Some People Can Surf: The Wisdom of James Victore

We spent a good part of yesterday in what could only be described as an enlightened state: floating on the Pacific Ocean, on a sliver of fiberglass, as dolphins and seals circled, surfing with James Victore. On the last day of his seven-week visiting artist stint at Art Center, we got several waves of inspiration from the world’s nicest living designer.

1. Be positive. There’s no time or place to make nasty comments. Victore had to boot someone from his class because they had a bad attitude. Don’t be that guy.

2. Be obsessed. Design alone will not save your soul. For Victore, it’s motorcycles, motocross, moto-anything–and he’s found a way to incorporate that into his work. This is the key to loving what you do.

3. Make stuff. Start preparing yourself for a career as an entrepreneur. Go into business for yourself. This is the other key to loving what you do. Victore says he’s looking forward to the day when he’s no longer a graphic designer. Really.

4. Family first. Not crazy clients, not insane projects–what Victore talks about the most is his wife and his son. Amen.

4. Go surfing. Yep, even in New York, Victore gets out to the Rockaways as much as he can. He said on the way out there, he talks about work: how to grow his studio, how to get more clients. But on the way back, he’s completely content.

Want more Victore? Read this interview with Sean Adams.