"Beat your intellect before it has a chance to step on your talent."
I studied art in college and design in grad school. My instructors at Pratt (grad school) were super passionate about product design and teaching us the fundamentals of design. We had Abstract Visual Relationships classes for at least a year doing things like making connecting curves out of wire soldered to a base, carving plaster forms, arranging 3 blocks of wood on a base, and other exercises that sound simple but are not easy to accomplish well.
These somewhat esoteric exercises were based on the teachings of former Pratt instructor Rowena Reed Kostellow, who is a legend in the halls at Pratt. In fact, there is a book written by Gail Greet Hannah called Elements of Design about the teachings of Rowena Reed Kostellow, should you want to know more.
I was a little too late to be taught by Ms. Kostellow, but was instead taught by one of her students, Gina Caspi. It’s quite possible that this quote was derived from one of Gina's lectures, where she often shared the mindset of Rowena.