Sr. Visual Designer at Fortnite

It’s Easier to Revise than Create

I love this video by Dan Mall, where he discusses his approach to taking on the “blank canvas” when designing. He learned from a former colleague of his, Jason Santa Maria, that “It's easier to revise than create.” He noticed that while he worked for hours on a single iteration of a concept, often not really feeling like the results weren't up to his standards, Jason would work very quickly through multiple iterations in the same amount of time. Often it would take Jason only an hour to finish one iteration and then he would make several more, ending up with multiple iterations and a more complete concept. 

I was challenged by this, because I can often find myself using Dan's approach. It's easy to obsess over the details and whether or not everything on the screen is “good” at every step of the way. I know the merits of iterating quickly, but forcing myself into that habit can sometimes feel foreign. We all approach our work differently; I often am very cerebral, mulling every decision over in my mind before drawing or shifting an element on the page. This approach can still lead to great work, but often at the expense of time and the lost opportunity of discovering other, better solutions.

I'm planning to put the idea “It's easier to revise than create” into practice. I may even write it out and hang it near my desk as a reminder. It's good medicine to continually challenge and exercise our habits.

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