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Creative Interview with Richard Darell aka @Minervity

This week I had the opportunity to chat with one of my very good designer friends, founder of the well known Minervity.com, Richard Darell (@Minervity). If you are active at all on twitter you will no doubt recognize him as an extremely active member of the community as well as an excellent source of Information for Design, Tech, and Inspiration. This interview is great if you’re looking for information on how to dive into the Design Industry, or if you are just looking for some Inspiration! Check it out!

Tell us about yourself!

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Well, my name is Richard Darell. Hail from Stockholm, Sweden. I’m a creative fanatic which means I can’t keep myself from immerse myself in all things creative. I am amazingly average with the exception of a sleep disorder. My first encounter with professional creativity was when I was 12 years old and got signed to Sony Music as a song writer. A couple of years later I also got signed as an artist on the Sony Music Columbia label. Never had a “REAL” job (as my mom calls it). I am father to a 4 year old (soon to be 5) angel daughter. I founded and run BitRebels.com, Minervity.com, TheMonoTwins.com and Razormade Mediaworks. Could I be more transparent…LOL

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I have been following your blog Minervity.com and I have to say the content is impressive, and constantly updated! What was your motivation to first of all, start Minervity.com and how do you manage to keep the content quality so high and frequent? Are there 2 Richards??

My motivation has always been to let people know they “can” if that makes any sense. I was brought up with very little means so I’ve always been told to do my best. To always stretch people’s expectations and believes. I’ve had an amazing journey through my life and through that I have learned to share, to help and to, above all, stay humble for it is just a step away and you’ll lose it all. I’ve been taught that you can always become better. Both as a human being as well as knowledge there for I am a knowledge fanatic and need to always know I am not missing the vital keys that will unlock the next step in the process of creativity. So, I think it is just natural to share and to take time to let others in on the things I have learned. I am sure that is what anyone would do.

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As it happens updates have come sparsely lately. BitRebels.com has really taken off and until we get some kind of “everyday”-normality’s in the refinement of the website I have to struggle to keep it updated. But, on the good side I have more hours available in a day’s cycle so client work and Minervity.com is always taken care of even if it sometimes is a strain to make the deadlines.

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My motivation has always been to let people know they “can” if that makes any sense. I was brought up with very little means so I’ve always been told to do my best. To always stretch people’s expectations and believes. I’ve had an amazing journey through my life and through that I have learned to share, to help and to, above all, stay humble for it is just a step away and you’ll lose it all.

What is your typical day like?

Typical day is I wake up at 6am. Take my daughter to daycare. Work in the studio (Music) for about 8 hours writing and producing music. Pick up my daughter at the daycare. Make dinner. Put my daughter to bed. Then I work on client design projects until around 3am before I go to bed. Sleep a couple of hours and then it’s the same thing again. During the whole day I am also working on Bit Rebels as well as Minervity to update, write, design, refine and making sure everything is in order. Oh, and don’t forget Twitter. Fanatic about. Addicted to it and I don’t miss a second of it it seems. Always tweeting so now you know why you never see me offline. LOL That and also my sleeping disorder.

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What is your favorite thing to do in any given workday?

It’s actually to connect and to write new articles for BitRebels.com and Minervity.com. To talk to our readers and writers. To get to know new people is one of my favorite thing during the day. If I could choose I would really love to go to ALL of the social networking events that are continuously held around the world. However, time has always been in short supply for me as I can’t seem to turn down a good design project or coming up with new ideas. Did I say I love working?

Where does your motivation and Inspiration come from?

Wow, that such a vast question really. What really inspires me is words. Words that make you feel invincible. Words that make you feel at home. Doesn’t matter where or from whom the words are from. If they make me feel comfortable I am inspired. A lot of people tend to say –“A good design” or “A perfect execute of a code”. However, even though these things speak to me I always know there is something you can do to make it better. Again, that’s how I am brought up. Never feel you’ve reached the end of the line. Words translating true honesty and unconditional knowledge is what makes my brain start to run its fifth gear so to speak.

What really inspires me is words. Words that make you feel invincible. Words that make you feel at home. Doesn’t matter where or from whom the words are from. If they make me feel comfortable I am inspired.

What are some of the tools, programs, or amenities you use every day that you can’t live without?

I use both Mac and PC. At my home office I have an XPS PC with dual graphics cards and three 19 inch connected monitors. Also have a HP laptop standing beside me as well. I also have a MacPro at home which I use for rendering. At the studio office I have a MacPro with two connected 24 inch widescreen monitors and a bunch of other gear. I have always felt as I need these things to make sure design and creations look good on whatever system it may come across being viewed on. My software park consists of Photoshop CS4, Flash CS3, Illustrator CS3, Dreamweaver CS3, Lightwave 3D, and After Effects CS3. These are the tools that I use the most in my daily workflow.

What other projects are you working on currently? What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Ooo, well some are secret as of now. However, right now I have a couple of websites under development together with some partners and also Bit Rebels and Minervity is constantly under development. Then it’s client work. Right now it’s a couple website user interfaces, a logo design, some ActionScript, CSS and WordPress Theme designs. That’s about it. J I would really love to tell you about the secret projects but as of now I can’t. I can tell you however that one of them is focused on the Design community. 😉

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the design industry?

My first advice would be never to be satisfied. Never think you’ve reached the end of your potential. If you do you will find that all your projects quickly start to deteriorate and become last days designs. To always stay up to date and to bend the edges of what anyone has done before is what’s going to keep you in the focus and make people continue to see what you can come up with and hire you. My goal has always been to once ever week learn a new trick that came out that very week. To learn it so well that I know the insides and out’s of what’s making it the very latest.

