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Before giving start to this discussion, I would like to quote something that Thomas Edison said: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. Taking into account his point of view, would it be possible to say that anyone could become a designer, or art director? Is it just a matter of study and hard work? Are there people with a natural talent for creation?

Telling you about my experience, teaching softwares like Photoshop and Illustrator for almost two years, I can say that I have seen some talented students and some that didn’t have the same luck. I don’t teach the theory of design, art history or gestalt; the students go there to learn how to use the tool, the software. The problem is some of them think that is enough to start creating logos or designing pieces. I say that is much easier to learn to use the tool than to learn to have a good aesthetic sense, because no one can teach this. What teachers at college do is to show you the right way, what should or not be done, giving you the basis. But when putting the theory into practice it’s all up to you and the lenses you’ll use to see the world.

Some people use more the right side of the brain, which is responsible for the imaginary, the emotional and the artistic matters. They surely have more ability to create, it’s easier and more natural. That’s why we can say that some people have more talent, but it doesn’t mean that other people aren’t able to produce good works. It means that they have to put more effort into working with the imagination.


Reason x Imaginary
Photo Credit: J. Parks

On the other hand, even those who have more ability for arts need to work hard to become a designer. We all know how many years of study, books, graphic design degree programsand researches we had to go through to make it. We can’t state if coursing the university really defines a good designer or not. Some good professionals learned the basis from books, other courses, other methods , and then started working, learning and practicing. The degree surely means a lot, but it’s not everything. I have seen people majored in design that can talk about all design theories, express a vast knowledge upon the subject but in the end, can’t do effective layouts.


Is it everything?
Credits: stock.xchng

Coming back to the first question, is it being a designer a natural talent or a result of hard work?
We can say that there’s a balance from talent and effort. The talent exists, we can’t deny it, but a not that talented person with a real interest, trying hard to learn and exploring his artistic side can be successful. Although it will be a hard path and not everyone would make it. A talented person also needs to study, learn and practice, but everything will happen more naturally. I have to say that talking for genius Thomas Edison might be right, but for a designer, inspiration is more than only one percent.

Tell us what do you think about this complex subject, write a comment.