When I started design school I was strictly a business student with a vision. I was surrounded by talented Designers, Creators, and Makers who all had a “thing”. I didn’t even know we needed to have a thing.
But in typical Victoria fashion — I took it as a challenge and established that in order to keep up, let alone be successful in the degree, I was going to need to put my big girl pants on and put in the man hours (I’m a true believer in work smart, and hard).
I can’t draw. I can’t paint. And I definitely can’t animate… So, I somehow stumbled into this beautiful form of design that gives you rules to break in glorious ways.
And that’s how I started my journey as a Typographer. Because no matter what you do, an “h” still needs to be an “h” and a “j” still has to be a “j” — am I right?
Okay, let’s Cut the Shit — onto the Real Stuff.
Two years ago, I started my Typography Studio — Bona Fide Craft. We do it all, from painted murals to font design, through to wedding calligraphy. I love it. It’s my pride and joy, and it’s getting to the point that it’s hard to keep up with as a side hustle.
Yesterday evening, I ran a workshop through Bona Fide Craft — an intro to Modern Calligraphy for 17 rad woman and man (the first dude to come to a workshop, yay)! And as opposed to spending my day excited, as I should have — I was a nervous wreck.
I was terrified that they were going to view me as an imposter that was taking their money with no benefit in return.
After running a full-on and both learning and fun packed workshop, I was driving home on a high. Thinking to myself “Why on earth didn’t I trust myself to run this? I am a professional in my craft, and I love sharing it with people.”
Considering those are two facts that I know, and considering I have a supportive community fostering me as I continue to grow — why are we taught to doubt ourselves to the point of disbelief?
I have the answer: Every design conference I have attended in the past three years have hosted a talk on “Fake it ’til you Make it” and although they host great insights — the very insights that have funnelled me down the trajectory of success, there is a part two to that idea that doesn’t get talked about…
Fake it ’til you Make it BUT Fucking own it when you’ve Made it.
Okay — here’s the thing. In order to succeed in most industries in the modern economy, we need to finish University with a 4.0, eight years of relevant job experience, and an Oscar. University is hard enough as it is — let alone with those pressures.
So, Yes. You’re going to have to fake it. And when I say fake it — I mean learn lots of skills quickly, learn to question and tinker commonalities, get the experience on your own time in your own way.
But — when you get to the point that you have watched every @Skillshare course on the topic, read every article, attended every conference, created deliverables that your industry is well receiving of… I have a secret for you… you aren’t faking it anymore. You are in fact what you have worked your ass off to be.
Set metrics. Goals that you are working towards — goals that once you achieve, you will stop being so hard on yourself and will allow yourself to feel confident within your role, to feel capable, and damn worthy of where you have gotten to.
Because the funny thing about faking it until you make it, is that the only person getting you there — is you. This is a you thing and considering it’s a you thing — you need to be proud of yourself when you pass that threshold of knowledge and ability.
This doesn’t mean to stop growing. You should always be growing — not only will it keep you relevant in a changing job market, but it will do wonders for your mind — constant growth is essential to human fulfillment.
Why should you feel like you don’t deserve to be in the room, whilst everyone surrounding you knows you do?
Try writing yourself a letter before a large event that’s got you feeling anxious. This is what I wrote for myself the lunch before the workshop. Talk to yourself, the way you would talk to a loved one. I read it right before I started, and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.
Trust yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be confident in your worth.
Have the strength to have the self-awareness to say, “Yes, I have worked my ass off. I am a Professional at my craft (Marketing, Finance, Construction, Design, Science) no matter what it may be. And fearlessly give yourself the credit you deserve for the work you’ve put in all these years.