Learn a new skill in 2019: 6 top upskilling tips

Looking to extend your skillset in 2019? Maybe you want to learn how to start a blog or discover how to draw? Upskilling can help you skip to the front of the design opportunities queue. But what should you learn, and how?

For some creative inspiration, read our for six pro tips from designers who've successfully upskilled. 

01. Build your confidence

"Have the ambition, confidence and drive to go beyond the area you're working in," advises Terry Stephens, creative director at Studio Nomad (opens in new tab). "Look for inspiration that you can apply to your work in a way that's relevant to you." 

02. Set broad horizons

"Read something new, watch something different, or visit someplace and get lost," urges art director and experimental typographer Craig Ward (opens in new tab). "If you're going to develop as a designer, you need to develop as a person."

You might, for example, decide to improve your photography skills (opens in new tab) or learn how to draw (opens in new tab) better.

03. Be fearless

"Flawless design bores me; 'ugly' design gets my attention," declares Jenny Theolin, educator and creative director at Studio Theolin (opens in new tab). "I'd rather see you experimenting with the tools you have than considering your next software purchase."

04. Stay adaptable

"Adapt to your environment," says Ben Christie, creative partner at Magpie Studio (opens in new tab). "You should always be looking and learning, sucking up as much of the world as you can."

05. Work on your problem-solving

For Stuart Radford, creative director at Superunion (opens in new tab), it's all about developing your capacity to think creatively and solve problems. "The ability to come up with original and unexpected ideas is more valuable than anything," he insists.

06. Be passionate

"Be true to who you are," concludes James Hurst, executive strategic creative director at DesignStudio (opens in new tab). "If you can keep the spirit alive of doing shit you love, you won't fall into the trap of trying to be the same as everyone else."

The full version of this article first appeared in Computer Arts magazine; subscribe here (opens in new tab).

Illustration: Flavio Montiel (opens in new tab)

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.