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I don't like to draw things, and I'm not so creative and artistic. Can I become a graphic/UI, UX designer?

Your kind suggestions are highly appreciated.

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    I'm sure you could, you could do it by fleshing out other people's ideas. – CrossRoads Jan 10 at 18:11
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    Hey there. This is a really tough question to answer, because it's more of a discussion which requires a lot more information. Of course you can be a graphic designer without being creative or artistic, but just because you're not creative or artistic doesn't mean you can be a graphic designer. – glazed Jan 10 at 18:51
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    I believe that you do have to be "creative" to be a graphic designer, But to be "creative" doesn't necessarily mean to be good at drawing and painting. Creativity can be used in any field of work. Simply means that you don't just "do as you're told", but are good at finding solutions to problems at hand. – Wolff Jan 10 at 18:56
  • @glazed, thanks for your reply. well, to be honest, I love front end(UI of websites), animations, and with that, I also know that I'm not too much creative, so I love the front end but on the other hand I am afraid of my creativity which is not too much! hope this makes sense – mehmood khan Jan 10 at 19:05
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    Creativity is really problem solving...if you can solve problems, you're fine! Also, it can be trained, like any skill. Don't think of creativity as a thing you're either born with or not, that can only hinder your progress. – curious Jan 11 at 2:42
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Yes

But being creative or artistic does not necessarily mean "ability to draw".

Creativity is a must-have. A good designer needs to be able to imagine/see information in various constructs, envision color usage, often determine imagery to be used. All this takes creative thinking. While you generally don't have to be creative enough to come up with earth-shattering new concepts, you do need to have the type of mindset which creatively explores ideas or concepts..... To use an analogy.... think of a movie... the Designer is basically like a movie's Director. The Director often doesn't actually write the script where characters are conjured from thin air and the storyline is created from scratch, etc. But the Director does have to be able to envision how the story they are given should look, what camera angles are needed, pacing, etc.

An artistic EYE is also a must-have. A good designer needs to be aware of artistic concepts such as color theory, placement, spacing, size, balance, proximity, etc. A good designer needs a critical aesthetic eye. They need to be able to understand how to make information appear appealing. Much the same way a Photographer never "draws" the artistic eye is used to determine framing, focal distance, lighting, etc. It's the eye or artistic aesthetic acumen that is imperative.


Being able to draw certainly never hurts. But there are a ton of design jobs which require no direct drawing ability beyond simple rudimentary shapes. Design is often more about the presentation of information and rarely about the creation of that information. The term "designer" in itself is a broad umbrella covering many, many, many different specific job functions. Some do indeed require the ability to come up with unique drawings or rendering of things, but most often it is merely the artist eye that is required.


The biggest requirements for a designer, in my opinion, are good deductive reasoning and problem solving skills. That's essentially the core of all graphic design - solving problems. You are given copy/information and you need to solve the problem of making it work and look good in a given format. This does take creative problem solving in most instances and an artistic eye to make it look good so readers/user will be compelled to use/read the piece.

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  • That is really helpful @Scott, I like the movie example – mehmood khan Jan 10 at 20:07
  • Can you train said "artistic eye"? If yes, how? If I'm a person who couldn't tell a good photo from a bad one if my life depended on it (except for blatant exposure/focus issues), is there still hope for me? :) – Vilx- Jan 11 at 21:47
  • @Vilx- you can to a degree. But it's not possible to answer such a question adequately in this format. If you have no inherent artistic ability, it could take quite some time to train you to "see" correctly. Most entering the design field have some sort of natural artistic talent, even if it's not "stunning", the inclinations are there.. which is what draws the to the field. – Scott Jan 11 at 23:12
  • Graphic Design, at its roots, is influenced by Art movements and their drivers. As a blunt example Jamie Reid's Sex Pistols approach was influenced by Dada both in its political context and application (collage). It is hard to see how he could have come to this as a graphic designer without that experience. This book explains how even simple use of type was influenced in this way. amazon.com/Pioneers-Typography-Revised-Herbert-Spencer/dp/… - You might also want to consider that British GD courses begin with a foundation year of fine art. – Applefanboy Jan 17 at 15:36
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Creative, yes. Almost any job in the world needs some kind of creative input.

Artistic, not necessarily. Depends on what you're designing and what time you have available. You can't be artistic in 5 minutes. There's many designers out there that are creative, but not artistic. You could, in a way, say that illustrators generally tend to be more artistic than designers.

It definitely helps however to be both creative and artistic and some jobs or clients will actually require such a creative & artistic designer.

Other times you can just be creative enough to outsource the artistic part.

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Yes and no, and this answer is going to be wildly unpopular but bear with me. I feel that its really the other way around*. It all depends on what you mean by creative. If you would have asked me this question 5 years ago I would have answered no. Today i have to sadly answer yes but not because of the reason most people think but basically having worked in an art school changed my understanding. The bar for creativity is incredibly low and in either case you can almost certainly learn all of these things**.

So almost certainly you are Artistic and Creative in the sense that is needed. More so for UX work than graphic design work. Its just a self identity thing, if you do graphic design others will think that your artistic and creative, thats about it. I mean it is not so much about your own feeling it is how other people perceive it. It is sort of per definition like this.

Now, the question is will you attract certain kinds of clients... No, but there are incredible amounts of not so glamorous jobs in these fields. And almost by definition many of these tasks depend on your ability to communicate with other people. because that is what both of these jobs are: Communication with users, and communication with clients. Then because usually your clients have needs that aren't so easy to accommodate (like make people depart money for this), you may need some way to penetrate the general noise. For this it is good to have taste, cult following or charisma but you can cultivate all of these.

* I didn't use to identify myself as creative, still dont but dont object thi it anymore. Even then artists dont think i am one when they hear what my education is. But when they see my results they use same words as they use for creatives, and in isolation think that i am some kind of artist. So i dont know it is possible that im colored by this.

** well, i have only met 2 persons who i know couldn't do these things but they had all some serious issues with their visual processing, they are incredibly rare. Obviously also if your blind, though that might still qualify you for UX. If you contemplate on this path you know you dont have this problem if you can identify a circle from a 2 units wide and 3 units high oval. Or draw a bunch of lines and if you can identify which line intersects with the other line then your OK.

However you may find that the workload you need to do is too much if you dont have the appropriate background. Its like learning to play violin at a old age. Time will become an issue. But it can be done.

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