debbie millman

Monday, May 16, 2005


damaged in a way you don’t notice until you get too close
is how I would describe us
all chin and bravado, and of course that intoxicating, heady, manufactured success

which we seem too able to balance
with a mushy sort of underbelly that we wish wasn’t there--
and desperately try to camouflage.
yet it does come out from time to time
when it best suits us or distracts another…

“it takes one to know one,” you once told me
all cocky and critical and drunk
and I started to protest, push back
until I stopped
suddenly still

and realized that no matter how much we pretended otherwise
there was no way around this--
no way through the cycle of turbulance and nuance and disappointment.

but this I do know:
we can certainly hide and consider that an achievement.
I don’t want you to worry though: I bounce back quicker than most.


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1/30/2006 06:13:00 AM  

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Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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