To design is to lie and cheat reality, to bring forward something that didnt exist before into this world and perform a function that before, was not possible.
But also to design, is to follow instructions, and when you don’t you are lost.
The instructions you must follow should be your own, or someone else’s. The client, the stakeholder, your boss, the market, when you do it for yourself, you become an artist.
And artists are not designers, or should not pretend to be, and same thing goes the other way around.
When you follow instructions you get to your goal. When not, you drift. You can think of a problem and construct it backwards, give yourself precise instructions, and you win.
If your instructions are vague, so will be your results.
I once had a ‘mentor’ that I came to with a storyboard and some variations. He was in a bad mood and I just wanted guidance. He told me ‘just make a decision and commit’ (and don’t break my balls with your whining and indecisions).
That day I learned what a director is supposed to be.
Interesting, the two most powerful designers I know are also technologists. They break down things into instructions, and execute. Then you become part of their code. And you can do the same. The secret is on the executioner. That is also how you scale, but at the same time, how you force yourself to be precise.