Milton Glaser on inspiration

“Students are always talking about being ‘blocked.’ They can’t do it, they need inspiration. Suppose there were no such thing, and there is no such thing. It’s a contrivance, right? A contrivance that becomes institutionalized and attached to a romantic principal. But I’ve always simply done the work. People ask, ‘What’s your process?’ My process is to do the work. I’ll come in here, I’ll sit down at the desk, and it’s done. The capacity of the brain goes beyond our understanding of it. And it’s totally available to itself and the world. You know everything; you can use everything. There are no unrelated events. The only way to get anywhere in art is by work. You can’t do it by simply thinking about what you’re going to do. So you begin. It’s my entire secret: to begin.

There’s nothing that I don’t find inspirational. Vision and life and everything else are so remarkable. The most important thing about professional life, in my point of view, is the connection you make between unrelated events and unrelated forms. The problem that people have in our professions is using the vernacular of design as their source. Forget it. As soon as you change your vantage point about what is useful to you, you discover that there isn’t anything that’s not useful to you. That gives you a very different breadth to designing.”

— Milton Glaser (via Twenty Over Eighty)