An old coworker of mine shared an amazing video of Artist and Designer James Victore. I highly recommend you take 10 minutes and watch him speak for some great inspiration.

Strive For Something

James Victore had a mission to be the best artist he could be within 15 years.  He didnt care about money – he wanted to be a great artist. He reminds the audience that it is okay to strive for wealth, but have real tangible goals.  Strive for something.



Don’t Waste Your Time, Perfection is Unattainable!

He goes on to talk about typography and color and how many designers spend countless hours worrying about layouts of simple insignificant things.  Typography and Color Don’t F*cking matter.  Dumb Decisions waste your time!  He makes an analogy to an outsourced project that contains wrinkles in the art.  The foreign editor, wanting to do a good job, removed those wrinkles from the book cover.  By trying to create perfection he ruined it.  Victore says F*ck Perfection.  Perfection will “stop you from starting a project”  It will also stop you from finishing projects and you’ll “spend all your time looking at spacing between letters.”  Remove the strive for perfection from  your life.

Let The Right Person Do The Job!

This blog has turned into a recap, but i’ll continue.  James then talks about how Alfred Hitchcock was a successful director.  His answer was to remove the directorial process through casting… essentially ask the right person to do the job and let them do it.  In all aspects of work, people are hired to do a job.  Let them do what they are hired to do.  They are the expert in that field.  Trust them.

The video continues as he discusses a runner he liked named Steve Prefontaine who lived by the quote ” to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”  Remember that.  If you are going to take on a project.  Do your best work. 100% of the time.

Don’t Get Comfortable!

A few more highlights include his assertion that being scared is a good thing.  It is good for you.  The comfort zone is bad.  Be out of the comfort zone all the time.  You will do better work and continue to grow in your field and as a person.


His final point in the video is simple.  Just ASK!

The museum of modern art asked him to do a collection.  He agreed and asked if there was going to be a Gala?  They said no.  He asked if there would be a trophy?  They said no.  He asked if they would have a plaque? They said no.  He asked about an official letter.  The said no.  He asked, Can I have a letter anyway? Better yet, can I have a letter for my mom?  They said yes.





JUST ASK!  It is one of the hardest things in life to do.  But it will make you more successful.


James Victore Live at AIGA SF from Hillman Curtis on Vimeo.