Truth or Dare: How Uncertainty Dares Designers to Find Inspiration

Truth or Dare: How Uncertainty Dares Designers to Find Inspiration

designerup.co designerup.co5 days ago in #Design Love32

“Truth or dare?” I looked up at my laptop screen, which was divided into four sections. My friends and I had scheduled a happy hour over Zoom and we were catching up on everyone’s lives. All eyes were pointed at me. “Truth?” My friend cracked a smile. “Do you think you’ve finally gotten your foot into the design door?” I laughed. Then he laughed. Then all my friends laughed… And then I muted him for the rest of the conversation because I was the call host. My pal was referring to a post I had written for DesignerUp on my insecurities within the design space. My relationship with design has been fulfilling, if not also rocky. In that post, I documented my reckoning with the all-time classic designer doubt: if I can’t draw, can I really be a good designer? Could I really get my foot into the design door? My friends were all poking fun but the question is something I grappled with, and it’s a point of stress in a lot of early designers’ minds. The truth? I still deal with overwhelming uncertainty every day. It’s called imposter’s syndrome for a reason. But here’s the challenge. Here’s the dare. Don’t let that uncertainty hold you back. Take that as a sign to keep moving forward. Quarantine is one big game of truth or dare! Let me show you what I mean. The Truth If you felt uncertain before COVID-19 — whether about grades, or job prospects, or the NBA playoffs — then there’s no doubt that you’re facing some extreme uncertainty right now. It’s been just over two months since stay-at-home advisories and social distancing upended life as we know it. Meetings have gone virtual, arenas have gone silent, and the new work uniform is a pair of sweats and a cotton t-shirt (at least for me…). Everything we expected for the future two months ago is now up in the air. That’s a reality we have to face as students, people, and designers. That’s just the truth. If you had a job offer or summer internship lined up before quarantine, chances are your program is now cancelled or virtual. If you’re a graduating senior, the reality is that you’re entering the workforce in a moment of flux. If you’re a designer, the truth is that uncertainty can, and will, aggravate insecurity. It’s the cold, hard truth. We’re living in an uncertain moment. But here’s the catch — uncertainty can lead to insecurity. That doesn’t mean it has to. The Dare Gilda Radner, one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, once said: “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” Uncertainty is a word that comes with a bad rep. When people think of uncertainty, they also think of instability, and change, and insecurity. Most people often overlook that uncertainty is also a hub for potential and a space for growth. Most people don’t realize that uncertainty doesn’t have to beget insecurity.  » Read More

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