Weekend Heller: No to Yes, Yes to Grimwood

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Taking No for an Answer

“No.” It’s a word that every CEO, entrepreneur and creative professional has confronted. It is a word that both novices and seasoned professionals dread. It is a word that can easily seem like death to a dream,” writes a designer and art director Gideon Amichay about his new book No, No, No, No, No, Yes. Insights From a Creative Journey.


“And yet it’s also a word that can point in the right direction. It’s a word that motivates us to do something differently, try something else, get better, innovate, keep going. ‘No’ is a word that looms over every business person’s, innovator’s and artist’s life. And yet the word is universally met with trepidation and fear because the value of being told ‘no’ is so little understood.”

In No, No, No, No, No, Yes and in his TEDx Jerusalem Talk from 2013, Amichay demonstrates that “No” isn’t a barrier to success. It’s a facilitator. “No” isn’t the end, but rather an essential tool for direction, motivation and innovation. Amichay demonstrates that “No’s,” whether from colleagues, from clients, from life, or from within have great power, and are simply directions on the map to “Yes.” Not a bad word to hear.

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Illustration for the British Isles

Years ago in Print, I pronounced UK illustrator and founder of the CIA (Central Illustration Agency) Brian Grimwood “the man who changed the look of British Illustration.” I had long admired his facility with black line and watercolor, at once timely and timeless. I lost track of him, until this wonderful monograph Brian Grimwood: The Man Who Changed the Look of British Illustration hit the shelves.


Brian says, “Having had four decades as a commercial illustrator I’ve seen some amazing illustrators, which I have admired, somehow disappear. I’ve always been in it for the long run. There seems to be a ten-year cycle, all the art directors and contacts move on and you have to start again. You have to have energy . . .

This book really draws a line under those 40 years, so now I can focus on the next 10. I’ve had some incredible feedback for embracing the iPad. It’s almost become a bit of an angle for me. One thing I didn’t want this book to be is a ‘swan song’ indicating I’m a has-been.”

Additional ResourceGet your work into the hands of art directors, designers, firm owners and other industry experts across the county. Enter the 2014 Regional Design Annual today.

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →