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Thread: Is Artistic Ability Neccessary?

  1. #1
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    Is Artistic Ability Neccessary?

    What I mean by the title is that I have taught myself a ton on HTML and CSS. I've gone through tutorial after tutorial and know more than my brain can handle. I wanted to put this into practice. Web design has always been my dream, but when it comes down to it, I have the artistic ability of a dead cat. I lack the ability to put my ideas into graphics (logos, icons, ect). I don't see how it's possible to be a designer without these skills. I know that I want to deal with client side development. I am creative and can come up with great ideas, but I cannot act upon them artistically. I have no idea what to do about this situation. Does anyone have any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Here's what you do...you develop. Not HTML / CSS. That's design, contrary to those who call it "UX / UI development" or "front-end development" (those are just euphemisms). I mean learning a server-side language and learning it well, such as PHP, ASP.net, Ruby on Rails, etc.

    The good thing about your specific situation is that the vast majority of people focus on the pretty pictures and try to build their careers on that alone. Some can do it (e.g. MYIWDesigns on this board). Most are in the "starving artists with little to no business skills" category. That's why most people are either "designers" (pretty picture drawers) or developers (programmers, like me), but not both.
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    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    There's a difference between being artistic and being aware of art concepts.

    Let me give you this example:

    A fashion designer constantly invents fashion trends and cool looking, fashionable attire.

    If you're a regular person, you won't be setting trends, but you can still be mindful of what looks good and put together outfits that are considered fashionable attire. Blue blazer + jeans is an example.

    Same with websites. You'll see some really kick ***, detailed website backgrounds. ilovecolors Don't strive for that though - takes too much graphic design ability. Instead, you want to be like me, where you have a strong technical foundation, but you do most of your design using simple CSS elements. Not as astounding, but still able to look good nonetheless. Great example is Apple where you could design the whole site using nothing but CSS and jQuery+CSS3 transitions for effects.

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    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThisGuyIsBrad View Post
    ...I have the artistic ability of a dead cat... I don't see how it's possible to be a designer without these skills...
    This is me, and I do it every time I sit down to work a web project. I have a hard time drawing stick figures in proper proportion, but I can design fairly well. It's possible, it just requires training your brain to think a little differently about things. Design isn't art. Design is problem solving. Trust me. If you understand the concepts and theories that encompass design, you'll be surprised at what you can come up with. I started with this ebook, then I went on and read a lot about color theory, and finally picked up a copy of Robin Williams' (not that Robin Williams) "The Non-Designer's Design Book". That'll give you a pretty good idea of the ins and outs of design. From there...lots of practice, lots of negative feedback, lots of "back to the drawing board", but you'll get there.
    AlphaMare likes this.
    Ron Roe
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    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    I appreciate all of the comments. I agree on a lot of those. I don't exactly want to do development. You guys have all given me a decent idea and some great examples and starting points. I'll look into all of this a lot.

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    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Roe View Post
    ... I started with this ebook ...
    Ron - that's a terrific book! I'm so glad I read this thread.

    That book clearly explains some really necessary fundamental design concepts. Once you really understand those (not just "know" them, but understand how and why they work) you have the basis to start working out a design process for yourself.

    I did find it a bit backwards, in that I would have put the "job" part (how to get a job, workflow, research, etc.) after the design part (typography, colour, layout). But it's a very good reference and I'm happy to add it to my short list of things to keep close at hand.
    Ronald Roe likes this.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMare View Post
    I did find it a bit backwards, in that I would have put the "job" part (how to get a job, workflow, research, etc.) after the design part (typography, colour, layout).
    Yeah, that part wasn't in there when I read it. I guess they added to it later.
    Ron Roe
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    Senior Member DC Web Design's Avatar
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    This is a lot more common than you might think. Most people either excel in design, or excel in coding, but rarely both. The people that can do both tend to do really well in this industry.

    For those who aren't artistically inclined, at the very least, you can educate yourself on what makes a good web design. Read about things like typography, whitespace, color contrast, and most importantly, how to apply those to the web. If you can understand those basic concepts, you'll be far ahead of a lot of other developers with inept design skills


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