Milton Glaser spoke today at CreativeMornings at the School of Visual Arts. The designers able to arrive slightly late for work and students able to rub the sleep out of their eyes in the morning were in for a treat, beyond the free coffee and donuts. Glaser overflowed with so much energy and knowledge after eight decades of life that it was easy to imagine that the reason he had trouble hearing the questions at the end was because his brain simply couldn't handle any more content.
Thematically, Glaser wanted to talk about failures, but perhaps because he'd brought the wrong slideshow, or simply because his successes overwhelmed any chance of convincingly explaining failure, we were treated to a freewheeling philosophical exploration of his career. Glaser included lots of process models, of the Rubin Museum, of SVA itself, and much more. Midway through showing his exploration of pattern, printmaking and tapestry, he exclaimed that the design he was showing in PowerPoint was the carpet under our feet. Imagine that congruence in your own career.
It's nigh impossible to encapsulate the wisdom imparted, but we can leave you with a few Zen koan like quotations and paraphrases. (1) "Being able to explain anything is absurd," he explained. "Your fight with your wife this morning might have been due to something that happened when you were two." Or (2), "If that doesn't ring true to you, perhaps simply recognize that the greatest success you can have in your work is to sustain your interest in it." Milton should know.
Unfortunately, if you missed this morning's free event (sponsored by freshbooks and mailchimp and), it can't fully be explained. Be sure to check out their twitter feed or eventbrite for the next event. Lots of photos are also available here and here.