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Facebook’s Ben Barry on Design

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Abridged interview of Facebook designer Ben Barry by Behance

What do you think is key to moving ahead in a creative field?

Something that is often overlooked with creatives is time management and getting shit done. You can be the most talented designer in the world but if you don't follow through and get stuff out there, it doesn't matter.

I have several friends that are incredibly talented. They will start on projects but rarely follow through. They get bored or distracted or discouraged that it's not "perfect" and give up. Following through and finishing things is one of the most important things you can learn.
One of my favorite quotes is "Done is better than perfect." That doesn't mean making crap – I believe you should always strive for the highest quality you can – but you have to finish….

What soft skills do people often underestimate?

Pitching and presenting your work well. It's something I see all the time as students and I probably did as a student myself – making excuses. But fortunately I had a professor who said, "You never make excuses for poor work." You just never go into a meeting saying, "Well, if I had more time or this isn't very good..." No. Even if you're thinking those things, you sell it and don't ever make excuses. [Laughs] The other thing of course is never show anything you don't want to have produced. I try to live by that.

Do you ever struggle with self-doubt?

Definitely. One of the benefits of having all these great design books and online resources around me is they really inspire me and other times it's like "Fuck. I'm never going to be that good." It can be really easy to fall into that trap and stop making things, but you just have to realize that everyone who is successful has made plenty of mistakes along the way.

I have always had this view of the world that everybody has access to the same resources I do and if these people can do it, I can do it, too. I recently came across this video after Steve Jobs passed away. It resonated with me a lot.

Read the Full Interview Here

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