Last time, we got to know him as a creative professional in Interview with Andy Sowards Part 1. Like everybody else, he’s all human, folks. He had awkward moments, admires people and listens to music. Let’s get down to the details a little bit as we give you the second part of our interview.
Part 2: Andy Sowards, Behind The Scenes
Q. How do you spend your free time?
To be honest I don't have a lot of free time, between a wife, 4 kids, and running a business as well as curating a blog haha. I typically spend the free moments I have with my family, everything else is lumped into "work".
I am lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep a night - But I do enjoy working out, working on personal projects, playing with the latest code out there - learning new things, and of course bumming around on YouTube.
Q. Describe your dream website.
Another big question - I often dream about building a site that is fun for everyone, relevant, and could spawn a start-up company. But if you are talking a dream site to work on for a client - I would say any site that is widely used, with a budget large enough to really be creative, and effective that will stand the test of time - would be a dream website project.
Q. There are lots of awesome sites nowadays, what is the coolest website you've seen?
Yeah that is a really hard question - every day it seems like there is a new awesome site grabbing peoples attention (then quickly losing it - as the tides of the internet keep flowing) but a site that really stuck with me as "amazing" is http://ff0000.com/.
It's an agency web site, and yes it is old, and yes it is in flash which I detest now that jQuery & HTML5 are awesome. BUT I stumbled upon this site when I first got into web design - and I was blown away with its concept and creativity - it really opened my eyes. I was like "Wow, you can really make cool, fun and awesome shit on the web, and people will use it and talk about it - and you progress the internet and make it better for everyone while you are doing it!"
Q. Who are the people or person you admire in the web design industry?
Oh god - I could go on for days. months. years. Now I feel compelled to list of everyone I've ever admired but sorry if I miss someone haha. I admire a lot of designers, there are tons of them out there with so much talent its unbelievable - I am just going to name a few really quickly:
@mayhemstudios - Calvin Lee - He was my first real friend on Twitter and we are still good friends to this day! He is a super nice guy and he has been in the design game for quite some time. Everyone loves him and I admire him for that.
@justcreative - Jacob Cass - I admire him because of everything he has accomplished at his age - he has a strong design brand and pumps out some awesome stuff - always impressive - super nice guy as well
@abduzeedo - Fabio Sasso - ever since I was getting started in Photoshop I remember seeing that site with its signature black background and bright colors - his site helped ignite the spark within to want to pursue such a career that I might one day be as influential and recognizable as his brand. He has done well for himself, also another really nice guy.
@imjustcreative - Graham "Logo" Smith - a stunning logo designer - another guy I met on twitter as it was taking off who has just exploded and done a great job with his work and his brand. Nice fun guy to chat up on twitter and checkout his work too, inspirational stuff.
@zeldman - Jeffrey Zeldman - practically everyone in design knows this man - he is awesome. If my career is half as successful as his, I will be pleased. He is one of the best designers there is, super popular, and he still has time to reply and chat to fans :)
All the designers are really down to earth and relatable - good people to admire. again sorry if I missed anyone. I <3 u all. :)
Q. What is/are some weird things you do to get inspired or get inspiration from?
Haha Lately, I have been watching all of the super epic Anime movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki - the man is a genius. Not only do my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE the movies, but they are super creative, and super beautiful to watch.
Image Credit: http://urbantitan.com/hayao-miyazakis-7-best-movies/
If you haven't seen any - I highly recommend them (Ponyo is my kids favorite). So in my mind, that is a WIN WIN situation when I can get inspired and spend time with my kids - and watch them enjoy and laugh along with something awesome and beautiful that they will carry with them their entire lives (and look back on for inspiration when they are older and need it).
Q. Just for fun, what was your most awkward moment during college/school days?
The most awkward moments for me (which constantly happened) was being late to class - in high school and in college haha - I was always running like 5-15 minutes late (LOL) so I always felt awkward coming in while class had already started while everyone stared as I went to my seat haha. (I am still late to things to this day, but luckily Im never late to work anymore, since I wake up at work haha)
Q. What songs do you have in your playlist?
I love a tonnnn of music, from all different genres, but I sometimes listen to the same stuff over and over again. I will switch it up a little, lately it’s been:
Rammstein - Moskau
Rammstein - Onne Dich
Rammstein - Mehr
Depeche Mode - Walking in my Shoes
Depeche Mode - Stripped
Seal - Crazy
Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
Joy Division - Love will tear us Apart
Tori Amos - Josephine
Tori Amos - Dark Side of The Sun
Lil Wayne - Let The Beat Build
Just a taste of what I usually listen to.
Q. Mention one thing people don't know about you.
(Some people might know this) but I ate the same Turkey Sub from Subway for nearly every meal for nearly 2 years lol
Closing words from Andy
Q. How you see the web design industry ten years from now?
Q. Advice to all web designers and those who plan to put up their own blog.
Just a few quick things - If you are planning on starting your own blog, the single most important piece of advice is this "Stick With it. Do Not Give Up.". At first, your blog, will most likely suck. to put it bluntly. When I put up my blog, it sucked. It took months for me to figure out what the heck I was doing, and even then, it felt like it still sucked. It takes months (read YEARS) for your blog to really turn into something, and become remotely popular. If you stick with it, and invest time into your blog and put some effort towards it - you will be rewarded.
Whatever you put into your blog you will get it back, and then some. If you start a blog and get discouraged because you only have 100 visitors a month for the first month - you will never get anywhere with it. Persistence is key. It takes time, a lot of time - overnight success is very rare. However, success over time is almost guaranteed if you stick with it (on a schedule) for several years. Most of all, just be yourself and have fun with it - go into blogging with the mindset that it will be fun and an extension of your brand. Don't go into blogging thinking you’re going to make a ton of money in a few months - because you won't.
Thanks for having me!!! It is an honor.
See Andy all around the web:
Google Plus: Andy Sowards https://plus.google.com/107906093846039182490/about
Whew. Beautiful, right? You can be like him too! Everyone has to start with something and become somebody one day. We hope you guys enjoyed this two-part interview just like we did. It’s amazing to work with people who truly inspire us and more over share their creativity with us.
"Stick With it. Do Not Give Up." – Andy Sowards
Keep checking for more interviews with creative professionals here at UCreative’s Creative Spotlight. Who knows, our next feature could be you!