The third in a series of five rules to make you a better designer.
Please know that I'm not bragging. I really just want you to know that I'm walking this walk. Because I think is important for me, for you, for everyone. Never. Stop. Learning.
This post was drafted a few weeks ago but I think it gives you a good idea of how I try to live my life. In the past week I read a novel and started a second one. (One of the benefits of having a kid in the publishing industry is a steady supply of good things to read.) I read one non-fiction book and part of another. I attended a lecture by contemporary artist David Salle at SUNY Albany. I attended a lecture by a young lawyer who worked to challenge Donald Trump's immigration ban at JFK airport the day it went into effect. I attended Aaron Draplin's logo design workshop at SUNY Adirondack. And I organized and attended a lecture by photographer Mark McCarty. In addition I read the local paper every day and the New York Times on the weekend. I worked on a knitting project. And I went out shooting photos once.
This was a fairly normal week. Now admittedly I have time. My kids are older. The weather has been lousy. But I firmly believe that no matter what you do you have to be interested to be interesting.
If you aren't a little bit uncomfortable/don't feel a little over your head you aren't growing. And growing is key.
You should make it a practice to always be learning. It can be easy. There are lots of free community events. (The only one above that I paid for was the workshop.) Local colleges are a great resource. Get on their emails lists if you can to keep up with events. If you are a more solitary creature you can sign up for any one of the growing number of classes—LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, Craftsy, Creative Live and Udemy to name a few. Sign up for Meetup to find activities with similarly minded individuals. If you are a designer sign up for the AIGA Slack channel. (We have a great events channel.)
Read, attend a show, paint a picture, create a collage, ride your bike, go skiing, dig in the dirt.
Learning doesn't have to be design related. I could argue it shouldn't be. Think horizontally. Build connections between different topics.
Having a breadth and depth of knowledge makes us better designers and better business partners.