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A little change of pace in today’s blog post. I can really relate, as I’m sure you can, to this cartoon by N.C. Winters for Freelance Switch. It does on occasion happen to me, but it gets more frequent when I’m mulling over a serious problem. How about you dear reader?


Via: Freelance Switch.

The Journey to Becoming a Designer is Never Easy

Design Juices recently published an interview with Michael DiTullo, a designer I greatly respect, where he shares his insights and challenges he faced to get to where he is today, namely a Creative Director at Frog. (Actually it seems he is now the Chief Design Officer at DEI Holdings, Inc. Congrats Michael!)

I fully relate to the stories he shared, and it seems almost every successful designer I’ve spoken too have made a similar journey. Indeed the journey of becoming a designer is never easy, and I’m glad that Michael was so open and candid especially the part about his struggling to land his first job.

In the interview, Michael also drops some amazing words of wisdom and I’ll share a few here:

Society influences all of us to adopt to the consensus of the tribe. This is a survival instinct which has served us well as a species, but innovation has always come from the fringes of a few rebels. There are two types of people who challenge the accepted behaviors of the tribe, destructive rebels, and constructive rebels. Destructive rebels tend to be cast out from the group, but constructive rebels tend to alter the nature of the tribe itself. If you are going to be a constructive rebel, you have to explain your intentions well so the group can understand and adapt.

A great insight in the building blocks of what makes a successful designers.

“Design is not an academic activity, nor is it an act of democracy. Design is a positive reaction to dissatisfaction.”

How many companies get it so wrong when they design by committee?

Designer is not a title, it is a type of person. It isn’t something I do, or even live, it is who I am, as a definition of self. I have no distinction between work and play, what I do for a client and what I do for the culture of design, it all comes from the same place. Cut me and I bleed in Pantone.

You have to live and breath design, just loving design these days is not enough.

…a bad design is a bad design no matter if it is sketched, modeled, or rendered in CAD. Never confuse a tool for a result, invention for innovation, or a process with a product. The goal is get great design into the hands of people and to love what you are making along the way!

I always say, you need to distinguish between good content and good presentation.

Thanks for sharing Michael, and what a great article for anyone who is interested to see and learn what it takes to be a successful designer. Head on over to Design Juices for the full interview.

How to Steal like an Artist?

Steal Like An Artist

Picasso said: “Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal”.

This controversial quote is more relevant than ever in today’s design industry. We now live in a world where the majority of things we need to survive have already been invented or designed. And no, you don’t really need that iPad.

Fortunately, there is a lot more to this quote than “stealing” art. If we dive deeper into the thinking behind the quote, as Austin Kleon did in his book: How To Steal like an Artist, we find ourselves navigating the waters of creativity, ideas and everything else in between.

Steal Like An Artist - Good theft vs. Bad Theft Poster

Steal Like An Artist - “Be boring”

The problem with such books is that they tend to be a rehash of existing concepts. But after glancing at the excerpts above, I find myself agreeing with a lot of Austin’s insights. Inspirational stuff. Check it out at Amazon of via your iBook store.

A Great Motto for Designers to Live By

Work like a slave; command like a king; create like a god. ~ Constantin Brâncuşi

I had almost forgotten this quote, one of my favorites, by Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi. It was, and still is, my motto for success for any designer or individual working in the creative industry. I feel so inspired when I reflect on this quote in context with the things that I do. I hope you will to.

Thanks for the reminder Justin!

How Creatives Work and The Future of Desks

If you can’t see the video above, please click on this link.

Check out this great little video, by Aaron Trinder, on how designers or creative people work within a space and how this may impact how we design desks in the future. Some food for thought?

Suitably inspired, I though I might also share my space at home with you. It’s mid way between clean and cluttered. I’m a working pile kind of person as you can see with the stacks of mail, books I’m reading and a sketchbook etc. on the right. Up top (not in the picture) we have two shelves of books. I’ve got a broadband modem, jacked into my laptops for maximum speed, seated next to a bank of power plugs. I’ve also got a bag of munchies for my late night cravings. Yes it’s 12.13am here.

Via: Herman Miller.

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