many of us also get amused rather easily. This is why designing for fun can be that escape for us in order for us to reset ourselves and fire at full force when we resume.
As tough as it is, we need to remember to take a step back ever so often. It’s easy for us to become enthralled in our jobs to the point which we become design zombies. Picking up our portfolios and adding new pieces to it can be more beneficial to us than we might think. It may seem trivial at first. However, there are so many good things that can come from what we did in the beginning. Always remember, we all started by designing for fun.