I’ve had numerous conversations about growing as a designer. Many people want to learn new skills or improve the ones they have, but don’t know where to start.

My advice to them: Exhaust the free tools.

For designers of almost any variety, there are an incredible amount of free tools online to help you grow. From hand-lettering to designing websites, from code schools to illustration techniques. Search for what you want to learn and do it. Find everything there is to know about it on the internet until you know enough to do it on your own. Once you find a resource, try it out. If it works, keep going back to it.

There’s another piece that goes with this, though. It’s drive. If you want to learn, you must find the drive in yourself. Allow yourself to be hungry for learning. Get drawn-up and fascinated by it. It will take time, but you must keep going. Prove out a path until it’s clearly not your jam.

This is certainly no knock on formal education or Skillshare classes. I’ve seen great benefit from these in my own life. It’s merely an encouragement to go beyond those things without going broke.