The Art of not Giving a Shit

I've been asking myself a question lately; why do we allow ourselves to be influenced so heavily by other people's opinions? Everyone wants to feel that what they produce is somewhat exceptional - different from the rest. We all want to stand out from the crowd and everyone loves to be respected for what they do. But do we take this need for social acceptance too far? In many cases I think so. Sometimes our obsessive pursuits of current trends suppress our true creativity. A good read is P.J. Onori's excellent article on web design trends. Furthermore, think about many of the great artists throughout history - take my personal favourite Vincent Van Gogh for example. He spent his life being ridiculed by the artistic society for his lack of talent. Today his work is considered some of the greatest ever conceived.

To release our creativity we must overcome the comments of others and follow what we ourselves believe is good. I'm not saying that I don't give a shit about what you or other people think about my work. On the contrary - I hope you like it. What I am trying to say though is that I have, and always will live by the rule that a piece of work is only complete when I am satisfied with it, not other people. I am always open to suggestion, and every designer should be able to accept constructive criticism with open arms. However our personality, and that we pass to our work is what separates us as artists in our own right, from the corporation - from those who only produce what other people want to receive, often for financial benefit.

Dated: 14/05/2006. Filed under: Miscellaneous and Web Design.


Comments

On 15th May 2006 Mendez said:
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Fantastic article buddy - and I love your site (not that you would care ;) lol) !
On 15th May 2006 Steve Tucker said:
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Cheers Mendez, glad you liked it. Like I said though, I do (very much) care about what people think about my work. It makes me proud to know ive done something other people can enjoy. I just don't base my whole ethos around other peoples opinions, unless I share the same tastes myself :)
On 15th May 2006 Montanha said:
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Fantastic ... pretty design using CSS ...

Fantástico... lindo design usando CSS !!

Good Background... very very good!
On 15th May 2006 Hugh G. said:
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Well said Steve.

Adding to what you said, how is a designer supposed to develop their own style if they're relying too much on other's feedback and not their own intuition?

On 15th May 2006 Steve Tucker said:
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@Montanha thanks for your comments, im glad you like m' site :)

@Hugh right you are, and the answer is a designer can't. There is a subtle but very important difference between mimicking trends and finding inspiration - and I see where you got yours!
On 15th May 2006 Damien said:
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Excellent site. I too hate people's bad opinions, especially when they themselves can not compare to what they are opinionating... (is that a word...)

Very nice site, luv the navigation.
On 15th May 2006 Steve Tucker said:
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@Damian Yup - I believe you've just forged a new word there mate... but that's what creativity is all about, right?
On 16th May 2006 Oliver Zheng said:
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Is there a particular example this post applies to? I'm sure in the Web2.0 world I can think of one (http://techcrunch.com).

You are damn right though. But in some sense, any (by that I mean ANY) expression is ultimately to voice an opinion to be heard, to be distinguished from the rest. But that could be just me being critical :P
On 17th May 2006 P.J. Onori said:
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Very nice article - I'm assuming it doesn't come to a shock to anyone that I agree completely with what you've written about.

"To release our creativity we must overcome the comments of others and follow what we ourselves believe is good." - I agree. Many times a strong design is going to have as many people praising it as admonishing it. This field requires a thick skin and a deep confidence in your own competence.
On 17th May 2006 kitsimons said:
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Totally agree. My work is for myself and while I hope others like it, I've got to be happy with it first and foremost. Guess everyone saw the reaction when Jon Hicks redesigned and kudos to him for sticking to his guns.

The only exception I suppose is when working for someone else. While I try to produce something I and others will like, at the end of the day it's the person paying the bill who has to be happy...
On 17th May 2006 Steve Tucker said:
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Glad you all have similar thoughts on the subject. I reckon it's more important many give it credit for. Who knows where we'd be in a few years without the creativity and initiative of passionate web designers? An internet of clone website, all which share the same style and look decidedly bland. What a blast that'd be. Cheers for the input guys :)
On 11th June 2006 Anonymous Coward said:
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Wonderful article. You are absolutely correct.

I should apply your tips :)
On 26th December 2006 Maijn said:
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I love these tips. In fact, I will learn how to not worry too much about others.

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