web design + illustration


Four Simple Rules | Entry 5

Blog - Career Options Series

On Tuesday November 28, we had the pleasure of meeting Sean Patrick (Design Strategist, Creative Director, Designer, Teacher) and Gillian Chubb, former program coordinator of Web Design at Sheridan. They both provided words of wisdom and tips and tricks on how to survive the semester and prioritize our work so that we get the most out of what we want to achieve out of our time in the program. While Sean was the one leading most of the discussions, it was really nice to have Gillian there to reassure all of us, to just trust the process.

Their timing in the semester couldn’t have been more perfect. Only a week out of the strike, I think we were all kind of feeling on edge, and not just because we had missed four weeks of school, but just overwhelmed with how daunting completing the semester will be. With that in mind, Sean came up with four rules to follow when we feel overwhelmed.

Before I dive into those rules, Sean opened up his presentation by asking us what design means to us. Even if some of us came into this program without an undergraduate degree in design, I think Sean was impressed by what we came up with.


Don’t be afraid to fail

Failure in this case might have some negative connotations to it, but that is not how we should interpret it. I think we all know that there can be no success without a little failure in the mix. If we fail we try again, we learn, adapt and move on. As a human species, it is our resilience and ability to be resourceful that helped us succeed all those thousands of years ago.


Know what you’re good at and what you’re not

We can call ourselves experts at certain things and we have our innate talents but we also have learned talents. In any profession in life, we are constantly evolving and if we aren’t as adept at one thing that is fine. We accept we aren’t naturally good at one thing and seek to improve that one thing. Everyone has something meaningful to offer.


Look around you

There are good practices to follow when you have a lot of work to do. One of them being, step away from your work. There are countless times where I've found myself not having gotten out of my seat for hours, which is not only detrimental to my health but to my progress.

Be prepared

There’s nothing worse than leaving a project to the last minute. At least that is not how I like to function most of the time. Some creative people will wait to the last second and whip up something brilliant. I never find myself working that way, I need time. Time to think, to process, ideate and prepare myself. Starting a project is usually 50% of the work for me, and if I work in smaller chunks, I find I work much better. In cases where you don’t have time to prep, just ensure you meet all the requirements of the project, it is better to meet the deadline with something not polished rather than not meeting the deadline at all.


End of presentation exercise

I've come up with four illustrations to help me remember the four rules.


Sean is one of the most dynamic, engaging, individuals I have ever met. He made us laugh, he made us think and he boosted our morale. Every now and then we need a little push, and I think with Sean’s four rules, moving forward, we will have a much less difficult time tackling all the challenges life throws at us.  


You can learn more about Sean and his work here.

Thank you Sean and Gillian for coming in to brighten our day!

tyana awada