Chad Syme: Visual Designer & KEXP Volunteer

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  • With over 11,000 pins, Chad Syme is a no doubt an avid pinner. In between his busy life as an Art Director at a mobile app start-up and volunteer at KEXP, Chad is actively pinning collections of men and women’s fashion, photography, home decor, food and drink, architecture, and more.

    Hi Chad! First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

    In the beginning I was an accident-prone kid in the small agricultural town of Fruitland, Idaho (insert slow-motion montage of kid running through orchards, picking fresh fruit from trees, swimming in the ditch and getting kicked in the head by a horse) - that actually happened when I was four. I wonder sometimes if that kick to the head reset my brain, setting me on my creative path. Now I’m married and the father of two little daughters/hooligans in Seattle, home for the past 18 years.

    Professionally, I am the Art Director at Score and Ten; a new web and mobile app start-up based in Seattle. Overall I regard myself as a Visual Designer, with vast creative interests ranging from UI & UX to film, photography, branding, music and fashion design. I have ideas for business ventures such as restaurants, bars, designer vinyl toys, animated shows, clothing, furniture and so on.

    My professional career as a designer started in Seattle 17 years ago. I left art school to take an internship on the sketch comedy show “Almost LIVE!” where I worked with Joel McCale from Community and The Soup. That led to more work in television, some freelance indie film work and eventually the start of my own design studio which I ran for 5 years.

    Outside of work and personal projects I’m a volunteer designer and photographer for KEXP; an amazing non-profit radio station in Seattle and global internet radio. KEXP has the highest concentration of amazing people (staff and volunteers) I have ever encountered. Being around people with that caliber of character does amazing things for a creative person. After all that then there is my deep desire to be a fashion photographer.

    You have over 11,000 pins! This is impressive. What are some favorite sites or Pinterest categories to pin from?

    I think if you take a regular scroll through my pins you’ll conclude my women’s fashion board Natty Gal is the most active. I admire the art and skill required to design clothing - the technical feat of getting a design to fit the complexities of the body and facilitate its range of motion. A number of other boards like Illustration, Graphic Design, Print Design, Package Design and UI & UX Design all get a fair amount of regular pinning, too.

    My sources for pinning change constantly. Tumblr blogs are a substantial source of my fashion pins. I tend to pin illustrations directly from the artist site. UI & UX comes from sources like Behance and quite often other pinners. A lot of the visual design related images I pin come from design inspiration sites like designspiration.net, buamai.com and bench.li. silodrome.com has become one of my new favorite site for vehicles and related gear, art etc…

    Based on your Pinterest boards and portfolio, you definitely view life through a creative lens. What type of things and ideas inspire you?

    The one thing that inspires creativity in me the most is aesthetics. It doesn’t matter how good the idea behind anything is, if it’s not presented esthetically it instantly fails to reach it’s full potential. I push my self to design better with every project I work on. Even if it’s well received by the client and or public I almost always see ways I could have done better, made it more of an esthetic experience. That strong self critique of my work and my appreciation for great design drive my creativity, and influences the images I pin. I want to immerse myself in amazing design because it pushes me to do better. I’m a huge fan of Pinterest because it allows me to do that.

    Which board are you most proud of?

    The Natty Gal board. I get comments from women regularly complimenting me on my taste. Some have expressing interest in having me style them. I’d love to do that and welcome any serious inquires. I’m very fond of my Illustration board as well. I like the esthetic of scrolling a web page filled with colorful illustrations in various styles.

    Who are some of your favorite pinners?

    I’ve recently started following Elizabeth Everlyn. She has an elegant eye for things that feel homey. Designer and food blogger Leah Bergman is one I love for food/cooking related pins. I’m a Mid-century junkie and Ruth, who runs the blog No Pattern Required is a phenomenal source for everything about this period of time.

    Thanks for the pinterview, Chad! To check out Chad’s work, visit his blog and his boards on Pinterest. Happy pinning!