First I want to thank Fabio Sasso for taking the time out of his busy schedule and travels to do an interview for Fuel Your Creativity. You may be familiar with Fabio’s blog, Abduzeedo and his company site, Zee in Brazil with business partner, Fabiano Meneghetti. His design focus is on Graphic and Web design (he is very talented and I admire his work!), he also does regular tutorials for PSDTuts.
What is the best part about being a freelancer?
I think it’s the freedom to do the things you want to do the way you want to do it. Not that you will forget about the client completely but I mean organize your projects the way you think is best for you. I’ve always had problems with that when I was a regular employee.
What are your best methods for finding/attracting clients?
The best way is having a very good network and let people know about your work. The promotion is the most difficult part of the process but as soon as you get a client and you do a good job, they recommend you. Also there are so many good sites to find jobs and even different ways to get work like writing tutorials for example.
How did you start your blog; Abduzeedo? Where does the name come from?
Abduzeedo started in the end of 2006. My office had been robbed and I had lost my computer and all my backups for the past 6 months of work. It was really tough and I had lots of experimental works in my computer, all of which were lost. I then decided to start a blog to promote myself and backup my experimental work, which became the tutorials I do now.
The name is quite complicated to explain, but it means abducted in Portuguese, but the spelling is wrong. As my company is called Zee, my business partner and I were always trying to find words with the ZEE sound so we could replace to “zee”. Abduzeedo was one of them, the correct spelling is abduzido.
How did you get started? Did you study something in particular or are you self-taught?
I have a degree in Graphic Design, but the tools I use like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, CSS and some programing languages were all self-taught.
Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?
Since I was kid I was always drawing things, even though I wasn’t a really good drawer, I liked it. Then in 1993 I started using the computer with Corel Draw. I found it really interesting because there are so many possibilities.
What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?
There are many things that are important. I think observation is very important. Seeing how everything works and looks is crucial when designing anything, from a product to a web site. Also for me the best way to learn is to just try. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Sometimes we look for a masterpiece and we forget the goals of the project and the needs of the audience.
What does your typical day look like?
I like to wake up early, around 6-6:15am. I have my coffee and read my feeds which normally takes me about 2 hours. Then I organize my day and start figuring out what has to be done. The only problem of working from home is that sometimes I work from 6am to 1am and that’s not really good.
Where do you go for design inspiration?
My google reader every morning :) I also go to FFFFOUND, Computer Love, Design You Trust, Fubiz, Smashing Magazine, Noupe… there are so many good sites out there.
Do you have any favorite websites for interacting with others in the design community?
I’ve been using Flickr and Twittter a lot, they are very good and can be really useful. I would say that my favorite is Flickr, because there are tons of groups and the community is very active, so it’s easy to get feedback on my work. Also I subscribed to some groups and every day I have a lot of images for inspiration.
Who, in the online world, would you say has had the biggest influence on you?
That’s really hard to answer. There are excellent designers that have influenced my work such as Eduardo Recife, Adhemas Batista, Chuck Anderson, Scott Hansen. Now due to the blog, some designers keep me updated everytime they update their portfolios and I’ve seen some amazing work. Another designer I really admire is James White, I love the way he manages to give a retro feeling to his work but at the same time keeps very modern.
What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without the internet anymore. I try to keep all my backups online and my emails, contacts, and everything is in the cloud so if I don’t have internet I’m totally lost. In terms of tools, Fireworks, Photoshop, CSSEdit, textmate are my tools of trade.
Anything else you would like to share with the readers of Fuel Your Creativity?
I’m working on some new features on Abduzeedo that I think will be really cool for the design community.
Keep practicing and learning, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and have fun. Ah and visit abduzeedo.com everyday ;) kidding…