Many years I’ve been receiving inspiration from other designers usually in design communities like Dribbble and Behance. But in one day I thought not only how other designers work but also live, how they make decisions and what their lifestyles in common. Most of them not only designers, they good marketers, businessmen and startupers. They never stop in design and trying to use core skills for other things. Every time you come to their profiles you’ll find something interesting that will inspire you to make new things. It's interesting to see how they position themselves in design world and if you don't know where to move next to evolve as designer — you definitely should take a look on this list.
The best freelance designer I know. He worked for Medium, UENO, Redbull and many others. It’s incredible to see how he balances time to work, create new communities like Epicurrence and time to allocate time on the family with 4 kids. My favorite video about inspiration from life and how don’t forget why we are here.
Tobias van Schneider
Maybe top freelance designer in the world. He had the privilege of working with companies such as Red Bull, NASA, BMW, Google, Wacom, Sony, Toyota. Founder of Semplice . Former Lead Product Designer & Art Director at Spotify & serving on the AIGA Board of Directors in New York. Once upon a time he worked on his image and right now this image works for him. He is good example where designer can grow, how promote yourself and work on own projects. The Formula is simple: Build personal brand → Promote yourself→ Sell awesome products for your fans.
Matt D. Smith (Mds)
Matt have 4 children and own studio called MDS. I started following him when found this post where he shown first Float Label Form (Google will use it later in Material Design). Matt is an awesome designer that used his knowledge for small side projects for creatives like Contrast and Flow Kit. He also promptly replies to e-mails if have some questions regarding freelancing or studio.
Luke is one of my favorite designers in UX field. Currently he is Head of Design at Google. Founded: Polar (Google acquired) and Bagcheck (Twitter acquired). Wrote: Mobile First, Web Form Design, Site Seeing. Worked in: Yahoo, eBay, NCSA. I found him via his website with more than 1900 awesome articles about UX. He’s more active in Twitter, where he posts his thoughts about UX not only in digital world but also in real life.
George is currently working as Design Lead at Fantasy. He was working as freelance UX/UI and graphic designer for over 10 years. I’m found of his concepts for Wikipedia and Google News. Those case studies turn my design thinking and approach to design projects. I think when he worked on those case studies he probably planed to find job in those companies, but Fantasy also good place, isn't?
Head of Visual Design and Product at Fantasy and 15+ years intensive experience in product design. He was born in Russia, then moved to Switzerland and finally stopped in San Francisco. This guy is amazing in motion design and art direction. Check out his approach (ru) in Fantasy to working on projects.
Benjamin De Cock
Interface designer at Stripe. Master CSS. First acquaintance with Benjamin was when I worked on payment company (it’s not hard to guess). So I came across Stripe and their designers. Benjamin catches me with his attention to details and landing pages which he design and develops. It’s polished and every time ahead of trends. Just check out article how he is working on one single page. Follow him if you want deeply plunge in front end. He posted on Twitter some good advices for css and js.
Lead Designer at Everchron. He is very good as UI/UX designer as well as Front-End engineer. Found him via article on his blog about iOS guidelines. This is one of the best iOS guidelines next to Apple, of course. His personal website is also good example of portfolio for designer.
Chris’ YouTube channel Futur was exactly what I was looking for. He is also very good in marketing and promotion the brands and perfectly sells their educational materials and services.
Freelancer, daily vlogger and father of two. Founder of online proposals creator for freelancers called Prospero. Good in marketing, business and online education. From his videos I learned a lot about world inside start-up, Webflow and how to be successful freelancer without Upwork.