Foreword by Roxane Gay
“Debbie Millman brings her Design Matters podcast, ‘about how the most creative people in the world create their lives,’ to the page with this excellent interview anthology. Sharpened by Millman’s penetrating commentary, the candid musings teem with insight and empathy. This sparkling collection is one to be savored slowly.”—Publisher’s Weekly
The author, educator, brand consultant, and host of the widely successful and award-winning podcast Design Matters showcases dozens of her most exciting interviews, bringing together insights and reflections from today’s leading creative minds from across diverse fields.
“Debbie Millman has become a singular voice in the world of intimate, enlightening conversations. She has demonstrated time, and again, why design matters.”—Roxane Gay, from the foreword
Over the course of her popular podcast’s fifteen-year reign, Debbie Millman has interviewed more than 400 creative minds. In those conversations, she has not only explored what it means to design a creative life, but has, as Millman’s wife, Roxane Gay, assesses in her foreword, “created a gloriously interesting and ongoing conversation about what it means to live well, overcome trauma, face rejection, learn to love and be loved, and thrive both personally and professional.”
In this illustrated, curated anthology, Millman includes approximately 80 of her best interviews with visionaries from across diverse fields. Grouped by category—Legends, Truth Tellers, Culture Makers, Trendsetters, and Visionaries—these eye-opening, entertaining, and enlightening conversations—offer insights into new ways of being and living.
Accompanying each entry is a brief biography, a portrait photographed by Millman, and a pull quote written in Millman’s artistic hand. Why Design Matters features 100 images and includes interviews with:
Marina Abramovic, Cey Adams, Elizabeth Alexander, Laurie Anderson, Lynda Barry, Allison Bechdel, Michael Bierut, Brené Brown, Alain de Botton, Eve Ensler, Shepard Fairey, Tim Ferriss, Louise Fili, Kenny Fries, Anand Girhidardas, Cindy Gallop, Malcolm Gladwell, Milton Glaser, Ira Glass, Seth Godin, Thelma Golden, Gabrielle Hamilton, Steven Heller, Jessica Hische, Michael R. Jackson, Oliver Jeffers, Saeed Jones, Thomas Kail, Maira Kalman, Chip Kidd, Anne Lamott, Elle Luna, Carmen Maria Machado, Thomas Page McBee, Erin McKeown, Chanel Miller, Mike Mills, Marilyn Minter, Isaac Mizrahi, Nico Muhly, Eileen Myles, Emily Oberman, Amanda Palmer, Priya Parker, Esther Perel, Maria Popova, Edel Rodriguez, Paula Scher, Amy Sherald, Simon Sinek, Pete Souza, Aminatou Sow, Brandon Stanton, Cheryl Strayed, Amber Tamblyn, Christina Tosi, Tea Uglow, Chris Ware, and Albert Watson.
Millman (Look Both Ways) brings her Design Matters podcast, "about how the most creative people in the world create their lives," to the page with this excellent interview anthology. Ably illustrating writer Maria Popova's comment in the afterword that "a great interview touches the nucleus of being and potential, untouched by... time and change," these conversations parse the meaning of creativity and the inspiration that drives it through a kaleidoscope of personal perspectives. When discussing his storytelling style, This American Life host Ira Glass (who admits he was once "a very awkward interviewer") cites the structure of Fiddler on the Roof as a major influence: "They would pull you in with something very light and then you get invested"; while illustrator Maira Kalman pins her obsession with dogs to the convenient fact that they can't speak, arguing "everybody talks too much." Asked to elaborate the power of memory in memoir, critic and poet Saeed Jones asks back, "If you can't be confident about your memory, do you even know who you are?" Sharpened by Millman's penetrating commentary, the candid musings teem with insight and empathy. This sparkling collection is one to be savored slowly. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary.