Beyond the very small portion attributable to genius, lies technical knowledge and practiced technique. Lately, its been best practices, and understanding jQuery; before, it was monkey-paw InDesign shortcut keys.
Last year, I grew corn, green beans and squash all together, and boy did that experiment not work. The tomatoes, jalapeños and cucumbers did much better.
Blocks, sand, marble castles, dancing, dolls, cards, costumes, accents, painting, sculpting, running, jumping, escalators, and pizza.
I have a handful of dishes my wife would refer to as, "my specialities," but, what I really enjoy is adapting a new recipe and eating what turns out.
As much as I would deny it, I love running into a problem. If everything always went smoothly, I wouldn’t get to turn my brain up to eleven or get the satisfaction of overcoming yet another hurdle.
If you spend all your time building things in Photoshop and BBEdit you start to look at all your problems the same way. I’m fortunate to have access to hammers and nails, welders, sewing machines, and paint.
Everything is connected if you look hard enough. When I'm working on a project, I consider taste and function, current trends and classic looks, technology, and the intangible. This information, along with some late nights, is how good design connects people.