Chris Spooner: Line25 & SpoonGraphics

Spoon

Today, for my latest entry in 31 days of Creative Inspiration, I interviewed Chris Spooner, a designer, gamer and blogger out of the UK, behind some of the websites I tend to hit frequently for inspiration, including Line25 and SpoonGraphics. Line25 is a great spot to bookmark for web designers, with weekly picks of top designed sites that usually boast impressive parallax designs and full-width image layouts. SpoonGraphics is an awesome resource for designers and bloggers alike, whether you’re just learning to tinker around in Photoshop or you need to collect some vectors to knock out a project, it’s one of the first places on the web you should check.

On a side note, Chris is remarkably generous in providing us with his free downloads, they’re not easy or quick to create. And oh yeah, and Chris also has a successful Youtube Channel about gaming, which I know nothing about, but shouldn’t go unmentioned!

Chris is a great example of turning the things you love into a financially stable and sustainable career, something many of us are trying to do. He encourages us to take the leap, despite our fears. We hope you enjoy Day 3 of #write31days. Feel free to leave comments below for myself or Chris, as I will certainly direct your thoughts to him, personally!

  • Design Sellout:

    You run several outlets related to design, gaming…. and Labrador Retrievers :) Are you most passionate about one of the sites you run, or do they provide equal gratification?

  • Chris Spooner:

    My main site at Blog.SpoonGraphics is the one I’m most passionate about. Not only is this site the first one that I launched out of my collection of blogs, but it’s also the biggest and brings in the traffic and revenue that allows me to do this as a full time job. With it being design related it’s also a site I thoroughly enjoy working on!

  • DS:

    What is the one moment, in development of all of your outlets and your career, that you were most excited about?

  • CS:

    I can’t remember one specific moment, but it’s exciting to see the sites grow each year. I’m amazed at the size that Blog.SpoonGraphics has grown to, even though traffic levels have dropped, it has developed in other areas such as my email newsletter.

  • DS:

    Do you believe that self-taught designers can become equally successful to those with formal education in the industry?

  • CS:

    Absolutely! There’s loads of resources online that allow anyone to learn from the pros and become a fully fledged designer. In many cases even those who have formal education often benefit from self teaching just as much, if not more than the course they paid 1000s to enrollon.

  • DS:

    What are your go-to resources for content, ideas, and inspiration?

  • CS:

    I have a series of bookmarks for design inspiration for various galleries and showcases. I often get inspired to try out styles or techniques that I see other people doing in their work, so sites like Dribbble are great places for me to browse for ideas.

  • DS:

    What is the best advice you can offer someone who wants to take their career to the next level?

  • CS:

    Don’t be afraid to take the scary leaps to the next level. I remember back when I was unsure whether to quit my full time job to go self employed, but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I hear that’s often the case with others who have been in similar situations.

  • DS:

    How do you manage your time, between being newly married, managing several websites, and working as a freelance designer?

  • CS:

    I keep a normal working schedule where I work on my sites during the day, which leaves me time for a personal life at the evenings and weekends.

  • DS:

    Speaking of freelancing, can you tell us about the transition from working a day job to becoming self-employed? What sorts of challenges did you face, and without getting too personal, how was the financial transition?

  • CS:

    Luckily for me at the time I was living with my parents so I had a safety net in terms of what I had to lose. Doing this before I owned a house was a good move because the idea of going from a regular wage to no guarantee of income would have been especially scary. However, it turned out that I earnt more in my first month of freelancing than I received as a monthly wage from my previous employer, so I instantly knew I’d made the right decision.

  • DS:

    On Line25, is there a common denominator among the sites that get chosen each week, that you always look for?

  • CS:

    I simply keep an eye out for website designs that catch my attention, use interesting techniques or just look cool!

  • DS:

    When you hit a creative block, what’s the first thing you do, to overcome it?

  • CS:

    I’ll usually just take a break and browse some inspiration galleries to drum up some fresh ideas. Luckily with my gaming channel I have something that is completely different that I can focus on while I recharge my creativity.

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