This week we’re thrilled to have our first guest on the show; hugely influential design blogger Chris Spooner. Chris has built up his design blog SpoonGraphics over the past 10 years, and is the undisputed king of creative side projects. This episode we dig into how you can use your creativity to start fun, profitable side projects that you’re passionate about, as well as a host of other design and business related tips.


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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.


Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1.30] Welcome to Chris Spooner!
[2.00] Chris has been running his blog SpoonGraphics for 10 years!
[2.50] How Chris has kept going with his blog for so long
[4.30] How Chris comes up with ideas for his tutorials
[6.30] Looking at Chris’s posting schedule
[8.00] Chris’s transition from a studio graphic designer to become a full-time blogger
[10.00] Ian remembers how Chris was fully booked on client work
[10.30] The blog acted as a safety net, to let Chris transition from a studio designer to a freelance designer
[13.00] How Chris found the initial inspiration to run a blog
[14.30] Dustin asks – did Chris have a master business plan?
[15.00] Tom helping Chris with his business and site
[16.30] Chris playing the long game by not covering his entire site in ads
[17.30] Respecting your audience and not being too intrusive
[19.00] Providing maximum value
[19.30] Chris is more relatable with his business than many people may realise
[20.30] Focusing on the enjoyment in what you do
[21.45] Don’t try to be the next Chris Spooner, but use him as an example for following what you love
[22.30] Looking at passion projects
[23.30] Ian recalls an older video of Chris’s, about giving away stuff for free
[24.30] Ian learnt from Chris to try mini-projects for 6 months and see what he likes
[25.40] Chris advocates always sharing stuff online, not just keeping it on your hard-drive
[27.00] Chris never knows which posts will do well. It’s more about putting out consistent quality, and then reacting to what performs well.
[28.45] Chris’s process for creating tutorials
[30.25] Chris is the king of side projects
[32.20] Lisa asks: what’s more popular – written or video tutorials?
[33.30] This podcast is a side project for us
[35.15] Tom asks about connecting with the wider design community
[37.30] Chris naturally loves to share his life in content
[39.30] Discussing his gaming Youtube channel
[42.30] Chris figures stuff out himself, rather than hiring out
[44.00] Whatever you’re putting out to teach others, there will be someone at a level below yours, who will find it helpful
[47.00] Your experience will always benefit you further down the line
[48.00] The power of just doing, and figured stuff out as you go
[50.00] There’s always new technologies, and new white space to explore for content and teaching
[54.30] Closing words of wisdom from Chris
[55.00] Having patience – Chris’s ventures all take 1-2 years to start getting traction
[56.00] The importance of injecting your personality into your projects

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