I took a trip to New York City recently to see the taping of the pilot episode of "Design Matters," hosted by Debbie Milman. It was incredibly interesting (though slightly exasperating) to see first-hand the extensive process that taping a television show involves. We were there for a good twelve hours. But it was certainly all worth it to get the opportunity listen to, speak to and oogle at my ultimate design crush: Stefan Sagmeister.
(how much more bad-ass can you get than cutting your design into your own skin?)
Before Stefan's interview began, one of the cameras malfunctioned, and we had to wait for a new one to be delivered to begin taping. During this waiting time, Stefan sat on the edge of the stage and was speaking with one girl who had asked him a question, and slowly more and more design students began to sit around him on the stairs, and in the surrounding seats. More questions were asked, and a casual conversation organically formed. The cameramen started rolling and caught some of it (I hope I’m in the show when its edited! haha.) But it was incredible to listen to him and all of his advice:
“Doing things you already know how to do is always the safe place.”
Never go to design magazines when you’re uninspired, because you’ll just come up with the same answers. Go to realms outside of design.
Process and the human point of view is crucial in design.
Finally his interview began, and it was incredible to hear him speak about his past work, his current projects and a documentary he is now working on about happiness. The scope of his accomplishments is astounding. He lives design. “Being a graphic designer” is not a nine to five occupation to him, or a means to support himself, or even a just a career. It is his lifestyle. His designs are the physical byproduct of his personal interests and passions. Unhindered by the parameters of his craft, or the traditional limitations of his title, he's created installation art in both outdoor public spaces and gallery settings, written personal books on his design process and projects, and he's now working on a documentary about happiness. All in addition to running a successful studio that creates incredibly creative and original designs in the “normal” categories of identity, print, interactive and packaging. The passion he has for creating knows no bounds - a lofty goal which I aspire to in my own creative endeavors.
He gives me graphic design butterflies...