Wonderful Advice from “I Used to be a Design Student”

I came across a rally interesting book at the campus bookstore titled “I Used to be a Design Student.” It features 50 designers and profiles them in the past and present (“then and now”) and contains pieces of advice from each of them.

I used to be a design student is a new publication by Camberwell BA Graphic Design alumni Frank Phillipin and Billy Kiosoglou (Brighten the Corners).

The inspiration for the book came from a talk Frank and Billy gave to Camberwell students. For the talk they decided to present a series of old student projects alongside work they had completed since graduating.

The students responded extremely well to the talk, not only in terms of being able to relate to the student projects, but also to the fact that through seeing a ‘then’ and ‘now’ the idea of becoming a professional designer appeared far more attainable. Realising that other people’s work would offer similar insights the idea for the book was born.

50 designers were invited to share one student project and one professional project for inclusion in the book. They were also asked to offer a piece of advice and a warning!

Although the book is obviously geared towards design students, I found it immensely inspiring not only because I like design and art, but also because I’m a pre-med student. I found that much of the advice offered in the book also applied to myself with regards to my career as a medical professional. (I also enjoyed looking at all of the designers’ projects!)

I would love to buy this book for myself, but I decided to write down my favorite pieces of advice instead (for now, this will have to do until I can someday hopefully buy my own copy!). Here they are — I hope they prove just as inspiring for you as they do for me!

  • Stay relaxed.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it.
  • Valuable qualities to have: A drive to explore and solve problems. To want to discover something new. An ability to see one’s place and responsibility within society.
  • Do everything with passion.
  • “Technology is the answer — but what was the question?” – Cedric Price
  • Don’t be lazy.
  • “Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new.” – Albert Einstein
  • If you are committed, hard-working, and love what you do, things will happen.
  • It’s a long-distance run, not a sprint.
  • Learn to learn.
  • Find it out for yourself.
  • One can never say something won’t work until they have done it.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Be fast — but don’t trip over your own feet.

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