Are Designers Made or Taught?

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to have a natural flair for design? They know what colors look good together, they know what shapes attract the eye, and they understand how to evoke an emotional response. It’s almost as if they were born with the skill. But were they?
If you’re not a very good artist or illustrator, it can be tempting to blame that on genetics, to say that you just don’t have a flair for it. However, recent research suggests that art is actually a process rather than something intuitive. You learned to walk, you learned to ride a bike, and you can learn how to make art too.

Artists Are Made, Not Born

The first step to becoming an artist or designer is to make the choice to learn how to create art and illustrations. Some people may learn more quickly than others, but anyone can learn. There are color wheels and color tables to help people learn how to match colors together to create aesthetically pleasing arrangements, and now that computer art packages exist, anyone can create 2D and 3D images through a process of trial and error – if something doesn’t quite work, they can undo it rather than have to scrap the design.
Even drawing and painting can be taught. There are books about human proportions and anatomy, perspectives, and geometry. Once you learn “the rules” if you work slowly and methodically then you can create good art even if you’re not inspired.
Perhaps, as a taught artist, you wouldn’t have the inspiration and the desire to create new or unusual works, but you could create a web page for your home business or a new uniform design for the local sports team. The difference between a natural artist and one that learned the hard way out of necessity is quite simply the desire to create.

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