T.L.F.A.P.T.S.F.A.P
Stefan Sagmeister
1.-Describe your working method, which elements are essentials? it's rigid or organic?

Here are 5 stages I go usually through:
1. Freshness of Spirit. I want to start thinking about a project early in the morning, as thinking might be the most difficult thing I’ll do all day and so I’d love to start with the hard stuff and then work myself down to easy ways.
2. Freedom of Thinking. I want to have all the necessary limitations laid out clearly – I love them. But within that space I’d like no restrictions.
3.a. Dread and Pain. There will be periods of suffering and self-doubt. I’m going to be stuck. I’m going to suck. Very old ideas will come to mind. If its easy, its likely no good.
3.b. Repeat.
3.c. Repeat.
4. Recognition of a path. I rarely have a big, single Eureka moment. But the way gets less rocky with fewer stones to bump my toes bloody.
5. Willingness to hang in there for the execution. Tenacity, interrupted by infrequent discoveries of a possibility to push the project.

2.-Which part of the creative process is the most difficult for you?

The thinking.

3.-What do you do to keep refreshing creativity on your working process?

Sabbaticals, every 7 years. In these I normally try out stuff for which there is no time during the busy studio hours.

4.-How do you organize your work in mid and long term?

I try to put the big projects into the schedule first, then fill it out with medium and small projects. If I put a lot of small things in first, there is no space for the big stuff.

5.-How do you manage the variables of money and time in your creative process?

When I opened the studio, my brother Martin – who is a business man – told me to watch out, as it will be very easy to lose a lot of money while running a small business. He said it’s important to make sure that more money comes in than goes out. And to create a little system that monitors this.
We did do that and it has worked well so far.

6.-Do you use softwares or specific programs for your work?

Nothing extraordinary.

7.-How is your perfect work environment?

A design studio attached to a moving train would be perfect. Being able to see a landscape go by while coming up with ideas, what a dream!

8.-Is leisure an important thing in your creative process? Why?

As you know, I go on sabbatical every 7 years. This time is not leisure time, but it has certainly proven to be extra important for creating new directions and avenues for the studio. Without the sabbaticals, we might still be designing CD covers.

9.-Invent a name for your working process.

I am not fond of coming up with specialized names for things that can be described with existing language.

10.-Draw or choose an image or shape that can represent your work method.

The image: That little machine used to clear sewers.