Young people around the world and certainly in Nigeria, are experiencing “Burnout”, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
Osione Itegboje, a designer who has worked with the likes of ART X Lagos, GREY, Kwikmoney, Itanna.co, Coker Creative, and many more, talks with Business Day’s Yvette Dimitri on Burnout, Design and SLIDE.
Yvette Dimiri: Have you experienced burnout?
Osione Itegboje: There was a period like that last year, I literally had to step away from work. For two months I didn’t do any design work. In Nigeria specifically, we have a lot of ambitions. But we have to think about a lot ie power and other kinds of infrastructure around the house. We have to build all our systems ourselves in order to survive. Also, while we have a lot of people chasing a few jobs, there is also a big capacity gap. So if you’re good at something, it’s unlikely that there’s anyone else as good as you. Everyone wants you to do it and no one wants to pay you enough.
What is your ritual to reclaim your time on the weekends?
I’ve been trying to perfect pancake recipes. So I cook breakfast for my family on Sunday and it makes me feel like I’m taking some time off. I work by myself as a freelance so all my time blends into each other. 90% of the time you see me, I’m on my laptop working.
Have you ever taken breaks during your career?
For a long time, I felt like if I took a break I would get in serious financial trouble. But when I took a break, I realised I was fine. The folks that wanted to work with me were still available. So now instead of saying I need to do this right now, I’m lining stuff up. I’m learning that most times, if someone really wants to work with you, the project will still be there.
I’ve gotten rid of this thinking that you have to seize every opportunity. Life doesn’t move that fast. People want to make it feel like it does, but it doesn’t. There’s not one project that people say “oh I need this tomorrow” and it’s entirely true. I’ve been on projects where we’re still working on it two weeks later.
You’ve already worked on some prominent brands. I see now that you’re working on helping people create their own brand identity, in a way, putting yourself out of business?
I want brands to break up with their current thinking about design. I developed SLIDE, a technology to help people and brands think about the entire design process. I’m hoping that people check out the system, and support my kickstarter campaign so that I can bring it to life.
What do you want people to know about design?
There’s a misconception about what design is. It’s simply about doing something with intention. What usually goes wrong is because there’s not a lot of time spent in establishing intent. In my experience working with clients, during the process of designing they say “oh no I don’t want that” over and over again, it means that there’s something inside of them they are not able to communicate.
What are examples of how we design everyday?
People don’t realise that they design everyday. For example, when you start a new job. It takes you two hours to get to work the first time and then your mind starts working. You think about an alternative route, about the best time to leave for work, about when should you wake up. Then you say, “this is how I’m going to structure this system.”
Even when you go to a restaurant to eat, there’s some intention, when you look at the menu, and you select different options. You are designing an experience for yourself. Deciding what to do on a Friday night, is also designing the sequence of events.
Osione Itegboje is a freelance designer and the founder and creator of SLIDE,
SLIDE is a technology you use to design brands quickly with key elements – System, Logo, Idea Design. It is a step by step process for doing brand design and getting it right all the time. The SLIDE handbook is a 40+ page handbook that goes through the SLIDE technology – System, Logo, Idea Design using simple and clear working, global case studies, questions and answers, and examples. Click here learn more.