January 30, 2021

Creative dissatisfaction

It is very hard for me to be satisfied with my work. As a designer, I have put a very high bar when it comes to the output of my work. There are so many talented designers and a lot of beautifully designed products out there - so it is only natural to be inspired by them and to have the aspiration to produce something great on my own too.

Taste is one of the important criterias I look for in a candidate when I screen through applicants. However, having a good taste in design doesn’t always correlate to being a good designer. I’m sure a lot of people in the creative industry can relate to this. No matter how much time we spent looking into their work and their processes, we'd still feel like we aren't capable of producing something as good as them. And we will get demotivated because of it.

I'm always reminded by a video I watched years ago, called The Gap. It has a famous quote by Ira Glass:

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.

Everything can be iterated. It’s a process. It will take time and we just need to keep producing a lot of work. Hopefully, someday we will get there.