Defining the problem, scope, and requirements is my universal starting point, from ink portraits to product design. It's been my guiding light through my career, whether at a startup, a tech giant, or on a music festival stage.
While process does (and should) adapt depending on the project, I usually start with an ideation session of some sort. I then pair my ideas to any existing research, or conduct a foundational study if needed. From there, I create a number of rough explorations, test the frontrunners, and iterate.
I was lucky enough to have incredible mentors throughout my career, who taught and challenged me far more than any institution or book. The tradition of mentorship in the design industry is really important to me. I've mentored students from the United States, Canada, Japan, and Germany - and I welcome anyone at any career state to get in touch.
Being a good actor in the industry goes far beyond mentorship. I've given highly-rated talks at conferences and schools in the United States and Canada, created and taught design curriculum at Google, and open-sourced a design for an emergency water purifier.