Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Charles Patterson
Kerning From the Best is an article series where I’m having quick chats with remote designers from around the world to learn more about what makes them tick.
I’m proud to announce that this month’s interview is with InVision’s Charles Patterson. Charles works remotely like all of InVision’s staff, and produces those amazing UI animations that you see all over Twitter. He’s a real gem.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
It depends what country I’m in; in Asia the days are backwards.
You get up and have your day, do with it what you please and then you start working around 5pm. I looooved that! But the hours are hard, very sleep, brain not work too good.
When I’m the West, I wake up with the sun, I have a bath and answer all my Slack, emails and social stuff (you’re welcome for that mental image and productivity hack), have my over night oats, with cinnamon and banana, win some Fortnite, do a little workout and then start work around about 10am.
How did you arrive here?
At school my favourite subject was art and music, it’s all I wanted to do, really — it made me happy.
That’s been a guiding principle my whole life — do stuff that makes you happy. Seems simple, right? But it would seem that a lot of people struggle to do that.
Anyway… I loved computers as well! Art plus computers was awesome! I was never really too good with the ol’ pencil and paper. I wanted to make sure my stuff was perfect (pixel perfect you might say). And that was the beginning of my fascination with design tools. Paint, Photoshop, After Effects — these things blew my mind!
And boom! Here I am designing design tools. #DoStuffThatMakesYouHappy
What do you find yourself having to repeatedly convince others of?
You know that moment you see someone getting really worked up about something? Something possibly really insignificant? In that moment, take a step back, look around you and realise that this life, this reality that you’re experiencing, it’s a beautiful thing, it’s a bloody weird and wonderful thing.
Unexplainable, but it’s happening, and you need to cherish every moment of it. Because you’re only here once.
Make sure you have a good time.
Do you have a mantra?
Work hard, play harder and make sure you’re being nice to people along the way.
Where do you want to go?
Well I’ve arrived at InVision, my family are there, so wherever they go I go with them. We’re creating the worlds best platform for designers, engineers and product teams alike to collaborate around everything digital product design. Pretty big achievement but I believe we can and will do it, in a lot of respects we already are.
Who do you look up to?
My friends and family (that includes all of my team at InVision), they’re so smart and funnier than I ever will be. I’m not funny at all, it’s really annoying.
I know that’s disappointing but it’s true.
What’s your remote setup?
MacBook Pro with the incredibly infuriating touch-bar — they probably should have done some user testing around that thing. I surf the web with Google Chrome.
I treat my ears to sounds from the Sony WH-1000XM3 with mixes on Soundcloud. I take calls on my iPhone XRSL+(the larger iPhone).
And obviously I design, animate and prototype with InVision Studio.
Thank you for following this new series. As always, I’m curious to hear your feedback.
As well as this, if you’re a remote worker, get in touch; it’d be great to feature as many varied designers as possible
Follow 8px Magazine for all future articles & interviews.
A selection of our other interviews:
- Kerning from the best — 5 minutes with Julie Delanoy
- Threads’s Shirley Wu on collaboration, research and communication
- 2018 roundup: What did the industry teach these designers?
- Derivative Design and Branding a Podcast
- Stripe’s Mercedes Bazan on moving countries, not being fearful, and having confidence
P.s. we’ve teamed up with DesignLab to offer out their courses to 8px readers. Want to learn UX from some of the industry masters? They offer both short and long courses, where you’re teamed up with mentors from Github, Dropbox and the BBC.