Q&A with Mig Reyes

Last year, Mig Reyes hit a homerun with his HOW Design Conference presentation, What You Don’t Learn in Design School. So we invited him back. (We’re smart that way.) If you missed today’s live interview on Twitter with Mig, here’s a recap (you can also see the conversation by searching #HOWLive on Twitter):

Thanks for taking the time today, Mig! First, tell the nice folks a bit about what you do and where you do it.

Thanks for having me! I design the internet at www.threadless.com, headquartered in Chicago. Hardest part: modeling tees. Beyond Threadless, I also teach at Chicago Portfolio School, run an inspiration site at HumblePied.com and a bit more.

We’re big fans of Humble Pied, where you interview a creative pro who offers a single piece of advice. Who have been your big “gets”?

Everyone guest on Humble Pied has been great, of course! I really enjoyed Liz Danzico, Jessica Hische and Tina Roth Eisenberg. I’m actually working on finding the commonalities between all of the shared bits of advice.

So, I gotta ask … what’s the story behind your Twitter handle, Spigumus?

Story of my name? A secret … until now. The internet + Talespin = Spigumus.

Your HOW session last year generated a lot of good buzz. What did you learn as a speaker from that experience?

As a speaker, you’re competing with a lot of other great sessions. Tease yours! This was mine.

Your HOW Design Conference session this year really advocates self-directed projects. Tell us about yours, Straight Silly.

I do a lot of web work. So on the side, Kyle Stewart and I make posters for fun.

Why do you think so many young creatives are designing their own products as well as doing client work?

Side/passion projects keep you fresh and learning. Design is a craft; practice it always. Today’s Google-equipped designer has access to anything and everything. We make our own products because we can. Many people try to make passive income—money earned on its own, outside of your day job. Hence, we make our own stuff.

How do you make time for your day job at Threadless plus your side projects?

In the words of my pals at DressCode: NEVER SLEEP! There’s no room for the lazy in this industry. If it matters to you, you make time for it.

Do you ever feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends? When that happens, what has to give?

Between Threadless, Humble Pied, teaching, lectures … it’s tough. There is always a tomorrow for working on side projects. If you do it right, your side projects and day job can mix. Much of what I’ve brought to Threadless was from side work.

Three sessions YOU most want to see at the HOW Design Conference?

I’d totally check out Jessica Hische talk about lettering, Jason Santa Maria chat web type and Armin Vit chat about obsessions!

Three places designers must visit while they’re in Chicago for HOW Design Live?

Just three places? Psh. How about at least 15.

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