February 25, 2014

3 powerful tips for becoming remarkable

This week’s post is from John Michael Wilyat (@JMWilyat). He is the Co-Founder of Real FX Digital, a company that provides solutions through architectural rendering and animation. Last week, I received tweets about RealFX Digital (@realFXdigital) offering tutorials on rendering. Photoshop and rendering machines was not my forte in design school - I picked it up doing my portfolio. Today, I am using it monthly at work for the marketing and rendering tasks I have before me. I highly recommend visiting their website because they provide tips on what you need to stay on top of your game. The tutorials are thorough in explaining the process and workflow to be proficient at rendering your studio projects. Without further ado, here's this week's post:

“You're either boring or you stand out. You're either invisible or remarkable. And, all your life, everyone has been pushing you to fit in.” - Seth Godin

It sounds harsh, but it’s true.

If you want to be successful at anything especially architecture, than you need to be remarkable.

Sure, you can get by if your work isn’t the best. After all, being remarkable is hard work and studio life has you exhausted already. Just be better than your worst competitor and you’ll be alright.

That’s fine for some people.

But I’m not writing this article for some people. I’m writing this article for the students who aspire to be something greater, working tirelessly even against the odds, the kindred spirits who burn the midnight-oil in studio so their presentation has the extra 10%; I’m writing this article for the underdog architecture students.

If you’re reading this blog then I am confident you are committed to greatness; so here are 3 powerful tips that will make you more remarkable on your journey to the top.

No more excuses

We have heard them all before. “I’m not creative enough, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money, I’m not connected to the right people, the critics don’t like me”…and the list goes on.
Making excuses is a waste of your energy. You need to commit to no more excuses starting now. If you want to be truly remarkable then this is the place to start.

Excuses are hindering your growth in ways you can’t imagine. A very wise and beautiful quote puts this in perspective.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” - Charles R. Swindoll

So if your first reaction in the face of adversity is to meet your problems with an excuse than you will never move beyond them. Being remarkable is about showing up everyday and putting 100% of your effort. If you do that then you will see results. If you are truly committed to your work then you won’t find yourself making excuses, you’ll find yourself making progress.

Become a great storyteller

No matter what you are presenting, no matter how big or small your audience is you must be a great storyteller. People identify with stories and that is simply human nature. If you are presenting a design to a jury you must have a story, it is and always will be the heart and soul of your project.

Define elements of your projects using the same dramatic elements as a play. Give people something to get behind, a hero to root for and they will make a connection with your ideas that will resonate.

Would people love Apple Computers if Microsoft didn’t exist? Probably not as much.  Ideas are always relative so construct a narrative around your project that allows people to connect to identify with your cause. This storytelling can be used in both your verbal and graphic presentation.

The two images below are the exact same perspective but the colors and details set two entirely different tones for the audience.

Image courtesy of Real FX Digital.

You are in control as an the artist so if you don’t define the story of your project than the audience will do it for you. Just like hearing a certain song can change your mood, a story can change the mood/minds of people listening. Being remarkable is about leaving an impression. So craft a verbal and visual presentation worthy of an Academy Award and your audience will love you for it. People need an emotional connection to truly believe in something, so give them one.

Be honest

I saved this one for last because it’s the most important. When I say to be honest I don’t want this to be confused with truth. Honesty and Truth are two very different things.

Truth is what is true in a matter of fact. You can tell the truth when you’re being questioned in a court of law. This is generally a good idea but won’t make you a better designer and certainly won’t make you any more remarkable.

Honesty is about being pure in your intentions and your actions. Remarkable work is born out of pure intentions. The saying “You can’t write stuff this good” comes from the idea that truly engaging art is not fabricated and hollow but stems from honest thoughts and feelings deep within the artist. Honesty in a project can not be forced. Be brave enough to let your inner principles and desires show through in your work and learn to take any criticism in your stride.

If you’re not being honest than you’re not being yourself. If you won’t be you than who will?

Dare to put yourself wholeheartedly into your work and stand by your ideas, you really have nothing to lose; but maybe just maybe if you stay the course than you will finally see how remarkable you truly are.

Be a rebel.
Stay creative.

About the author: John-Michael Wilyat is an architectural visualization artist and animator with a degree in architectural design. He is Co-Founder of design and media company Real FX Digital.

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