“No amount of money, no amount of security is ever going to give you the sense that this is the right time.”
– Debbie Millman
This is round two for Debbie Millman, whose first interview on this show quickly became one of the most downloaded episodes of all time (listen to it here).
Graphic Design USA has named Debbie Millman (@debbiemillman) “one of the most influential designers working today.” She is also the founder and host of Design Matters, the world’s first and longest-running podcast about design, where she’s interviewed nearly 300 design luminaries and cultural commentators including Massimo Vignelli and Milton Glaser.
Debbie’s done it all. Her artwork has been exhibited around the world. She’s designed everything from wrapping paper to beach towels, greeting cards to playing cards, notebooks to t-shirts, and Star Wars merchandise to global Burger King rebrands.
Debbie is the President Emeritus of AIGA (one of only five women to hold the position in the organization’s one-hundred-year history), the editorial and creative director of Print magazine, and the author of six books. In 2009, Debbie co-founded (with Steven Heller) the world’s first masters program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, which has received international acclaim.
This time around, Debbie answers the most popular questions submitted by you, the listeners. Topics include:
- How to turn down stability for opportunity.
- How Debbie made the leap and continues to try new things.
- How to outsmart the competition in any job.
- The future of graphic design.
- Debbie’s own personal creative process.
- The most valuable lessons Debbie has learned about designing an ideal life for herself.
Here’s Debbie Millman’s round two. Enjoy!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear my first episode with Debbie Millman? — Listen to this episode, where we discuss how to recover from rejection, how to overcome personal crises of faith, class exercises from her most impactful mentors, and much more. (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Debbie Millman:
- How to Design a Life — Debbie Millman (Debbie’s first appearance on this show.)
- Books by Debbie Millman
- Why Everyone from Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin to Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too by Andrew Tate, Canva
- Debbie’s Design Matters interview with Dani Shapiro
- Debbie’s Design Matters interview with Su Mathews Hale
- Afraid of Being ‘Found Out?’ How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome by Margie Warrell, Forbes
- The Masters in Branding program at the School of Visual Arts
- Sleep for Success: Creativity and the Neuroscience of Slumber by Joanne Cantor Ph.D, Psychology Today
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High
- Friends of the High Line
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- What if, while writing out what life will look like in ten years (Debbie’s exercise from the first episode), multiple potential lives emerge? How do you choose the best one? [06:57]
- Is there a right time to turn down stability for opportunity? [08:27]
- How can someone avoid becoming a commodity and stand out in a ruthlessly competitive market? [13:23]
- The future is not specific to — or barred from — any discipline. [15:14]
- How can we prevent ourselves from being paralyzed by the act of creation — especially when we feel like our work pales in comparison to the work of others? [15:34]
- How does Debbie cope with imposter syndrome? [18:03]
- What’s the one thing you want more than anything that you’re willing to sacrifice everything else to get? [18:40]
- What is Debbie’s creative process? [20:37]
- The intentional first impression. [22:23]
- How does Debbie ensure a healthy balance between work and play? [29:26]
- Debbie’s favorite visual artists? [33:10]
- Common threads Debbie has noticed in her interviews with creative high achievers. [33:24]
- What are the qualities of a good design student? [34:51]
- Who’s the first person to come to mind when Debbie hears the word “successful?” [35:23]
- Something Debbie believes that other people think is insane. [36:02]
- Favorite documentary or movie. [36:32]
- Morning rituals: her first sixty minutes of the day. [36:59]
- Obsessions explored on evenings and weekends. [37:31]
- Best investment of time, money, energy, or other resources. [37:52]
- Notable quotes Debbie lives by or thinks of often. [38:43]
- What would Debbie’s billboard say? [39:26]
- What advice would Debbie give her younger self? [40:43]
- Massimo Vignelli
- Milton Glaser
- Seth Godin
- Dani Shapiro
- Su Mathews Hale
- David Bowie
- Steven Heller
- Malcolm Gladwell
- Jean-Michel Basquiat
- Deborah Kass
- Woody Allen
- Jeff Spicoli
- James Joyce
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.