In our recent Q&A we spoke with Jonah Lehrer about his new book Imagine: How Creativity Works. During the conversation we mentioned Milton Glaser, the American graphic artist and co-founder of New York Magazine.
In his book, Lehrer uses Glaser’s obsessive dedication to detail (which he learned from his mentor, Giorgio Morandi), “his ability to stick with a problem until it surrenders,” to remind us that creativity isn’t always about epiphanies. A lot of the time it’s about hard work.
Lehrer illustrates this point with the story of the creative process behind Glaser’s I ♥ NY ad campaign. Even though an initial design had already been approved, Glaser couldn’t give up on it. Finally, after weeks spent ruminating, he came up with the iconic design while scribbling on a scrap of paper in the back of a cab.
The moral of the story? Success ♥ Persistence. Or, as Lehrer calls it, grit.
Below is a selection of some of his work to jumpstart your own creative impulses.
You should look at every problem and think, “What can I learn by doing this?” And if you think you can learn nothing, forget about doing it.
My definition of design is this: it is going from an existing position to a preferred one. It’s everything.
Failure and ambiguity are hard concepts to sell to a client who just wants to sell more cans of tomatoes.
The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire and persistence.
There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.