First, let’s talk about your journey. How did you get into design? When did you know you were meant to be a creative?
I don’t really think anyone is meant to be anything, we just have to figure out a way of life that we can enjoy. I just found a thing that I liked and learned that I could get paid for it, that just happened to be design.
My plan since middle school was to become an accountant, because I liked the idea of working in an office. I come from a family of carpenters, painters, health care and textile workers, and I wanted to do something different. It wasn’t until I started to study economy at the university that I figured out that spreadsheets and numbers wouldn't make me happy. So I quit.
Fortunately, I’d taken some extra classes in web design and layout during high school, and my teacher Martin Hejdesten inspired me to continue on this path. We still keep in touch – he even called me just a few days ago because he has a project in mind for me.
What is your favourite design discipline and why? How did you find out it was your favourite? How can young designers find out?
I love to create designs that make the consumers feel something when they look at my design. I get excited about creating something new. Therefore working on art direction, branding and marketing type projects is where I get to shine as a designer. I really like to create that visual language that represents the different companies I work with.
The best way to develop your skills as a designer is to work on many different projects and try out different things. I always recommend fresh designers to try get a job or internship at an agency. It’s fast paced and you get to be involved in SO many projects. Once you have that experience, you’ll (hopefully) figure out what you enjoy and can continue on that path.
Do you think young designers should try to learn many disciplines or focus on mastering a single one?
I believe the strongest designers have a focused discipline, but dabbles in a few they find interesting. It’s hard to be the best at many things at the same time. However, I do think everyone should try as many as possible to understand how it works. No one is a one-man agency without compromising on quality.
I always start a project with pen and paper to get my thoughts out quickly – and I think everyone should.
What is your creative process? Do you think young designers should have a set of processes or go with the flow?
I always start a project with pen and paper to get my thoughts out quickly – and I think everyone should. I also do a lot of research to make sure I understand the industry I’m designing for, and know what’s out there. From that point I’m ready to jump and know where there’s space to innovate. It’s helpful to look at companies in completely different industries, and see how they are innovating within their field.
When it comes to visual design I always start designing in Photoshop. It’s my favourite tool, mostly because I’ve been using it forever, but also because it doesn’t limit what I can and want to do – mocking up photography ideas, retouching, sketching, type setting etc. I’m also a huge Wacom fan and can barely even use a computer without it.
When starting out, it’s helpful to learn the process of your mentors and coworkers, that way you can try it out and learn what works for you. Sure, there are certain processes in order at your workplace, but you can always weave in your own way of doing things as long as you get the job done.
How do you get inspired?
My biggest inspirations are people I either worked with or met online. Whether it’s Twitter or the micro-communities on Slack. Smaller groups tend to be more honest, people are braver and not as scared about being judged for their opinions.
I also find heck of a lot of inspiration on Behance, The FWA, Awwwards, Typewolf, Muzli, Dribbble and Pinterest.
Do you think having a portfolio is important for young designers? What would your dream young designer portfolio be?
Yes, and I wrote some things about it on Medium!
Different tools come and go, and if you can’t make a nice layout, it doesn’t matter if you know what buttons to click in ten different programs.
What is the most important thing to know about design in your opinion?
At the end of the day your actual design skills matter. It’s the core of your expertise; How you align things, think about interaction, use typography and colors etc. Different tools come and go, and if you can’t make a nice layout, it doesn’t matter if you know what buttons to click in ten different programs.\
Don’t be an asshole; The toes you step on today may be attached to the ass you'll be kissing tomorrow.
How can young designers get their first internship/job? Is it important to go to design school or not?
In this industry you don't need a traditional education in order to be successful. Getting a foot in through an internship is more important. And don’t be an asshole; The toes you step on today may be attached to the ass you'll be kissing tomorrow.
Did you learn any tricks during your career? Do you have any tricks you would have loved your young-self to know?
Try not to center align your content, especially not text. It will look like a lazy Christmas tree. Work with your grid!
Do you have a favourite quote? How is it relative to your creative career?
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end"
Your life is filled with flaws. Either you accept to live with them or try to change it. Sometimes I have to tell myself to not stress about things, and it makes life a lot easier to not worry too much.
Do you have any favourite books/resources you would have loved to read when you were younger to help boost your creative career?
In relation to previous question, the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” is a good motivation to stop stressing the small things. Besides that, I enjoy books for design inspiration. And “The Intelligent Lifestyle Magazine” is pretty great!
Anything you want to promote or plug?
If you want to work with me on a project, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or find me on more or less any social media @chopse!