In this week’s episode we are pumped because we’re actually answering three questions, from listeners Izzi, Maureen and Danielle. Each of these wonderful listeners have very different questions around design, but we are really excited to dig deep for all of you at home and provide as much value as we can muster. Let’s get into the show!


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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.


Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1:00] This week we’re excited as we have three questions from our listeners
[1:45] First question is from Izzi, who runs Izzi Mata Studio and is an Art Major at Westmont College. You can find Izzi’s work on Instagram
[3:00] Izzi struggles with people telling her that pursuing a career as an illustrator is a waste of time
[3:30] Ian says he feels lucky as he’s never experienced this issue
[4:20] It gets easier if the people surrounding you understand graphic design
[4:45] Lisa got a similar reaction from her dad as he didn’t believe art was right as a career choice
[5:15] People don’t believe in art as a career because this is what they’ve also been thought by others
[5:50] Art is an important career and it makes the world more interesting
[6:30] People need to start learning about art and see the bigger picture
[7:00] Lisa is a great example as she is doing what she loves and turned this into a profitable business
[8:00] As opposite to rock stars or footballers, where only the best can make a career, there are a lot of designers making a living
[9:00] Prints are in everything from greeting cards to clothing and behind them is a designer that creates these
[9:30] Designers don’t get into designing necessarily to get rich
[10:00] A good idea would be to spend your time around people that are artists or designers
[10:40] People will laugh at you and it might be because they are being uncomfortable themselves
[12:00] Parents will tell you not to follow your passion for art, but they do this as they think they’re protecting you
[12:40] Communicate to your friends and explain to them that this is what you are passionate about
[13:30] At least 80% of people hate what they do, so it’s likely that your friends are not as happy in their chosen careers as they make you believe
[14:00] Breaking the mould and following your passion takes a lot of bravery
[14:30] When people are negative, there is usually a reason behind their behaviour
[15:10] People usually tend to hurt people they love the most, as they talk freely but it might not come out in a helpful way
[15:50] People don’t kick people when they’re down, so it might be that Izzi is doing very well, so her friends are confident joking about it because she looks promising
[16:30] You need friends with a positive outlook to uplift you
[17:20] Graphic design is a career with a longer path to success and it requires patience to build up
[18:10] Please leave a comment under this video over at to encourage Izzi
[18:40] Second question is from Maureen Denny who runs Moxie Creek
[19:20] Maureen struggles with two areas: honing her style and focus on learning
[20:00] Lisa can relate to these areas too, as she experienced the same things when she first started
[20:40] It’s good to have the knowledge, but sometimes you need to just sit down and put in the hours and do the work
[21:30] Ian found that he could learn better when he was just playing with new things
[22:15] Tom also learned through trial and error
[23:00] Follow your passion and try to learn things that stand out to you
[24:00] Find one topic that interest you and prioritise that
[24:50] Every time you start something new you might get overwhelmed by how much there is to learn, but don’t let that stop you
[25:20] Ian suggest figuring out what you hate doing and removing these parts from your work
[26:50] Third question is from Danielle Allen. You can find her on Instagram @daniellarenae
[27:50] Danielle wants to know how you can make friends with other designers that might be your design competition
[28:40] Lisa was in the same situation and she used to send clients to her designer friend, and in return her friend also send clients back to Lisa, so it can be mutually beneficial
[29:45] There are multiple benefits of collaborating with another designer
[30:30] Dustin reveals that him and Ian used to be each other’s competition as some of their work was very similar
[31:00] Tom used to work with both and couldn’t remember who was who as their designer name was very similar too
[31:30] Dustin and Ian became good partners and they’re thinking of actually doing something together
[32:00] Competition is a good thing as it motivates you to do more and be better
[33:00] Try to have a conversation with that person and you might end up becoming friends with them
[33:40] Think of the alternative, would that make you happier?
[34:20] Usually people that you’ll meet at conferences are open to building relationships
[35:20] You can only grow by working with other people and not in isolation
[36:00] Tom gives the example of being interviewed by another host from the Obsesses with Design Podcast
[36:30] Putting good stuff out and with the right intentions is enough to get you on the right path
[37:00] The hosts are happy that they’re able to help specific people with specific questions
[37:50] Thanks for listening to this week’s episode

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