Practice makes perfect: It’s also a good idea to start practising. If you want to enter the fashion world, then sketch on every available surface; if you think that designing video games is your forté, then design graphics on your computer at home; maybe sketch a few jewellery designs or decorate a room in your house. Creativity manifests itself and flourishes only through expression. Get a feel of the industry: Many firms offer summer internships as well as internship programmes through the year. If you get a chance to take part in any of these, go for them! The experience of working behind the scenes and the in-depth knowledge that you will gain are invaluable. Internships also stand you in good stead when it comes to applying for a job, since employers look for people who are clued in to their field.
Be passionate: Before you start applying for a course in design, make sure you are doing what you really want to be doing. Develop a broad view of things and thoroughly think it through. Design demands passion! Once you are sure of your decision, charge full steam ahead!
A checklist for parents: how can I identify whether my child has the inclination and aptitude for a career in design?
- Does he have a tendency to come up with lots of ideas in response to verbal or visual cues?
- Are his ideas remarkable, quirky, ‘out of the box’?
- Does he look at things from different perspectives (e.g. draw an object from above rather than giving a side elevation)?
- Do his solutions to problems surprise people?
- Does he finely detail his drawings?
- Does he express himself metaphorically or abstractly in play situations or exploit language used in some of his story books (e.g. “I’m a laser force that’s knocking you over”)?
- Does he often comment on other’s ideas with clarity of thought?
- Does he distinguish between reality and fantasy (e.g. questions about Santa or the tooth fairy come very early)?
- Is he skilled in drawing, or imagining solutions through visual imagery, spatial or artistic intelligence?
- Is he able to express his creative ideas in a practical and understandable way?
- Does he fervently explore new innovative ways of doing things that are taken for granted?
If your answer is yes to most of these questions then your child can make it big in a design- oriented career. Do remember that as a parent you have an important role to play in encouraging your child’s creative juices to flow. Don’t emphasise end results; get your child engaged in the process. Let his thinking flow in a natural manner, instead of trying to influence it in one direction only. Organise and participate in community activities where children can showcase their talent and support their community. When the community recognises children for their contribution, it builds wonderful morale. And finally, be sure to read our Cover Story “Teaching Children to Think Creatively”!