Where The Heck Is My Passion?

by Nate Croft

If you are a designer, you probably are one because you wanted to be. Design isn’t exactly one of those fields most people happen to fall into. Most of us do this because we love it, or at least really liked it at one point.

But what happens when when passion no longer fuels the production? I don’t know about you, but for me, it means that there is a severe of lack of kick-awesome. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that “kick-awesome” is how we describe something that is even better than we could have imagined it. And lacking that means that it’s just a regular project. The client is happy with it, other people think it’s nice enough, but I know it could be better. That’s a place I don’t like to be.

Do you know what kills passion for creatives? Monotony.

So you might be saying to yourself about now, “Crap that’s like the past five projects I’ve worked on! What do I do now?” You’ve got to find your passion again. And while some extra romantic spark never hurts, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about your love for the craft, the satisfaction of building something bigger than yourself, and the joys of being employed for your creative efforts. Let that sink in a bit, because even I forget that at times.

Do you know what kills passion for creatives? Monotony. I realize this more every day. If you are living out the same routine and stuck in the same list of daily tasks, it slowly bleeds out your creativity. I know there are some very boring things that we all have to do, but the way we approach them can make all the difference.

Here are a few things that help me:

Mix Up Your Daily Schedule.

I find that the faster I get to the creative process the better. If I jump right into the work I get so much more accomplished. I don’t do this everyday but as much as I can I try to drive in head first. This way I don’t get bogged down with other things. Email, Twitter, etc, get left for later in the day.

Change Your Creative Diet.

If all you ever look at is super modern design, try something old school for inspiration. If minimalism is your thing, dissect an extremely ornate design to see how they make it work. You don’t have to design in those styles, but pick up their principles and tricks and apply them to your methods.

Talk To People.

Twitter’s great, but everyone can benefit from face to face conversations. I have more ideas when I talk to people. It doesn’t matter if they are designers or not. Actually, sometimes it’s even better if they aren’t. Getting out of our little designer boxes is good for us.

Clear Your Head.

Worry and insecurity are big ugly thoughts. You’ll have to get rid of them before the creative thoughts can come out to play.

Be Thankful.

It’s good to be a designer. If you are reading this, that probably means you are sitting inside a climate controlled building with nearby bathrooms. This already puts you in better conditions than millions of people on Earth. Remember that you have an awesome job. You create things. Think about all the good parts of being a designer and fall back in love with design.

Now let’s go make something awesome.

March 24, 2009



  1. All very good advice. I’d highlight as well in the ‘Change Your Creative Diet’ section that you should step away from the computer. Look at design in all types of environments and without technical limitations. When I started spending less time on the computer I found myself so much more inspired to create designs *first* and think about the technical limitations of design later.

  2. True. Monotony kills passion. However long-term success quite often comes from living within a rhythm. The two seem to be in direct opposition. Quite the conundrum. How do you keep the passion ignited while maintaining your day to day habits that get things done. You suggested to mix up your day to day schedule (and I agree it has to be flexible) but that can really throw off the all important rhythm. You know what I mean? I like the “change your creative diet” idea the best. Maybe a visit to that museum I’ve been wanting to go to will help…

  3. @Robin: My best ideas happen when I’m not in front of my Mac. I have been keeping a notepad at the ready for when inspiration strikes and I’m offline.

    @James:  I would suggest keeping the same elements of your day but switching the times. That way your rhythm isn’t so mixed up that you are ineffective, but enough to shake yourself out of the auto-pilot.

  4. You are right, being a designer is kick awesome! Love your work. Good inspiration too!

  5. Hi, guys! I have problems with potency ... I need your help! Did you have it?

  6. I am clicking over there right now. Thanks for posting.

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