Self Taught Designer

Alot of people ask me how did you become a self-taught designer? I’m writing this post to try and explain what self-taught means to me.

Self-taught does not and should not mean learning without an education, sure there are courses which provide you with the skills you need within the design industry but there is no university or course that can teach you everything you need to know. Whether you study at university or not, you constantly need to research, learn and practice yourself.

Lets get straight to the point, everything I taught myself about web design was stolen from other websites. I looked at the layouts of other websites and would replicate them. I would then replicate it again over and over until I was comfortable doing so.

I would also do the same for code, I would look at a sites source code, open notepad++ and start to replicate.

After a while I would try and edit and improve the code. Once I was happy and confident I started to steal full websites, replicate them, improve the code maybe even take some code from an additional site and merge it with my design.

I did this until I was happy with the speed of my process and in the end none of the designs I came up with looked like the inital design I had stolen.

Alot of my ideas in design I steal, not from websites anymore but from art, magazines, nature etc. There’s no need to be concerned with a process like this in the beginning. Especially if you’re teaching yourself something new.

This has helped me loads and I will continue to do this as it’s difficult to sit at a blank screen and simply create, starting with something that exists already and changing it until its your own is a great way to get started.

Front-end developer from Lancashire, UK. I create & develop websites for awesome people.

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