You may not know graphic designer Milton Glaser by name, but you undoubtedly know his work. He is best known for the “I ♥ NY” logo, his “Bob Dylan” poster, the “DC bullet” logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005, and the “Brooklyn Brewery” logo. He also founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968 and was one of the co-founders of Push Pin Studios in 1954.
Many of Glaser’s designs have achieved iconic status. ”The hallmarks of his work are its simplicity, wit and elegance,” said Stephen Holden in the New York Times. “It may be commercial art, but with a capital A.”
In 2009, Glaser was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama, and his work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, among others. Milton Glaser, Inc., which was established in 1974 in Manhattan, is still producing work in a wide range of disciplines. Philip Roth fans may recognize the numerous book jackets Glaser has designed for his friend over the years.
Glaser is an articulate speaker, as well as a talented artist. In this seven-minute video, the renowned designer shares his own views on the creative process and the inevitable fear of failure that all artists confront.
According to Glaser, the best way to achieve creative success is to become a specialist, but he points out that becoming a specialist is antithetical to artistic development. He uses Picasso as an example of an artist who chose creative development over specialization–Picasso was someone who sought out new creative challenges as soon as he had mastered a skill.
Glaser also discusses the myth of creative genius and gives advice on how artists can move past the fear of failure. “Find out what you’re capable of doing or not capable of doing,” says Glaser. “Admit what is.” “Embrace the failure.”
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