I’m nothing special. I’m a pretty solid designer, but over my 23 years in the design game, I’ve worked with much more talented people than myself. What I lack in talent I make up for with hustle and a good attitude. People like working with me. Well, most of them, I think. I also genuinely love design. I’m constantly keeping up with trends and technologies and devices and all the other important shit designers need to know.
Do you get it? It’s like when you pick a character or vehicle in a video game, they’re a collection of performance metrics. One character might be stronger than the rest but he’s also the slowest. Regardless of what you pick you have a chance at winning the game. I can win the design game without being most creative.
I’m also not the most innovative designer. I have good ideas, but I steal a lot them from people who’ve come before me. Over the years I’ve read a lot of articles, watched a lot of films, seen a lot of art, and seen a lot of designs. I steal from all these disciplines, I remix that shit, and hand my clients something that’s fresh. Oh yeah, those other, more talented designers I’ve worked with? I’ve stolen their ideas too. They’ve made me a better designer. New York City made me a better designer.
I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s easy to stay relevant in design, or any other discipline. It can be hard, very hard at times. But when you love what you do and you have a solid work ethic it makes the grind smoother.
My innate hustle I guess I got from my parents. You can’t teach that. Well, maybe you can, I don’t know. If your parents were lazy sacks of shit, then prove me wrong.
Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”