Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.
Li-Anne Dias is a Creative Director and Design Leader based in California. She was the first brand designer at Reddit and has built brand design teams at Grammarly and Handshake.
What is the thing you like doing most in the world?
Drawing, designing and building things, and cooking for my family. I’m lucky I get to work with talented creatives everyday and design brands people know and love.
What is the first memory you have of being creative?
At about 3–4 years old, I spent entire afternoons drawing rows and rows of coconut trees while at our home in Goa, India in the summer.
What is your biggest regret?
Not taking more risks in art school. I could have been more defiant in my work. I spent too much time on technique and following the rules. I wish I pushed myself more. I wish I spent more time on expression, and enjoying the medium.
How have you gotten over heartbreak?
I don’t believe I’ve figured it out yet.
What makes you cry?
Losing people I love.
Oh, and bad design.
How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?
Not more than a day. I wish this lasted longer. I start to get preoccupied with the next thing rather quickly. I need to get better about taking it slow.
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?
Once when I was about 17, at a level-crossing, I got caught in between two trains. I stood still, my hair and clothes flying. The force of wind between the two trains was so strong, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I think about that moment every day— maybe this is my afterlife?
What do you hate most about yourself?
I sometimes get so caught up with small setbacks that I miss the bigger picture. I am working on this!
What do you love most about yourself?
I have become very resilient over the years. It is becoming something of a superpower for me lately.
What is your absolute favorite meal?
Fish curry over rice in Goa where I’m from.