I have had a pleasure of having several conversations around the vast distance between the thinking of a professional designer (someone who is getting paid to design) and (how to put this in a way no one gets offended) a designer who is yet to be paid for work. This has become visible with conversations centered around the motivation behind how you run your social media accounts.

Too often I see talented creative people on Instagram / Behance who limit their development. How do they limit their development? Simple, they do the same thing, over and over again.

This may come as a shock to you, but there is more than just one sport being played in the world.

“But i wont get as many likes if i don’t do (insert particular sport)”.

“People will stop following me if I don’t do (insert particular sport)”.

My wife told me a quote the other day. Success can be your biggest failure. I’m sure we have all seen numerous sports stars have a standout season and then are unable to reach the highs again. Its the same with your social media account.

If success is X amount of likes, or X amount of followers then you are putting a lid on your own success.

Too many times i stumble upon an account that has 250 followers, yet they are a sports designer working for a major sports team / association / news agency. It is these accounts I like sharing in my Instagram story because they are direct proof that your 50, 500, 5000 followers mean little to nothing at the end of the day.

Your development as an artist, creative, designer…whatever you call yourself should be your number 1 priority. I have countless conversations with 14,15,16 year old punks that will honestly destroy me, take my job and leave me washing cars for a living because of how talented they are. They ask “how do I get work?” ‘Whats my next step?” My answer EVERY time is to develop. Watch YouTube tutorials, branch out, learn Illustrator, learn InDesign, dam learn After Effects cause that’s where the money will be at in 10 years.

The amount of incredible artists I see that purely do male + one sport (2 at max) art pieces is insane. So much wasted potential.

Here is some insight, you cant create the same way for Basketball and Football (Soccer). Body position, grass, lighting, motion, its all different. The difference between designing for men and women is subtle, but massive. You cant design the same between NFL, NRL, AFL, Soccer, (all “football” by the way). Each sport is unique.

My encouragement is dont waste your potential chasing followers and likes. Your development is more valuable than your discovery.

Those who focus on development will get discovered. Those who focus on being discovered wont develop.