(The article courtesy of Creative Opera)
Featuring, of course, my personal favourite:
Myth #7: Anyone Can Do It
As designers, we get a lot of “Oh, my cousin is a designer,” or “My friend is a designer,” just to find out that these people know a little Photoshop, or create invitations with Word. The two examples I seem to run across the most is those who have played with Photoshop Elements, and those who have created their first website with FrontPage. People think that because they can remove red-eye or make a photo sepia-tone, they are on their way to a second career in Graphic Design. These are the people I am up against when a client says “I have a neighbor who will design my website for $50.00.”
Don’t let these individuals affect you. Don’t drop your prices to meet theirs or become overly competitive with them. It is okay that people find design to be an enjoyable hobby. If any of them want to become full-time designers, they will still have to complete the courses and learn the skills that you already have. In the meantime, try not to be frustrated. You’re going to hear it the rest of your career. Everyone thinks they are a designer, and you just have to be secure enough to stay professional and let them be. You know that there is a lot of talent, time, and dedication involved with becoming a professional designer, so try not to roll your eyes or feel threatened. It should make you feel good to know that you have a job that others actually want to do for fun in their spare time.
However, while I do agree with the above whole-heartedly, I try not to judge anyone based on their experience in this field. There are a lot of designers who - for whatever reason - were late embracing this career path, and may have a skill set that is yet to be fully developed. To some, this may be viewed as an last-ditch attempt to become a “designer” because said individual thinks it’s a) easy and b) anyone can do it. However, natural talent cannot be faked, and so-called amateurs can have a lot to offer even if their tool choices aren’t always appropriate. Therefore it’s important not to dismiss their capabilities based on this alone. Just because a professional designer has 20 years experience and knows every Illustrator shortcut key known to man, it doesn’t necessarily make them the better pick.
However, Word Art should never be mistaken for real design.
Do not get this confused.