Armin Vit: The Myth of Inspiration and Other Design Fallacies

Armin Vit immediately disarmed his audience as he informed them that his once-censored talk was going to immediately be replaced with a sprinkling of cuss words. Needless to say, he had everyone’s full attention for the remaining 44 minutes.

Laying out the goals for his talk (to de-romanticize the notion of inspiration and to empower people who believe they don’t have the ability to be inspired), Vit opened up about what really inspires him: money and fame. Going on to explain how money supports the people he loves and the things he needs, while fame is just “a relevant group of people knowing who you are and what you stand for.” But that those are the things that drive him to work hard; to seek the inspiration to make good work and get better.

Vit, Armin_Original

Armin Vit

Armin is a graphic designer and writer. He is the co-founder of  UnderConsideration, a graphic design enterprise in Austin, TX, that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.

Throughout his talk, Vit makes clear that he has no real bursts of inspiration. That he did not get into graphic design because he is particularly creative. In fact, he explains that his creativity comes from doing something longer than everyone else normally would. But, clearly, that sort of creativity has served him well.

“We don’t have to wait around to be inspired. We can just look.”

Browsing through some of his work and interesting side projects (a quick Google search may show you how many ovens this man has in the fire),

Vit clarifies that the “inspiration” for most of his work came from careful research. He acknowledges there are moments of random inspiration (like when his daughter inspired a magazine spread for “Cactus makes perfect”), but that most of his work comes from careful research and absorption. That it’s not a “labor of love.” It’s just labor. Labor that is attainable to anyone willing to put in the hours, not just a select few creative geniuses.

Because, in reality, “We don’t have to wait around to be inspired. We can just look.”