Happy to play the role of provocateur and prankster, Stefan Sagmeister has famously pushed the boundaries of design. Stefan’s legend stems from the fact his work is so closely linked to his personal searchings and strivings. His impressive client roster includes names like The Rolling Stones, Target, Talking Heads, HBO, Time Warner and the Guggenheim, and he’s won two Grammy awards, an AIGA Medal and practically every important international design award.
Stefan’s exhibitions have been mounted in museums around the world, including his latest project: The Happy Show (which is both an exhibit and a film). The exhibit has already attracted way over a quarter of a million visitors worldwide and became the most visited graphic design show in history. Of course we get into this at the top of the show, and we also dive into:
- Work/Life balance … In fact, he takes a sabbatical every 7 years.
- We explore the idea of being different, which is a thing that I think a lot of creatives struggle with.
- We also talk about ways to develop new ideas borrowed from Edward De Bono and we do a fun little exercise that you can use too.
The years when I felt the best were the years when we did the highest quality work.
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Some Questions I Ask:
- Is The Happy Show successful because people aren’t happy and they are interested in it? [5:35]
- What does it feel like to put out a project that you’ve been working on for 7 years? [7:15]
- What was your path and trajectory to getting where you are today? [11:35]
- Was there any pressure to pursue something besides what you loved? [12:56]
- How did you get the full ride design scholarship? [14:20]
- How should future designers try to make a go at being a professional in the creative world? [17:20]
- Is being different a cause of your success and is it something we should strive for? [23:30]
- How do you, who is at the top of your industry, criticize your work? [25:40]
- Is the part of us that wants to always be doing something new a crutch? [29:05]
- How do you develop a personal style? [31:18]
- How do you put yourself in your professional work? [34:20]
- Are there a set of habits that you use to be most creative? [38:22]
- What does your off year look like? [40:25]
- How many projects are you working on at the same time? [43:05]
- How important is doing stuff that you’re passionate about? [49:39]
- How important is self talk? [52:06]
- What’s something people don’t know about you that they’d be surprised to find out? [53:07]
- Is there anything that we haven’t talked about today that you’d like to tell the world? [53:46]
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
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