Do what you love.

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After years of solving problems for hundreds of clients, a few guiding principles have emerged to help keep my train on track. Nothing earth shattering and maybe things you’ve heard before, but truths have a way of getting passed around like that, no matter what business you’re in.

Do what you love. Love what you do.

Simple enough words to live and work by and luckily most of the time I do. If this isn’t the most important thing for a creative person to hold near and dear, I don’t know what is. Your personal bar has to be set high and you must reach it as often as possible no matter the budget or the size of the project.

Edit, edit, edit. The more you distill the work down to the core idea the stronger the work gets. Everything must earn its place on the page. If you don’t need it–dump it.

Simple always works. The world is complicated enough; my role as a designer and communicator is to make things easier to understand. Simple, direct, interesting and informative.

Be true to your nature. As a designer I take on the personality of my clients and their needs, a chameleon of sorts. Knowing what you’re great at makes you special. Bring that nature to the table for your clients. If emotion is your game, play it. If humor, then bring the funny. The best work comes from an authentic voice.

Listen to your gut. Anyone that works with clients is always looking to strike a balance between what is needed, wanted and best to get a job done well. But what happens in the middle of all that negotiating? Where did the idea go? Defend your work like a knight in battle, if you don’t nobody will. Listen hard to your gut; it’s your best friend.

If I’m not working on a client project I’m working on a personal one, which usually involves bicycles in some way. Being able to mix my passion and my profession makes me one very lucky creative person. And it makes the work that much better.

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Michael Valenti is "The Veloist" - He is an avid cyclist and artist known for his Cycling Art work. Each year Michael chases the Pro Peloton at the Tour de France and other major cycling events. He is available for event and corporate cycling related projects as well as personal commissions for art.

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