Never Undervalue Yourself

I am often asked to give advice to aspiring designers hoping to make it in the industry. I have always found this to be an awkward question for me to answer because even after 10 years, I still feel like I’m an aspiring designer myself. So when I’m asked that question I tend to think back to my early days; I try to think about the mistakes I’ve made, the successes that I’ve had, the good times and the bad. I try to think about all the experiences that made me the designer that I am today. I even try to take into consideration advice that I’ve received from others, but it seems that no matter how long I think about it, I tend to dwell on one piece of advice; a designer should NEVER undervalue themself.

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Grant Friedman

Grant Friedman is a graphic design, blogger, and author. In addition to being the founder of this website, Grant is also the editor of Psdtuts, one of the world's most popular tutorial websites.

  • yes absolutely, i think everyone starting off in the industry always undervalue them selves due to fact of not having as much experience.. but determined minds nearly always get what they want!
    .-= Paul´s last blog ..CSS3 Resources for Web Designers =-.

  • what do you think about sites such as crowdspring and odesk for getting gigs?

  • Christine

    Thank you for posting this!

  • Truly inspiring post, this has re-invigorated me, thank you!
    .-= Roberto Blake´s last blog ..40 Stunning Digital Paintings =-.

  • I’m glad you wrote this. This happens to me a lot. I tend to undervalue my work and charge clients very little for it. Then I come across a company that does the same work only with less quality. I realize they charge 3 or 4 times more than I did.

    That’s when I woke up and smelled the design paint ;)
    .-= Gordon Cindric´s last blog ..CSS For Absolute Beginners =-.

  • Good article, and I think this is true of any creative endeavor. We are usually our worst critics. It’s often what is going on in our heads that stops us short of taking our creative projects through to the final stages.

  • This is so true. We are always harder on ourselves than anybody else would be :)

  • yes that’s really inspiring. Specially in the web industry such as web developer, web banner design, programming and etc.., Many think that way so they must see articles like this.

  • BC

    Certainly every designer must make a living, but there is more to life than money. I’ve worked as a freelancer for more than a decade. During that time I have taken work for money and worked for free when I choose. In going so I have had a much wider range of projects and had the opportunity to try out different directions. I’ve helped out good causes and various communities with free or low cost work, but I wouldn’t have been able to choose to do that if I’d not sorted out the “bread and butter” paid work, much of which has become predicable and therefore dull.

    It’s a trade off. There is nothing wrong with doing work for free per-se, nor in taking uninteresting work to pay the bills. IME the most interesting and rewarding work isn’t linked to money; sometimes is pays the best rates and sometimes nothing. Most work however, is just that, work, but it’s up to you to set the price for that work not the client.

    IMO a worse con is the contests where you win the right to give a months work away for a 100 buck prize and the off chance that you’ll be called for paid work later (since they now have a bag full of royalty free work to choose from don’t expect _that_ call any-time soon).

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  • Thank you. I try not to ;) :)
    .-= Ivan Tolmachev´s last blog ..Flickr Wandering. Flowers Macro Shots =-.