Welcome to the cruel world of design
“You can never stop designing!”
What did this even mean? Of coooourse you can stop designing! You design up to a certain point, you’re satisfied with the result and you simply stop. No…?
Before I became a jewellery and object design student this year, I thought that there was an end point somewhere, where it wasn’t possible to go any further. Why would anyone want to stress themselves out in this never-ending vicious cycle of non-stop designing? I thought the ‘design process’ was kind of like an essay. Once you’ve finished answering the topic’s question, you can dust off your hands and walk away. Oh, how naïve and wrong I was…
Now, that I’ve been learning a different way of designing at TAFE, I realise that designing is endless. From 1 design you literally can come up with 1,000,000+ different variations. What if you made this bigger? Smaller? Longer? Shorter? Curved? Angular? Not before long, you’ve come up with soooo many different variations, you become overwhelmed and it’s hard to decide which one is best, or if any of them are ‘good’ at all.
I think the reason that this happens, is because designers are inherently perfectionists. The work we (already referring to myself in collective form, hehe) produce is highly subjective and open to opinion (Uh-huh). Since this is so, we obviously want to do the best work we can do (who wouldn’t?) and the problem with this mentality, is that even when I’ve settled on a design that looks totally kick-ass, there’s a niggling thought in the back of my mind, that if I just continue to work on this design, for a tiiiiiiiiiny bit longer, maybe, in the squishy swirls of my pink brain, I miiiiight be able to come up with something, EVEN. MORE. KICKASS. So…. the design process continues! Yaaaaayyyy……………….
Even before I started this jewellery design course, I considered myself as a ‘perfectionist’. But seriously? Sometimes, you just gotta learn to not sweat the small stuff, if you’ve done your best at that time, be proud of it and walk away. Surrender. Don’t drive yourself to the nearest mental ward with ‘what-ifs’.
I would’ve loved to have settled on 2 designs ages ago already… but maybe my teachers saw that I had potential to design something even more kickass. (Oh hello never-ending-design-vortex). So for now, I’m stuck and not sure which way to go for my Wabi, Sabi, Suki rings project. I have pages and pages of sketches (some reeeeeally dodgy and ugly looking – don’t judge me please?) and some that are… tolerable, but no designs that really stand out to me, jump out off the page and scream, pick meeeee, pick meeee PICK ME NOW ALREADY YOU FOUR EYED EX-ACCOUNTANT AND BE DONE WITH THE DESIGN PROCESS!
What to dooooooo?!