We’ve heard the story so many times. Some guy who’s good at “computers” drops out of college and goes on to become an incredibly successful CEO of a tech company. Yes that’s also the case with Anthony Casalena, Founder and CEO of Squarespace Inc. in New York City, but what you generally don’t hear is the story of a talented engineer who has to comes to terms with leaving behind directly making his own product to one who has to deal with running a company with hundreds of employees. I sit down with him to talk about his childhood influences, his favorite jacket, and why people even need websites in the first place.
Brooklyn Beta was an amazing gift to creative people from all around, carrying a theme of going out there and doing what you love. Not just for a job, but for anything. Make something great, do it at home or on nights and weekends. Start that business, launch that product, go forth and inspire. Lucky for me it’s hosted right here in my home turf. In this episode we all get together and watch the lights go out with a jam-packed episode with seven different guests. Check them out and mourn the end of one of the most special gatherings I’ve ever seen.
Show guests (in order of appearance):
- Phillip Rhie: Designer - http://philiprhie.com
- Day Jimenez: Designer - http://www.dayjimenez.me
- Justin Smith: Front End Dev - http://justin.isamaker.com
- Natalie Be’er: Interaction Designer - http://natalierachel.com
- Eric Miller: Owner of his own design studio - http://www.ericmillerdesign.com/
- Erica Newman: Creative Technologist - www.linkedin.com/pub/erica-newman/14/3b1/34
- Seth Daggett: Designer - http://sethdaggett.com
Justin McElroy is a guy who seems to almost always have a pretty sunny disposition. Not an easy feat when you’re juggling being a new dad; hosting My Brother, My Brother and Me, Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine, Polygon’s Quality Control; being the Managing Editor for Polygon.com and still managing to make room for a little time with me in his busy schedule. Justin and I talk about his early days growing up, cereal, West Virginia, his family, how me met and fell in love with his wife Sydney, and how he manages to stay creative and satisfied in this episode of Save As Podcast.
I’m not joking when I tell you that I’ve been a Julia Nunes fan for years now. Julia is a talented singer-songwriter who’s Humor and clever editing has carved out her place in the YouTube walk of fame, created one of the most successful music Kickstarters every, and more importantly—made her mark on the music industry. On this episode of Save As we discuss making our dreams reality, facing doubt, breakups, and her new album with plenty of “sad-happy” songs.
Also, super special announcement that Save As Podcast will be at Brooklyn Beta on October 10th doing shotgun interview with attendees and bringing you not-so-live commentary from the floor of the show. Those episodes airing in November. Sign up now if you’ll be there for a chance to be on the show!
You can support Julia over at her Patreon page, where you can be the first to see her new stuff, and actually be a part of helping her create it.
Joe Mackenzie isn’t your ordinary designer. In a world where it’s all contacts and money, Joe has dedicated nearly 10 years of his nights, and weekends to brining a modern archive of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s vision to life with The HAL Project. Joe and I discuss working on side projects, pushing on through the lens of self doubt, and the lengths he was willing to go through to bring the most complete and accurate recollection of HAL 9000 to life for our Macs and PCs. Plus we manage to have a bit of fun taking a stab at the next phase in human evolution! Go support the project over at HalProject.com
Like so many other artists, Rogie King grew up with Disney movies and Star Wars flashing on his TV. With a few curve balls thrown his way, and one foot firmly planted in practicality, he became not only a talented designer and Illustrator, but a web developer too. Rogie has brought the design community NeonMob.com a place where digital art has quantifiable value, he’s thrown down the gauntlet in one of the most epic dribble playoff’s of all time, and has sound beliefs on family, love, divorce, and parenting.
Michael Heilemann is the Director of Interface at Squarespace. What does that mean? We dig in to find out, but beyond that Michael is a avid film enthusiast, video game player, master of all things Star Wars, and my friend. His website, Kitbashed is an ongoing literary and visual pursuit to document and explain the inspirations and production of the George Lucas’ space saga. This episode, in a nice transition from video games back to a more web and interface design theme, I get to talk to him about being a design leader in an organization, and his winding career path to get to that point. Check out Kitbashed, and watch Star Wars like you’ve never seen it before.
Teddy Lee and his brother Kenny of Cellar Door Games didn't have much growing up in Toronto. Teddy was never that great at programming, and Kenny ended up switching majors. It wouldn’t be until life put them in situations they didn’t want to be in that they pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and created one of the more successful and well received indie games in the recent years — Rogue Legacy. Teddy Lee is Rogue Legacy’s co-creator, and game designer. He and I talk about the process of getting to ship a product, controlling project costs, and having to make tough decisions that make or break independent artists in the video game industry.
