Time to stop

limiting yourself?

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Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds”Napoleon Hill

Our mindset and beliefs can stop us from achieving our goals and realising our full potential. That’s why it’s important to recognise the thoughts, actions and limitations that we may have imposed upon ourselves and learn to let them go, so we can achieve greater success and fulfilment.

Learn to let go

A recent client experience showed me how to change my attitude and remove the constraints I had previously put upon myself. It’s been quite an enlightening experience to date and I have seen the benefits that can be realised once you learn to let go.

A few months ago, our client 2Excel approached us to complete a large exhibition design project for the forthcoming DSEI event that they were attending in London. One of the elements they needed our assistance with involved featuring their new aircraft on new stand graphics. As with all things design related, it wasn’t as simple as it sounded. The client had just bought the plane and it still featured the livery of its previous owners. It was due to be repainted, but this wouldn’t happen in time for it to be photographed and the results successfully incorporated into their new marketing materials.

Having brought in someone to help me and seen the benefits of thinking about the bigger picture, I have now parked my professional pride and going forwards I will now fully embrace the benefits of collaboration

Know your limits

The plane had four contrasting colours - white, blue, red and silver which needed to be converted to just one – grey. Now I realised early on that this was going to be challenging. Of course there are lots of ways to recolour things. I’ve done it many times in Photoshop over the years. But in this instance the process was more difficult because of the contrasting colours. Changing something from a dark colour to a lighter one is a sizeable and time-consuming undertaking and, in this instance, time was not really on our side.

Asking for help

I persevered with it for a few hours, trying different techniques, but I could see it was going to take a lot of hours, and we were already past the official artwork deadline (the exhibition printers kindly gave us a few more days to sort this issue out). In the end I shared my concerns with the client. She was very supportive and asked if I knew anyone else who could help, as she had no issues with me outsourcing the work. I asked around, amongst the designers I knew, and one came back quickly. He was confident he could help so I briefed him on what was required. His work was excellent, quick and on budget. So, with just a few additional tweaks from me, I sent it to the client. She was very happy.

Collaboration versus professional pride

This got me thinking about my skills and what I term professional pride. I’ve been using Photoshop for nearly 30 years and I feel like I know what I am doing. However, as soon as the client asked the question about potentially using someone else, I felt like I had permission to outsource the work. I’ll be honest, part of my resistance was tied up with the worry of it taking additional time and costing more, but I needn’t have worried, because fortunately the client was flexible and my fellow designer was very efficient.

It was only when I thought more about this project that I remembered that in 2023, one of Pixooma’s plans was to outsource more work and yet here was an opportunity to do just that and I had been subconsciously resisting it. Having brought in someone to help me and seen the benefits of thinking about the bigger picture, I have now parked my professional pride and going forwards I will now fully embrace the benefits of collaboration.

I also think that this ties in rather well with last month’s blog "Failure is always an option" as throughout this project with 2Excel I was concerned how difficult the task was and actually whether it was impossible in the timeframe, so I pushed for a backup plan we could use if the results of the photoshop work weren’t up to the standard required. Now if that isn’t good planning and preparation, I don’t know what is?

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