One of my best friends is currently taking some classes on design. We first started to work together on art. But it became quickly apparent to me that he breaks problems down like a designer. Design has ust never been his full-time job. So it's been interesting for me to watch him discover things that he's known for years, but maybe wasn't able to articulate. I was chatting with him the other day and we had this brief exchange that I think sums up the most important skill you can have as a designer, regardless of the medium. I feel like his words are worth sharing so here they are, unedited.
Adam Morse: what kind of copy writing are you doing that stuff is hard
William Deutsch: honestly man I have learned more about the creative process in the past 10 months than I've learned in my entire life, it's so fucking incredible how this process works
Adam Morse: what have you learned
William Deutsch: to me....I used to think that creativity was all about creating awesome answers but now I've learned it's all about being an amazing question asker which for me is one of my skillsets. I'm good at breaking down problems so it/s all about starting with a dumb question, answering it and from that answer, coming to more profound questions with more interesting answers. That's all very esoteric, I don't know if it makes sense
Adam Morse: no it does
William Deutsch: Anyway, to me being creative has two parts: the first is learning to ask a compelling question and the second is learning how to give a compelling answer. And ultimately it's about being elegant and simple. A simple answer to a complex question. Also I've really learned (and I think you're very good at this) how to not make things precious
I think it's obvious from this transcript that I bring a lot to conversations with friends. More importantly, my friend has already discovered the key to being a great designer. It's all about asking great questions. I wouldn't know how to say it any better than that.