Tuesday, January 22, 2013

# 14 Ways to Think Like a Designer

      I'm a chronic over-achiever. I'll be the first one to admit it. And it's really inconvenient! There are so many times where I just need to get a project done, but if it isn't something I'm proud of, I can't finish it. 
It's my lot in life I guess. To have over-developed ambition and to be extremely anal when it comes to...everything.
     Anyways, the basis of the post is to prove you how much of an over-achiever I am. 
Last week one of my professors asked us to create a 10 slide minimum powerpoint illustrating one of the 14 Ways to Think Like a Designer from our textbook, Presentation Zen Design. My rule was "Know the Rules and When to Break Them." I could have just pasted some pictures onto Power Point and called it a day, but I stressed myself out and stayed up all night...to do this. 

I wonder what the rest of the class will do. 

I've always been the one to obsess and stay up all night over projects and assignments that no one else cares about. Usually I end up getting the same grade as everyone else- participation. But I guess I don't care. Because I know I put out work that I'm proud of, and no one else's opinion matters.   
I can remember in middle school where we had to come up with a visual presentation on a topic from the medieval ages. What did I do? Built a jousting arena, complete with moveable knights and their horses. 
What did the other kids do? Tri-boards and posters. 
My freshman year of high school, we were asked to create a playbill for a Midsummer Nights Dream. I stayed up till 3am making an actual book, illustrating major scenes with paper cutouts and layered textures. What did the other kids do? Printed something off the computer that morning, some not even bothering to staple it. 

In college I had a 2-D Design professor who was impossible to please. He felt that he was God's gift to art, and that any ideas other than his own were inferior. Every time our class would turn in a project, he would spend the whole time telling us how we fell short of his standards, and that he had no faith in us. He pissed me off so much that I spent a straight 15 hours of back-breaking work doing a project on grid layout-thousands of tiny square grids that made a swirling vortex. By hand. Not only did I do it by hand, but I did it with a paint brush and India ink. If I can remember I'll post a picture of it. It was ridiculous. 
And you know what? I got a 93. For a professor who didn't believe in A's, and acted like we were the scum of the earth, I earned his respect that day. And it was worth it. 

Suffice it to say, there were many projects I poured my heart and soul into that no one cared about, save me and my mom. Too many to name. But in the end, I don't regret anything.  
My name is Anneliese McClain, and I am an over-achiever. 

What do you think of this PowerPoint? Over-achieved, or justified?


  1. Hi, I've been following your blog for a time, I'm studying graphic design too, and I love the project! I have to say that I'm just like you.. Always complicating my life, when others just do simple things.

    Love from Argentina

  2. When all is said and done, the person hardest to please and the one most pleased with a job well done... Is yourself. Give yourself a hand!