Let’s face it we all have egos. We are creatives and we spend our time coming up with concepts that we then try to present in our own interesting way and style. One of the things that I struggled with especially when I first began classes at Valencia was getting defensive or taking comments about my projects too personally. Constructive criticism is the key to a great piece of design work. When someone offers advice or ideas on something that we have created we should keep an open mind.
In my first couple of semesters at Valencia I learned about the dreaded portion of the process where, after I had worked on something for hours and days, I had to put my project on the board in front of everyone. Then I had to explain my ideas and listen to feedback offered by my fellow graphic design students. For me getting in front of any group is tough because it makes me really nervous. I have a fear of public speaking. Additionally that fear is increased when I think others might not like my work. Thankfully these days I am a lot more comfortable with that part of the design process, since it is something we have done in every Valencia course. It’s a good skill to develop a familiarity with, since it will be necessary when we are out working in the real world. I still get nervous though!
I noticed too that the times when I am particularly struggling with a project, if someone critiques it in a that I perceive as negative or says they do not understand what I am trying to express, that I have a tendency to get defensive about my work. This is counterproductive since those comments may be the keys or ideas that I need to incorporate to get the project on the right track. So my advice to anyone looking to become a graphic designer, learn to embrace feedback and keep an open mind. After all we all have the same goal, which is communication.