An interview with Patrik Larsson

Over the last 2 year I have spent many hours on a site called graphicriver a place for selling design templates of all sorts, it is a great place with many talented authors so I have decided to interview artists from the site and this is the first of many more to come. I hope this will help people understand how other designer work and what processes they go through.

1. How did you get started in the design industry, and what is your advice for people thinking of doing the same?

A friend got me started some number of years ago, not really sure how long but it’s been a while, close to a decade I think. Anyway, he showed me photoshop (photoshop 7) one day and I were hooked, I went home, downloaded the trial and started playing around. First it were manipulations and very basic design stuff but never got hooked on either of those paths. It weren’t until I stumbled across PSDTUTS many years ago that got me into web design (Thank you Collis).

Since then I’ve never looked back and I haven’t reconsidered my decision one bit. Everything I know, all technique’s, all my knowledge about Photoshop are self-thaught. I started with learning about the trends and how the industry works and just went from there.

Best advice I have, never be afraid of loosing, never be afraid of taking a risk and never complain more than it’s worth. Listen to feedback, no matter if it’s constructive or poor. Make the best of each situation and you’ll come out a winner.

2. What is your process for starting a new piece of work?

It might vary from time to time but usually it’s something like this:

Planning – what’s needed or what could work
Wireframing/sketching – I do this a lot
Organizing layers/groups
Polishing – fixing edges, layer styles, etc..
Leave it for a day or two
Revisit – I either throw it away or use it (though it’s most likely I throw it away, even if it’s a freebie)
Either start over or start something new

I can have around 10-20 revisions on a design before I’m happy with it and it’s not uncommon that I throw a completed design away and start over from scratch. In fact, it happens more often than I’d like to admit πŸ™‚

3. Do you have any favourite websites for finding design inspiration?

There are so many, but foremost I visit Dribbble, Creattica, DesignDelight and UIParade. I’ve never cared much for Forrst or LoveDesign but I guess some people do and I bet a lot of people gets inspiration from those sites as well. As I’m a GraphicRiver Reviewer I tend to browse the library there and it never stops to amaze me how many talented authors there are there, it’s so much fun to browse GraphicRiver and ThemeForest for inspiration. If you haven’t you should definitely try!

4. What do you think are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?

Tough question but I think I have an answer for you. From my point of view the most important thing is to have the will of doing what you love. If one lacks the will, then there’s nothing one can do except starting over again or maybe even consider changing profession.

If you have the will and know-how to make a change, do it, don’t wait, just do it.

5. What does your work area look like and what make it special to you?

As I’ve been in the middle of a move very recently, we’ve still got boxes to unpack, I took the opportunity to get a completely new home office for myself. Everyone needs a place to do their work and mine’s great so far, but I’ve got a few things planned to enhance it a bit more soon enough. Amongst them are a new chair, a shelf, an iPad, an iMac 27″ or a new screen. I love my MacBook Pro 13″ (2011 late model) but I’d love to have a bigger screen sometimes.

Anyway, the thing that makes my new workspace so special for me are my two Star Wars bobbleheads. They always nod when I come up with a stupid idea and they even nod when I come up with a great idea-I just love it!

Below you can find a picture of my newly setup workspace. I hope you’ll like it!

6. What trends will emerge and be popular in 2012 in your opinion?

That’s hard to say, as the web changes from day to day it’s a very hard question. But my predictions are that we’ll see more and more web apps coming in 2012. As the web changes so will the way we use it. As for design trends I have no idea but I guess it might be minimal, minimal were a big part of 2011 and I don’t see any reason for it to stop.

7. When you are not designing what do you get up to?

I play video games, taking a walk, watching TV or just talking about various stuff with my girlfriend. Most of all it’s talking to my gf, taking a walk and video games. That’s pretty much it really. I play a lot of Fallout 3 again but I also play a lot of Minecraft to keep the creative juices flowing.

8. Which piece of you work are you most proud of and why?

Well, one might think I’m most proud of everything I’ve done but that’s not the case at all. In fact, I actually dislike 90% of my work, including successful work. But the thing I’m most proud of is one of my latest freebies actually, my Music Player I did a couple of weeks ago, it’s pretty much one of the very few things I can still look at without hating it. I just love the way it turned out and I’m really proud of it. Check it out, and while you’re at it, check out and grab all my other freebies as well.

9. What do you do when get creative block and how do you overcome it?

To put it simply, I get inspired from taking a walk, when I’m in the shower and even when I sit with my coffee in hand reading a magazine so I get easily inspired. Though creative block happens from time to time I just go out for a walk, play some video games and presto, inspiration back and creative block gone. That what I’ve found most effective and I’ve been doing it for quite a while now πŸ™‚

10. What are the current design goals you’re looking to achieve?

My biggest goal for the moment is to get my new site up and running properly, hopefully I can have it done by March 15 but in worst case scenario it might take a wee bit longer. However, my main goal for 2012 is to really kick my new business off the ground and my new site will help me do that. Got lots of fun stuff planned and I hope that you’re all with me on this journey.

15 comments on “An interview with Patrik Larsson

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already! Cheers!

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