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.
This month’s issue comes in the form of Damien Terwagne, a designer who I know from my time in Sydney that now lives in the French alps — I know, it couldn’t be more idyllic.
Damien is a fantastic brand and digital designer, who’s worked with some great brands, including the Australian success story Airtasker.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
Wake up and instantly drink a glass of water, put my feet in the snow (winter) or go for a small run with my 7y old (not winter), make my kids breakfast, cold shower / get ready, get the kids ready for school, read emails, get work done until 12.30pm via 25 mins increments (Pomodoro technique).
How did you arrive here?
I worked at digital agencies in Brussels and Sydney for 4 years before leaning towards startups / scale-ups in Sydney and London — I felt the need to make work that would last longer than it usually does in advertising.
I am now working from home / remotely (in the French Alps) with a variety of clients from startups to small businesses.
What do you find yourself having to repeatedly convince others of?
That working long hours, at night and on weekends can seem like you’re achieving a lot more than some (since you’re spending all your time on it) but all it is you’re achieving is creating an unhealthy environment for yourself.
The body works in waves — brainwaves, sleep stages, heart-rate, etc — so it’s natural to do the same with work / life.
Do you have a mantra?
I do actually, it’s the first of my 7 personal values:
“Love is at the heart”.
It’s something I’ve been doing for years and try to keep in mind with everything I do. If you do something without caring — whether it’s for yourself, others, a project, an objective, or even the outcome — then why would you bother doing anything at all?
Only when you care, you can dare to achieve something that can have a lasting impact.
Where do you want to go?
As crazy as this might seem, all I want to achieve is a simple(r) life.
I’m not focused on building up what we typically call a ”career” so much anymore as all I want is to build (and enjoy) my life and work in ways that can support it.
After close to a decade living in cities, I found that I feel more at ease when I’m as far away from them as possible.
A few days is fine, but the wild / outdoors is where it’s at now.
Who do you look up to?
No one and everyone at the same time.
To me, looking up to only one person can narrow down the opportunities for learning something / anything. It can also quickly turn into cherry picking and I like to believe that even people we don’t hold dear detain keys we can use to open doors that would remain closed otherwise.
On the other hand, I also feel like we should look at what’s inside of us more often. Listening to what our guts have to say and trust our instincts a bit more rather than always be waiting for external forces to give us the green light.
What’s your remote setup?
Started my own thing recently so for now it’s pen, paper, a MacBook Pro and a steady amount of mountains in sight but am currently making a portable standing desk with my own hands so I guess it’s part of the list.
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
- Lingo’s Henrique Ourique on solving problems, customer support and business goals
- 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