These days, more and more designers do side projects, which is fantastic for the community. Between works like André Meca’s Make Something Cool Every Day, Luke Beard’s almost complete ALAD, Even Stremke’s Invitation to an Assassination… Inspiration keeps flowing our way. And, it also helps to work within the universe of some of the people that are part of our personal pantheon, and maybe to even get noticed by them.
With that said, I came across Tobias’ series while browsing either through the Go Media Flickr pool, or when going through some of the design blogs frequently haunted (Daily Inspiration, Abduzeedo, Blkfrmt, Fudgegraphics…). What struck me in the series was its quality, but also the time constraint Tobias included in the exercise. Time is one of the ‘real world’ top constraints for designers. Adding it in a self-initiated project can give that little extra kick to transform a fun self-initiated project into a still fun learning experience.
Without any further due, my interview with Tobias.
Hello Tobias, could you introduce yourself for the readers that would not know your work?
Hi! I´m a simple swede living in Stockholm. I just graduated from Hyper Island through the Interactive Art Director program, and I´m just started working as a designer at a web agency called Oakwood Creative.
Can you talk a bit about that “15 minutes” series of yours?
My “15 Minutes of Design” is a small side project I have been doing for a few months. In 15 minutes I try to create some graphic design which I then later put up on my Flickr. It´s my “do something every day” thing.
What pushed you to start a project like this?
Why I started this was because I felt I didn’t had the energy or time to be creative. But, I am always stressed when I´m not being productive. So “15 min of design” started as a small experiment for me just to start doing stuff. You always have 15 min to spare and it doesn’t feel like a big effort. It´s also my place where I just experiment and try to have fun.
How do you feel about the time constraint? Is it helping or deserving the final result? Is it a good exercise to hold a deadline tight?
I don’t know if the time constraints help the design; but, I do think that if I had worked on it for two more hours the final result would not be so much better.
The time constraint started as a laziness thing for me but it´s also a comfort because there is no pressure involved. When it comes to designing, it´s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself. You want it to be good. But, with only 15 minutes you can’t really expect awesomeness, and that helps to be more creative. Nothing is wrong, everything is OK.
One key to becoming a better designer is to design a lot. I’d rather do 50 smaller pieces than one big project. Don´t put all of the eggs in one basket, as they say.
Do you have any favorites in the series? Is there a specific piece that has a special meaning to you?
Not really, maybe the horse picture and “Evas keramik.” It could be a logo for a Ceramics company :)
Any last words before we part?
“15 Minutes of Design” is only a small project with no ambitions to be anything more than just a small project. But, it is a good exercise which has pushed me to do other “bigger” projects. I’m happy with it.