Everyone starts from the bottom

We all love when the hero of a movie is struggling at the beginning learning karate, starting a band, or trying to make it in any kind of industry. We know that we need to start somewhere and be bad at something for a really long time in order to be good at it someday. Yet, most of us are afraid to start.

I’ve been traveling the world for almost a year now, and I often meet young people who are a bit lost, unsure about what to do with their life. They all say they don’t have any “talent,” but if you spend more time learning about them, you can ALWAYS find something they really like to do, and you know that’s a path they could take.

The problem is that they don’t know where to start because they are comparing themselves with people that have been practicing their craft for years.

All of this made me think that maybe there are a lot of young folks that want to start learning more about design (or anything else), but they are too afraid to begin because they see extremely experienced people in the field.

They all started from the bottom and now they’re here.

I came up with this idea of showing the early works of designers/developers that are successful now. This way, people can see that everyone — literally everyone — started from the bottom like any of us.

I asked some of my friends who are well-known in their fields to share one of their beginning works and one of their recent ones. I hope it can inspire some of you who are just beginning in this field to feel like you can also do it. I hope it inspires you to open this new complicated software and start playing with it without thinking that you are not “talented” enough.

As creatives, we are embarrassed to show our work when it’s not fully polished, so showing one of the first design we ever made is quite painful. I’ll share my work first to make things easier for my fellow talented creatives who have accepted my silly request.

As painful as it is, I’m the guy who did those two things.

Shane Mielke — Freelance Creative Director, Designer, Front-End Developer and Author

Robbin Cenijn — Executive Creative Director at Ueno

Henry Daubrez — Co-Owner and Creative Director at Dogstudio

Anton Repponen — Designer, Photographer and Co-Founder of “Anton & Irene”

Julien Renau — Creative Technologist at Huge

Ben Mingo — Visual designer at Basic Agency

Jenny Johannesson — Design Lead at Ueno

Romain Briaux — Freelance AD & 3D designer

David Navarro — Executive Creative Director at Ueno

Florian Morel — Creative Developer at Active Theory

Aristide Benoist — Freelance Developer

“Talent doesn’t exist. The talent is to want to do something. Talent is to want to achieve a dream, the rest is just sweat and discipline. I don’t know what is an artist. I just believe that they are some people that work really hard on something.” — Jacques Brel

As you can see, everyone had to start somewhere. And to this day, they are still working on their craft on a daily basis to get better.

“I approach design the same as I did skateboarding; Practice, practice, practice” — Robbin Cenijn

Keep learning

This way of thinking could apply even to some of you who are already experienced in your field. It basically applies to anyone who wants to learn something new like 3D, photography, webGL or anything you are interested in.

I recently challenged myself to learn photography in 2018 because it was something I found interesting, and I thought it could help the way I design. In fact, it helped me experience life better.

Below are some shots from 2017 and 2018:

2017


2018

Left : Portrait in La Guajira desert, Colombia | Right : Sunrise at the Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Left : The streets of Akihabara in Tokyo, Japan | Right : Portrait in Salento, Colombia

I will not call myself a photographer, but I learned the basics, read a lot, and practiced like crazy. Now, I know what I’m doing when I’m holding a camera. (More photos on my Instagram)

What are you waiting for to start learning?

Robin Noguier