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Day 3: Key to your making process?

My key seems to be designing based on a story or theme. Without that impetus, it's hard to get the gears going, which is the reason that it's hard for me to do for-hire work. I'll read something, and it will start the gears spinning with a different take on a subject or taking a different tack to get to the perfect framing of the question that's at the foundation of the design.

I find that without that base, I tend to flounder and lose sight of the story that I started out to tell. I also have a lot of trouble "killing my darlings". Sometimes, my underlying fundaments are incorrect or flawed, and I have a hard time getting past that obstacle.
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