The Graphic design learner has to develop some competencies, attitudes and behavioral traits that would enable him or her to be very proficient in his chosen career or field of study. These attitudes and behavioral patterns do not come by chance. The amateur Graphic artist or learner has to cultivate these traits as he undertakes his projects patiently and with the greatest care. Some of these competencies, attitudes, and behaviors have been discussed below.
1. Ability to observe- The learner has to develop the ability to make critical and serious observation and examination of things in the environment with the view of making an accurate or precise representation of the object or form. It includes the critical observation of linear patterns, variations of shapes, textures, gradation or tones of colours of natural and manmade objects found in the environment.
2. Ability to use memory and imagination to derive and develop ideas- This is the learner’s ability to use his or her own imagination to create things without resorting to copying from already existing items. He should cultivate the attitude of brainstorming new and relevant ideas that can be used in creating useful Graphic products.
3. Ability to pre-image/ visualize and make designs of items- The learner should be able to use his senses especially the sense of sight to foresee or visualize how the idea imagined can be used in creating designs which in turn can be translated into items.
4. Ability to translate ideas and paper designs into three-dimensional items to solve problems or satisfy an identified need using the design and technology process- Designs are two-dimensional in form or flat. These paper designs are often generated into three-dimensional forms. The learner has to be able to meticulously follow the steps in the design and technology process to produce functional items. He should have the mastery to be able to translate designs on paper into free standing items.
5. Dexterity and creative use of tools, equipment and a variety of materials- This refers to the efficient use of the tools and materials. This involves the correct handling of the tools to execute the work. The learner has to understand the nature and feel of the tools and materials so that he can use them appropriately to give the right effect in the artwork.
6. Application of knowledge and understanding to constant practice for proficiency and perfection- The learner should ultimately aim at achieving perfection in the various techniques of artistic production. He should be able to consistently apply the knowledge that he had acquired through constant practice to produce items with great proficiency or skill.
7. Creativity, originality in thinking and end products- The young Graphic artist must make it his or her hallmark to produce items that are original in design, form, colour etc. His ability to create new things should be evident in his thinking as well as in the final products he makes.
8. Ability to respond to an artwork by using knowledge and skills in perception, appreciation, criticism, judgement, evaluation and aesthetics- The learner must have the ability of quickly responding to artworks he comes into contact with. He should be able to apply his senses well in talking intelligently about the aesthetic qualities of the work. He must be able to evaluate, appreciate and criticize an artwork using the knowledge and skills that he has amassed.
9. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, healthy competition, good human relations, etc. – The learner must also be able to think in concrete terms and always ready to bring out ideas that can solve pertinent problems faced by individuals in the society. He should be able to engage in competitions and exhibitions of Graphic arts held in the school, society or country. He must partake with a clean and clear motives of improving on his skills while learning and taking inspiration from the works of other Graphic artists.
10. Demonstration of human and moral behavior in thinking, feeling and acting e.g. honesty, commitment, self-discipline/respect, diligence, patience, tolerance, teamwork, etc. – There are some moral or behavioral traits that the learner must strive hard to cultivate. These include honesty, respect, diligence, patience, tolerance, and teamwork. People would like to have business transactions with an honest and respectful person. The learner has to be patient and tolerant to be able to absorb the pressures from clients which may sometimes be irritating or annoying. As a learner, he must also be ready to work with other people to achieve the same goal. This quality would enable him to work in a broader working environment such as in an industry or factory. In today’s working environment, teamwork is really essential for the success of any enterprise.
11. Portfolio of works- The learner has to cultivate the attitude of keeping a portfolio of his creative works either in hard or soft copies. This would enable him to enhance and improve upon his creative works every time.
12. Ability to perform tasks with little or no supervision- The learner should be able to perform his assigned work with little or no supervision. He must strive very hard to work independently with or without a tutor around. This would assist him to develop his skills at a relatively faster rate.
13. Self-learning/evaluation for improvement- The learner must be experimental, trying to learn new things on his own without being instructed to do so by a teacher or supervisor. He should explore new methods and techniques of achieving already existing production methods and techniques. It should be his or her attitude to try using the tools and materials readily available in the environment to produce meaningful and useful artefacts. Also, he should periodically self-evaluate himself by comparing his previous and current works for the purposes of knowing the mistakes in them and improving upon them.
14. Perseverance – The learner must show fighting spirit in attending to his creative works. He shouldn’t give up in his attempt to produce a difficult product or challenging exercise. He must not shy away from handling difficult artistic Graphic design products.
15. Time-management- The learner must be able to manage his time very efficiently. He should be time bound or time conscious in producing his artefacts. He should be able to meet deadlines set for producing works.
16. Work ethics- This refers to the accepted work behavior and attitudes expected of a Graphic artist. These accepted working behaviors include neatness, cleanliness, accuracy, and precision which are the hallmark of a good Graphic artist. The learner must be determined to display these work ethics in his artistic productions.
17. Self-confidence- The learner must be very confident when attending to his duties. He must not exhibit signs of fear. He should trust in his abilities, qualities or ideas. This would make it easier for him to gain the mastery over his artistic creations.
18. Communication skills- The learner must know how to communicate well with people. Cultivating these communication skills would enable him to communicate effectively with clients. People will certainly like to do business with people who speak politely than those whose manner of communicating pierces as if with a sword.