Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.
It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.
Tom Anderson is a 27 year old Co-Founder and Creative Director at Green Chameleon.
1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?
I was about 6 when I got my first computer, in the days of Windows 95. It was a grey PC, no idea what the spec was but I do remember spending a lot of time playing around on Fine Artist and Creative Writer. I actually just looked them up and spent a good 15 minutes reminiscing with my colleague Nathan. What an interface!
2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?
My first non-conceptual website was for my Dad. No one lets you near their website with next to no experience unless they're family! I was only involved with the design but I remember we created a fancy JS image gallery and were very happy with ourselves. It taught me a great deal, I think your first project always does, as your preverbal cup is empty. The website actually came out very well all things considered. More importantly it solidified the partnerships that went on to form Green Chameleon.
3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?
I don't think I could choose just one project. Every project offers its own rewards in one way or another. I think working with startups can often be the most rewarding. Helping a client turn their dream into something tangible and real is something I personally find very rewarding. Working closely with someone who believes so strongly in a brand or product is incredibly inspiring.
4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?
Trust your gut!
5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?
It would have to be into the future, I know what happens in the past so where's the fun in that! Lets say 100 years and I can see if WALL-E got it right.
1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?
I love creating things, always have. Building something from scratch and then seeing it be used, or even better using it myself, is incredibly satisfying!
2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?
Photoshop, Illustrator & Invision are the tools I use and love. There are of course many others but don't think I'd call them favorites.
3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?
I love my Mac Book, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned pencil.
4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?
Ask me again in a few years, I've still got too many cities to see! I'm heading to San Francisco soon with my girlfriend and I have a feeling it may well make the list! Berlin is definitely up there too!
5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Spending time with my family and friends.
1. How do you stay motivated?
I don't massively struggle to stay motivated. I think when you find something you love doing then it takes care of itself. I won't pretend that work doesn't have its difficult moments; I think the thought of not being able to do what I do is enough to keep me motivated!
2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?
I think I have a reasonably good balance, although being a founder of a young company I work longer hours than I probably should. To be honest I find it hard to determine the hazy line between work and non-work life sometimes. I think I could do with getting out the studio a little more as that's where most of my inspiration comes from, so it would probably benefit me in both areas of my life.
3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?
Don't let perfectionism paralyse you. Also, practice... lots.
4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?
I spend every morning looking through design galleries and reading online industry blogs and publications. I find twitter is a great way to keep my ear to the ground too. Other than that I try to get involved in the design scene as much as I can, whether that's going to industry events or just meeting new people with similar interests.
5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?
I would travel... Loads!
Versus: In your opinion...
1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?
Good designers are born but great designers are made through experience.
2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. fulltime job?
3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?
4. Printed book vs eBook?
5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?
Tom is Co-Founder and Creative Director at Green Chameleon, a multi-award wining digital design and marketing agency.