Also, I would like to say that being a designer is never easy work. There’s always deadlines and as any good designer knows ideas doesn’t come no matter how much money you throw on it. You have to be inspired and to stay focused on the task at hand. The second it starts to become a matter of money you will lose the focus and this will reflect in your result presented to the client. Take your time and tell the client it will take you a least a couple of days more then you actually think. That way you give yourself the stress free work environment you need to always churn out them good, edgy designs.

Never think you’ve reached the end of your potential. If you do you will find that all your projects quickly start to deteriorate and become last days designs.

Name 5 people on twitter that have impacted your career as a designer and are Must Follows:

1. @Mayhemstudios. Has to be the first one by far . Calvin is just the nicest guy and always cares to throw a couples of sentences back and forth. He was one of my first follows on Twitter and has had an immense impact on the way I see Twitter today.

3. @garyvee HAS to come in at second place. I can relate to his constant strive to do better. His way of looking at problems is a mirror of my own. The way he projects his creativity is awe inspiring and he makes for a great social networking tutor. When I started following him he only had 35.000 followers. Now a BIT more. Still wonder if he’s following me. LOL

3. @imjustcreative has to be my third choice. Graham was my first follow on Twitter and he used to inspire me to exceptional heights. Unfortunately he stopped following me due to my fanatic tweeting and for that I put him on third place. He did it very gracefully though. He’s an amazing logo designer. Which he would smile more though. LOL

4. @mistygirlph is my fourth. A truly dedicated and tremendously driven person that joined me on Bit Rebels to become the coordinator for the site. She’s an impressive source of positive energy and is always willing to put in that extra work in order to make things already great greater. I enjoy her company at Bit Rebels enormously and I honestly don’t know how Bit Rebels would have turned out without her as the coordinator.

5. @adamsconsulting has to be my fifth choice. Her positive energy and creative stamina is something I am always amazed at. She’s a brilliant writer and her thought patterns reminds me of myself. She is one of Twitters most caring souls and she doesn’t care if she has to go that extra mile in order to keep you on your feet to get through the day. Amazing personality!

Mac or PC?

Ooops, guess I already answered that question to some extent. I think it’s like asking if you’d rather have your left or your right lung. I need both because they both have their advantages even if you want to see it or not. There’s a lot of cultural gossip making people having to decide what community to belong to. But, for me I decide both. Both computer do their share of magic in different areas whether it’s within graphics, animation, music or any other area of creativity. Do you have to pick? LOL

I need both (PC & Mac) because they both have their advantages even if you want to see it or not. There’s a lot of cultural gossip making people having to decide what community to belong to.

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  • when u guys take my interview 🙁

  • I would like to listen your music!! that would be great!

  • Wow, so many kind comments. I am so humbled by the share load of people that actually took the time to check out this interview.

    Andy, you are an inspiration to me and it was an honor for me to do this interview. You’ve always been majorly supportive and awesome. Your loyalty is one of a kind buddy. Never forget that!

    This interview was one of the most fun I’ve done so far. It was great!!

    Thank you!

    • Thanks for the kind words my friend, YOU are an inspiration!

  • Keep up the great work Richard and Andy!!! I get great inspiration and training tips from each of you on Twitter. Good stuff!

    Thanks!

  • Thanks Richard for the shout out, it’s an honor! Keep up the great work and stay healthy 🙂

  • Wow what a great interview Andy! I am a fan of your site and have always loved your articles. Its always cool to get more and more information about Richard my editor lol and a good friend. I have learned a lot from him. Thank you Richard for the mention. Its always a pleasure working along side you and the rest of the wonderful BitRebels team. Awesome post as always Andy!!

  • Thanks for all the great feedback guys! I am sure Richard appreciates it very much :).

    He is a very hardworker and a great friend! I learned a lot conducting this interview as well ;).

    Richard is such a rockstar!

  • Hey,
    Congrats on the feature, reads really well, and thank you for including me in your list.

    The only reason I removed you from my stream was purely down to auto tweets you had set up. Wasn’t anything personal at all. The frequency and repetition of tweets really became too much.

    So to clear the air, was not just down to you being a prolific or fanatical tweeter, that there is a difference between tweeting a lot of useful stuff and tweeting a lot of auto generated links. 🙂

    G

  • Andy, great interview. Thanks for sharing. I learned a few things about Richard I did not know.

    I have been a @Minervity fan since I started tweeting a year or so ago, he was one of my first followers. Richard has such dedication to his work that you can not help being infected with the bug. I see he gets a couple hours of sleep each night? I dont even know where he fits that in!

    I am honored to be the newest rebel (bitrebels.com) and I can tell you he has created something great and cant wait to see where Richard takes this – and his secret projects!

  • Diana Adams

    Both the questions and the answers in this interview are equally relevant and spot on. I, like many, read every word just to get a glimpse into Richard’s creative mind.

    @Minervity inspires me daily and I use that inspiration to push myself outside my own creative comfort zone. Thank you for that Richard, and thank you Andy for your wicked interviewing skills.

    I’ve learned a lot from the insight here. Richard, thank you for taking the time to be a wonderful friend, even though you are living the rock’n’roll lifestyle. LOL

    I’m very humbled to be included with such talent on this page. Thank you.

  • Awesome interview andy, i can truly say Richard has been a really good friend and helped me a lot when i needed advice and helping with different things.
    Richard is a real inspiration to all of starting out, i recently only launched Creativeoverflow -a design blog for anything creative. I launched it the 14th sept and rich has helped me spread the news with rts and tweets! Thanks a lot mate! Greatly appreciated.

    http://creativeoverflow.net

    laters
    Jacques van Heerden aka An1ken