"Be Restless." This was the first piece of advice that I received from my professors when I had the opportunity to study abroad at Central Saint Martins. At first, the urge made me feel uncomfortable. Being in a restless state seemed chaotic and ill prepared, but I soon grew to understand and appreciate that demand. The thought of settling when you're on the move, can be devastating to a designer.
I was recently reading though an article by It's Nice That called '“Everyone should be a foreigner somewhere”: 11 creatives give their advice on working abroad.' Reading through the variance in stories of designers who moved to new places to take up their career reminded me of the immense value I found in my time abroad.
From the article, you can glean how places, cultures, and environment really contribute to such a different work-style. Knowing only one place your entire life is familiar and can seem like the smartest option, but being restless has so many creative benefits.
The incredible value that I gained from my short stay in London—aside from the education—was all of the new opportunities and experiences. Tromping around this historic city, dense with creatives, teeming with free museums, and vast landscapes of new colors and ideas. Overall, it was so inspiring.
Under the gun of academia proved to bolster this and the projects I was assigned pushed me to consider new ideas and ways of resolving. To this day, some of my favorite design projects happened at my time in London, and I owe that to the new city I got to explore.
Finally, traveling and working proved to be an incredible time for introspection. I was able to learn more about myself both as a person, and designer. Meeting new people, seeing new cultures, and this rapid exposure gave me a transparent sense of who I am and how I can best understand this to improve my work.
If you've got the itch, scratch. Travel is always an unmatched experience and can often surprise you.