Everything begins with the first line. ®
Each person has a creative bag of tricks. Mine would be: monochromatic tones, contrast, solid lines, alignment, scale, clean, focal points, simplicity, power, humor, empathy, fun, great skill, attention to detail, etc.
When it comes to design, i judge success by the number of people touched by my work positively. Skills play a large role, of course, but ultimately, I think that the final result should be happy people, or at least do not be upset.