What motivates you to mentor creatives?
I love helping others. It gives me a ton of energy and gives me a sense of fulfillment.
I'm specifically motivated to help other creatives because I've been in their shoes. I know what it's like to not be paid well for my creative contributions, to deal with stakeholder bullsh*t, and be a struggling artist. As with many creatives I know, I need to be creative on a daily basis to keep my sanity. I remember feeling hopeless that I'd ever get paid well to actually follow my creativity. That's why I love UX so much. It gives you the ability to be creative, get fairly compensated, and make a big impact. It transforms designers from order-takers to decision-makers.
This is why we created Kickass UX! To bridge the UX education gap and help creatives transform and supercharge their careers.
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
I wouldn't be where I am now without my board game, Son of a Blank! It's literally the foundation of my UX career.
Other than my game, I make a bunch of music for fun. Over the last few years, I've been creating binaural beats music for focus and meditation. It's been really interesting trying to balance actual music with two droning sine waves.
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
We're currently living in a rental house that doesn't have the most space, so my desk is in the guest bedroom.
I have a standing desk. I go back and forth between sitting and standing throughout the day.
I have my piano on my desk so anytime a tune strikes, I can turn on Logic Pro and quickly get the idea out of my head.
Where do you go to get inspired?
I've noticed that ideas flow my way when I've created enough space for them to get to me. To create that space, I need to get quiet and drop any internal noise. The best ways I've found to do that are going for walks, swimming, meditating, getting out in nature, hiking, etc. One of my absolute favorite things to do outside is snorkeling. It's rejuvenating to be silent in the water and just let the sound/flow of the waves roll over you.
The one place in the world where I get to be in nature, hike, swim, and meditate is my family's cabin. It's probably my favorite place in the world to be. I always get inspired there.
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
I meditate for 20-45 minutes immediately after I get up. This helps me stay focused longer, feel more creative, and generally gives me more energy throughout the day.
What’s an album that changed your life?
There are so many. I'll leave it to two albums:
Meteora by Linkin Park
It's All in Your Head by Eve 6
I don't listen much to either band anymore... but they were basically on repeat for over a decade each.