Learning is a key element for humans to grow, no question about that. But the way you learn is also quite important. So, how do you learn?
If you read some of my previous articles like You can start creating cool projects today, you might know where I’m heading.
I am a huge advocate of creating something towards a goal and learn the necessary skills along the way. By doing this, you will have practical experience on the skills you want to get, which will speed up the learning process.
Over the years, I applied this concept multiple times on different fields, and it worked really well for me each time. Of course, this might not be true in every field, but I believe that it is for the creative fields.
Now, instead of going deep in this topic in theory, let me give you a real example of my latest efforts regarding practical learning.
Quest It Up as a case study
Around April of this year (2019), me and my brother started to talk about this idea of applying our passions/nerdiness to a product that could potentially have a positive impact on ourselves and on other people.
Even though this started as a basic and vague concept, it quickly grew to something that I’m really excited about and can get behind 100%. And that something is now Quest It Up!
Defining Quest It Up
We knew that if we wanted to create something, it should be meaningful and helpful for us and for other people.
After many brainstormings and concept iterations, we ended up with this cool idea of using our passions in order to fuel our growth.
Even though this concept was quite vague, we managed to boil it out to something more practical: the act of picking every hardship in your life and making a quest out of it, like on videogames!
This act of stamping a quest on everything you want to surpass in life became a mindset for us, and we wish to spread it throughout the world while wearing it proudly.
It’s funny that this idea of wearing this mindset was quite in line with something that we were talking about for sometime: making apparel.
We believe that apparel are great to convey messages, not only to show your ideas and values to strangers without even talking to them, but also to empower yourself.
So, we decided to create an online store with apparel based on this mindset.
But in order to do all this, we had to learn A LOT.
Learning how to design apparel
When we decided to invest on apparel, we knew that we had to design every piece by ourselves in order to ensure that our message was conveyed exactly as we wanted.
So, the first step was to learn how to design apparel.
Even though I had some design classes in college and knew how to use Adobe Illustrator on an OK level, t-shirt designing revealed to be quite difficult for me to get into.
The canvas was different from what I was used to, and that alone was enough to change the design process entirely.
Even though it was really hard for me to come up with something good at the beggining, I kept designing everyday.
At this point I felt some progress with this daily activity, but for the amount of time I invested, my results were poor. And that’s when I decided to change my approach.
I signed up on skillshare and watched some cool courses on how to t-shirt design and how t-shirts are made.
If you are interested on this topic, here are some of the courses I followed:
- Hey, Cool Shirt: Designing Effective T-shirt Graphics by Christopher Delorenzo
- The Definitive Guide to T-Shirt Design and Manufacturing by Jeff Staple
- Bestselling T-shirt Design Mastery With Adobe Illustrator | Merch By Amazon, Teespring by Masuk Sarker Batista
After watching and following these courses, my results were much better! Now I was creating some designs that didn’t suck as much as before.
And that was exciting!
Months passed by and a lot of designs were made, some good and some bad, but we finally had enough good designs in order to launch our store.
And we are damn proud of those!
Learning how to do Marketing
In order for you to have business of any sort, you have to have a strategy in place. And that’s where marketing comes in.
And it was overwhelming.
How can we bring value to our customers?
What is our target audience?
How can we put our concept store in front of people’s eyes?
How can we measure results?
These were some of questions that we had to answer in order to go forward with the project. And I can tell you right now that it took months to come up with answers that we were confortable with.
Now that the store is launched, we have a strategy in place, but it’s too soon to measure results. We’ll have to adjust our strategy as we go.
Learning how to do Branding
To be honest, I had some classes in college on how to do branding, but I never got to put that knowledge in practice. Well, I kind of did, but I did it on side projects like ethspecs, which I didn’t want to put much time on branding,
This time, I wanted to do this right, so we brainstormed logo ideas, colors and keywords related to our idea for quite some time.
To be honest, the moment we finallized the logo, everything else came in place naturally. But in order to get to the final logo, a lot happened.
We had to test it’s simplicity, colors, visibility, how it looks like as a favicon, how much it relates to our concept, etc.
Here is a screenshot of the first logo study we did:
And here is the final result:
Cool, am I right?
Even though we have a base for our brand identity, we believe that things are not set in stone and that it can be improved in the future as we go on.
Learning everything else needed
Since this is a blog for creators, I don’t really want to go deep on some boring aspects.
Rather, I would like to list some of the things that we had to learn in order move the business along. It’s just for you to get a general idea of what it takes to get this kind of business going.
- Finding the right supplier: we had to make sure that we had the right partner to create our products. And we found a really high-quality yet an expensive one. Even so, every sample we ordered was really well made, and we want our products to be no less than great, so we ended up sticking with them.
- How taxes work for Portugal, Europe and outside Europe.
- Finding the right payment methods for the store;
I firmly believe that creating is indeed one of the most powerful ways to learn, in my opinion.
By applying your idea into practice, you will learn quite some skills along the way while getting experience in the process. And with that experience, you will find unexpected obstacles in the road to solve.
And with problem solving comes growth.
We came a long way in order to bring up Quest It Up to the world, and I hope you enjoyed this case study.
Oh, and since you are here, why don’t you check Quest It Up, if you didn’t already? It would mean a lot to us to have your feedback.
If you have any questions or feedback feel free to ask!