Jake Armstrong quit drawing after seeing all the other kids in class get better than him at it. But after a roundabout trip through theater, and rock and roll, he came back to his first love, Illustration and Animation. Jake and I talk about growing up in Oklahoma, influences, tone, and the entire modern process of creating the animation that isn’t all that different from the way it’s always been done. Of course, we do manage to squeeze talking about Ren & Stimpy, the Michael Bay Ninja Turtles, and Tomb Raider for good measure. Go check out his work at JakeDraws.net and watch his awesome animated shorts “Mountain Ash” and the award winning “The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9.”
It’s rare to get to chat with someone who’s art is as honest and open as Ariana Page Russell’s. What’s even more rare is an event that inspires you to take something you were embarrassed and annoyed by and share it with the rest of the world. Today is both of those things in one episode. Ariana’s photography and blog inspired me to get in touch with her to talk selfies, temporary tattoos, body image and dermatographia. What’s that? well go learn more over at SkinTome.com where you can see a ton more, up to and including a reverse interview with me! That’s what business calls “synergy” people.
Christine Phelan from Valve joins me for my E3 special! Christine is a character animator in the games industry and has worked at amazing places like Double Fine Games, and Lucas Arts. She even kicked off her career with an internship at Nickelodeon. Before you ask yourself how lucky one person can be, I suggest you sit down and listen to her tale as we celebrate Art and Design in the video game industry.
Webdriver Torso sings us into this episode with Ross Moody. Ross is a man who knows how to chase down a good idea. His companies 55hi’s and Madison Glass Co help pay the bills while he works design for his day job. Pretty impressive resume if you ask me. I talk to Ross about his humor, social media, his belief in the history of Typography, and how he came to creating his companies and with the idea of fathers on the mind, if he’s thinking about becoming one himself.
Maybe it was the death of H.R. Giger or maybe it Allergy season that has me waxing on too long at the beginning of this episode, but either way, you’ll be happy to break up the profound pity party by chatting with the fantastic and talented Justin Mezzell. His day job is at Code School and his night job is being a family man and lover of all things geek, Justin is a multi-faceted designer who’s immense style was something he really only began to own post college. He’s done work for Fast Company, Wired, Disney, Bloomberg, and Mazda to name a few, and he appreciates the spirit of pursuing your dreams without waiting for someone else's permission.
Stephen Parker is not just the creator of the Save As Podcast theme, a colleague and a friend, he’s an extremely talented designer. This interview, recorded over two days has as much content you won't here as the amount you will. Stephen has been at Squarespace for nearly six years, and we discuss building a prolific design legacy for a team, music, technology, and how you go from bring a chef-turned young father burning out in the restaurant industry to being a designer for an award winning New York tech company. Stay tuned towards the end of the episode to listen to a track from a music album he’s putting together.
Yes, I’m a designer, but I’m also a video game player. That’s why this episode I was very excited to sit down with Patrick Plourde from Ubisoft Montreal to talk about his path in the gaming industry and leaving behind traditional Photoshop and Illustrator for 3D studio max and Game Design. I talk to him about his upcoming game Child of Light, acting as a start up inside of Ubisoft and I ask him if Nintendo will be around in 10 years.
Tuesday Bassen is a talented designer who's been in everything, she's worked for some of the more interesting plans on the planet through her freelance career. I got to talk to her about growing up in Nebraska, having parents that were young and cool, politics, the economy, balancing freelance work with being full-time at Tiny Bop and way more as this well balanced and well informed woman and I went there and back again. Check out her website and every link she has there at TuesdayBassen.com, and Playboy: Call Her!
Billy Sweeney is a talented designer and a colleage of mine at Squarespace. He's played a major role at brining together campaigns like the Squarespace "Anthem" and the latest advertising run in the Super Bowl. He did it all while still working on his craft and having a family. I ask him how we did it as we kick off Season 2 of Save as Podcast!
James Bareham is more than just a founder of The New Cruelty. He's a thoughtful, well spoken designer with a keen eye for quality content. He's done work for Aston Martin, BMW, Crown Royal, The Verge and tons more. We talk about being creative in the world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also get into living in New York, the perspective of animals, and driving super cars. Check out The New Cruelty's stuff on Behance.
Another day, another designer who's younger than I am... maybe this is a subconscious theme? Michael Pharaoh is a designer and photographer from New Zealand, who's recent project — portraits of homeless people living in LA — caught the internets attention and became an unintended outlet for poverty awareness on the internet. I talk to him about his work, and if he knew "Homeless of LA" would become what it did.
Matt Delbridge is a talented young designer who’s already been a lot of places and done a lot of work. Matt’s done work for Apple, Nike, Google and more, and yes, he’s done it all while still in his 20’s. But is all that moving around a good thing? I sat down with Matt to talk about his move from home in San Francisco, his plaid shirt, and the difference between New York Creatives, and California Creatives.