Creative Pro Tip: Take Things Away Until You Cry

Designer Frank Chimero wrote down everything he knows about design and delivers it in rapid-fire style. It’s a fascinating no-frills retrospective, and it’s worth every minute of your time. Some of our favorites:

  • If you can’t draw as well as someone, or use the software as well, or if you do not have as much money to buy supplies, or if you do not have access to the tools they have, beat them by being more thoughtful.

  • Take things away until you cry.

  • Change contexts when you’re stuck. Draw wrong-handed and upside down and backwards. Find a good seat outside.

  • If you meet a person who cares about the same obscure things you do, hold on to them for dear life.

  • Start brave and brash: you can always make things more conservative, but it’s hard to make things more radical.

  • Everything is interesting to someone. That thing that you think is bad is probably just not for you.

  • Be suspicious of lists, advice, and lists of advice.

And perhaps the best of them all: Stop trying to be cool: it is stifling.

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