As much as working for someone else helps you learn and grow, I have noticed that it sometimes clips your creative wings. The quality of your work suffers because eventually the work you do is not chosen by you but is given to you. You end up designing for products/services that you do not care about. Two days ago, I took the first step towards starting my own design studio. In an attempt to understand how to build my dream team, I bought books and signed up for classes focusing on topics that I lack knowledge in. One of the resources I came across was Seth Godin’s course on Udemy “A course for freelancers who want to move up”. My first assignment was to figure out who I am. Here are some questions that were part of the assignment.
- What do you want to do? (Not your job, but your work, now, tomorrow, and in the future)*
If I were to start a design studio today, I know I would not be 100% confident working on
- Web Design and Development
- Digital Marketing
- Graphic Media (Audio Visuals, Animations)
- Strategy Development (in unknown fields)
- Financial and Legal work
I would definitely need to build a team that can fill these gaps. At the moment, my goal is to try and learn atleast the basics of subjects that I am not fully confident about – so I can make the right decisions on who to hire when I build my team.
I want to start my own design studio in the future which focuses on brand experience design and helps build and grow brands. However, working for a large enterprise has taught me when business grow big most of the time is lost in people management and very little time is dedicated to creativity and innovation. The idea is to be small but powerful. I also want to carefully curate my client base and choose projects that I whole-heartedly believe in. I want to work on projects for start ups, F&B and the education sector.
2. Who do you want to change, and how do you want to change them?
As a designer, it is specifically frustrating to work with people who are misinformed yet highly opinionated. Sadly, in most businesses, design is always rushed and neglected in order to meet deadlines or financial targets to the point where the designer does not want to be associated with his/her own work.
Every organisation needs to have a stronger design team than anything else. The first step is to level the playing field. If an organisation has x people who make logical business decisions, there need to be atleast x creative people to avoid biased decisions.
3. How much risk? (from 1 [a little] to 10 [bet everything]), how much are you willing to put at stake to make the change you seek?
At the moment, I would say a 5 – primarily because of commitments at work.
4. How much work are you willing to do to get there? Be specific about the tradeoffs.
I am willing to put in as much work as I can into learning and developing my ideas. During my free time in the evenings and weekends.
5. Does this project matter enough for the risk and the effort you’re putting into it?
Yes, it absolutely does! I have given myself 6 months to conceptualize and work on my plan for my own design studio. I have no choice but to work on this.
6. Is it possible — has anyone with your resources ever pulled off anything like this?
Yes, I have personally seen success stories. So I know, it is possible.