Hearing Paul Sahre speak is like a 90-minute lightning round of his personal antidotes and witty insights, with expletives peppered throughout to drive his point home—you’re never bored, to say the least.
Paul’s recently released book, “Two Dimensional Man ,” delves into the joys, complications—printing posters all night is not good for marriage— and the general ups and downs that accompany 52 years on earth, 30 of which he has spent as a graphic designer.
This was not your average “book talk,” although Paul did read to us towards the end, but a detailed story on the “why we do, what we do” as designers—namely, we’re all a bit obsessive compulsive, but I bet you already knew that.
Paul traced his journey to being the beast of a designer he is today from drawing his first titled work, Demon Eating Human Flesh, which to his chagrin hangs in his mother’s hallway, to being the weird high school kid who loved to draw all the time, to becoming They Might Be Giants resident designer/maybe best friend.
Below are a few of our favorite takeaways from last night’s Expand event, but don’t take our word for it—buy the book.
1. We have to accept that our work is not permanent. As a graphic designer, you spend a lot of time working on things that maybe a lot of people see at first, but which don’t stick around for long and this is (gulp) okay.
2. Software can be a prison if you never leave it. Prior to computers (yes, they did have design back then!) you would have to tweak, and tweak to get everything perfect and aligned. Now with the software, everything just clicks into place and the task is to mess it up. Enjoy the mess—it can actually be liberating.
3. Graphic design is a lifestyle, not a career You’re always a graphic designer— from the moment you wake up and say “what do I get to design today", while watching a movie, walking down the street, etc. It’s not just a job, it’s who you are and once you realize that, you don’t really have a choice to either be or not be one.
Thank you to Paul for coming out from New York and bringing your experience and jokes to our sold-out crowd!
Thank you to ParkLife for hanging out with us and selling out before Paul even finished his talk!
Photo Credit: Ron Poznansky