Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Major Pitfalls For Designers… And What To Do About Them

Practice-By-Design Series

Warren Feld
Design Warp
Published in
14 min readSep 6, 2020

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Warren Feld at work, around 2010

For the novice, all that excitement at the beginning, when thinking about designing things, sometimes collides with a wall of developing self-doubt. It’s not easy to quiet a doubt.

The designer organizes their life around an inspiration. There is some fuzziness here. That inspiration has some elements of ideas, but not necessarily crystal clear ones. That inspiration has some elements of emotions — it makes you feel something — but not necessarily something you can put into words or images or fully explain. You then need to translate this fuzzy inspiration into materials, into techniques, into color, into arrangements, into a coherent whole.

You start to create something, but realize you don’t know how to do it. But you want to do it, and do it now. However, to pick up the needed skills, you realize you can’t learn things all at once. You can’t do everything you want to do all at once. That initial excitement often hits a wall. Things take time to learn. There are a lot of trial and error moments, with a lot of errors. Pieces break. Projects don’t gel. Combining colors and other design elements feels very awkward. Silhouettes or structural layouts are confusing. You might get the right shape for your piece, but it is…

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Warren Feld
Design Warp

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.