I often feel like I’m floating alone in this huge universe of projects to finish, things to learn, events to attend, books to read, promises to fulfill, and all other undiscovered territories.
I read somewhere that people like stories, so this is a story of the space dude/gal illustration from my new home page.
It was one of those days during the week when I worked late at night. I was browsing different websites for another project inspiration and it happened …
An idea that I should redesign my entire website hit me. I looked at other designers’ work and then I started planning it all in my head.
I wanted it to have typography from one site, and colors from another one, and that brand feeling from yet another.
I even started putting together some quick design concepts, and then I realized that this is not me. It’s not my style. It’s not my thing.
Planning your own site design purely inspired by someone else’s work is not the right thing to do. It’ll never work.
I felt like it was time to start building my own world.
So, I went back to the drawing board and started listing all of the things that would make my own brand. What do I like doing? What am I passionate about besides design? What is unique about my current brand? Where am I going with all of this?
I love drawing. I’m passionate about space (yes, I’m a little bit of a nerd and I believe we live in a multiverse). My dorky illustrations are kind of unique. I want to create more great resources for designers and learn something new on the way too.
Then I realized I don’t really need a brand new design. It wouldn’t change anything or bring me anywhere closer to where I want to be. Would a new design help my audience somehow? Nope. But what if I write another article or share new design tools? Yes!
I decided to go back to basics. In my first step, I decluttered the home page and brought the list of recent articles up on the page.
I want to use more of my illustrations and put them everywhere–from the home page to my blog posts, social media, and even emails. I want it to be my thing and a mark that people can recognize me for.
The home page redesign is just the beginning of building my own world. I want to follow up on this idea and redo other parts of my website.
This whole redesign thing also reminded me that at some point we should stop looking around at what everyone else is doing.
Research is good, and when you’re working on a project for a client, then it’s a necessary and important part of the process. However, I’m talking about a situation when we’re working on our own personal branding and we seem to linger in this analysis paralysis phase.
The universe is huge. We could spend our entire lives exploring, wandering, and watching. There is always someone new to follow, a new course to take, another book to read, and a new skill to learn.
However, what really matters is what you actually created. Nobody will reward you for the number of courses you took and books you read. It’s all irrelevant until you take some steps and use your skills, knowledge, and experience.
Of course, I’m not saying we should stop learning. All I’m saying is that we need a balance between how much content we consume and when it’s time to produce something by ourselves. After all, you’ll learn the most by doing.
And the good thing is that we don’t have to know everything and we never will anyway. It’s actually OK not to know things.
If you thought for a moment that you could make your own home page look like mine, please stop! I don’t mind if you want to copy the idea, but that’s not the point.
When it comes to your own brand, think inside out. Figure out your own thing and bring it out to the world instead of trying to change yourself to match whatever cover you create.
If you’re not authentic, people will quickly notice.
Going back to my illustration, if you feel like you’re that astronaut floating around in empty space, go back to your drawing board and find out what would really represent you and how you can make it unique.
Start by discovering what you really like doing, what you’re passionate about, and where you want to go with it.
Create a brand that you can really enjoy maintaining and feel proud of.