Design, along with all of its complexities and at its core, should be fun. We should be having fun solving problems and creating solutions that nurture the little joyous spark that got us all started on this design thing in the first place.
This should be easy to remember but instead I’ve noticed that it’s something that is easily forgotten. Instead of remembering to nurture our spark, we get caught up in the things that can slowly dampen it. We think about how to speed up our processes instead of how to make them more creative. We engage in an exhausting mission to keep up with every new design article instead of spending that time creating our own ideas. We wrestle with taxes and invoicing and client management. We worry about things like imposter syndrome and deal with things like self-doubt. We compare ourselves to others and place unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, these things are very important. They, for the most part, come hand in hand with building a career in design. There is definitely no harm in thinking and dealing with these things but there is harm in letting yourself be at the mercy of it all at the expense of your spark and your enjoyment. As with everything, it’s all about balance. It’s important to balance all of the potentially soul-sucking nitty gritty with plain old ‘having-fun’.
The other week I watched this Creative Mornings San Diego talk by the talented Hood sisters. Not only can you tell that they work with great confidence, you can also tell that they work with good humour and fun in mind. The proof is in their work; it’s lively and full of heart. Watching this talk put a big smile on my face and reminded me that you can still be serious about what you do without losing the joy.
I also went to the movies and watched Pitch Perfect 2. I’ll be honest, Pitch Perfect is definitely not my usual choice of movie but I found myself grinning for the entire two hours and for many days after (I still am). Watching Pitch Perfect reminded me that I should regularly do things and create things purely for the sake of entertainment. Not everything I do has to have a potential return of knowledge/wisdom/culture/whatever. Sometimes a laugh and a good time is worth a lot more.
If you enjoy what you do, work should not feel like work and the only way to enjoy what you do is to remember to have fun. The way I see it is, if you’re having fun, you’re happy. If you’re happy, you’re motivated. If you’re motivated, you’ll probably produce good work. So, if you’re currently having a ball, keep it up. If you’re struggling to find the enjoyment in your work, start making a conscious effort to inject some fun into your days. Nurture that litte spark, love what you do and do it well.