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day permlink Thursday, 1 April 2004

permlink 10 things

I'm late getting to blogging this, but too bad. It's always nice when people write down hard-earned wisdom: Michael McDonough's Top Ten Things They Never Taught Me in Design School
1. Talent is one-third of the success equation. ...Hard work and luck are equally important. Hard work means self-discipline and sacrifice. Luck means, among other things, access to power, whether it is social contacts or money or timing. In fact, if you are not very talented, you can still succeed by emphasizing the other two. If you think I am wrong, just look around.

2. 95 percent of any creative profession is shit work. Only 5 percent is actually, in some simplistic way, fun... most of the time there is paper work, drafting boring stuff, fact-checking, negotiating, selling, collecting money, paying taxes, and so forth. If you donít learn to love the boring, aggravating, and stupid parts of your profession and perform them with diligence and care, you will never succeed.

5. Start with what you know; then remove the unknowns. ...Start by putting down what you already know and already understand. ... Most students panic when faced with something they do not know and cannot control. Forget about it. Begin at the beginning. Then work on each unknown, solving and removing them one at a time. It is the most important rule of design. In Zen it is expressed as "Be where you are." It works.

9. It all comes down to output. No matter how cool your computer rendering is, no matter how brilliant your essay is, no matter how fabulous your whatever is, if you canít output it, distribute it, and make it known, it basically doesnít exist...

10. The rest of the world counts. If you hope to accomplish anything, you will inevitably need all of the people you hated in high school... No matter how good your design is, somebody has to construct or manufacture it. Somebody has to insure it. Somebody has to buy it. Respect those people. You need them. Big time.
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