In 1999, Stefen Sagmeister (1962- ), founder of Sagmeister and Walsh Inc., carved text into his own body with an X-Acto knife. His dedication to his projects and his willingness to communicate with the audience are shown in his startling depictions of sexuality, pain, and uncanny humor. By pushing the boundaries of graphic design, he conveys radical yet meaningful messages. At the center-left side of his body, he carves, “Style=FART.” Yet, Sagmeister now believes in the use of style to express content.

In his 2008 TED Talk, Sagmeister discusses his list of “Things I Have Learned in my Life so Far,” which includes:

  • Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
  • Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now.
  • Everything I do always comes back to me.
  • Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
  • Money does not make me happy.
  • Assuming is stifling.
  • Trying to look good limits my life.
  • Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
  • Having guts always works out for me.

Sagmeister incorporates these ideas into many of his works. In response to Sagmeister’s list, here are some of the things I’ve learned in my life so far:


If I had the GUTS, I would carve this onto my BODY with an X-Acto Knife. (But I don’t.)/Wimp/Scar/Angel


If I were to separate the components of my life into three sections
If I were to separate the components of my life into three sections, according to the City of New York Department of Sanitation:

  • All the crumpled-up lies I’ve told would be labeled Mixed Paper, ready to be tossed into the recycling bin, and one day, will be un-crumpled and reused again.
  • All my hopes of growing up, like those I had while watching adults take swigs from wine bottles as I yearned for the day when I would be able to experience the same drunkenness and bliss, would be labeled Bottles & Cans and would be taken away from me and transported into another juvenile’s thoughts.
  • All the repulsive memories of the past would be labeled Non-recyclables, would be packed into the abyss of a trash bag, and would then disappear from my sight.

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