Keep an eye on what Double Happiness are up to! We had a chat with Antti Grundstén who filled us in on how he got started, some lessons he’s learn along the way and how he learnt the skills he needed to start up Double Happiness (and perhaps some things he wished he’d learnt along the way too).
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs? I studied at Lahti Institute of Design, Aalto University and Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver. My first job was a really awkward marketing office in Helsinki, where I did my first internship in 2006. I got paid 300 euros a month. It was horrible.
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? My plan was to gain as much experience as I could and then start my own studio with good friends. I did different kinds of design jobs for at least 5 years. Design companies, publication companies, social media/pr offices and events. Now when I look back I definitely should’ve included some business or related studies or experiences in to the mix.
What does a typical working day include for you right now? I try to be at the office at 10 am the latest. Then I check my emails and do a quick list of tasks for the day. Then I turn on my concentration apps that block all distracting websites and activities on my computer. After a hour or two of working we usually have lunch some where near the office. We are really lucky that the neighbourhood around our office is constantly evolving and new restaurants open up monthly. After lunch we play Mario Kart. Then back to work. I enjoy the last few hours of my day at work, then I get the most done since all our clients leave office at 5 pm. So I get a good 2 hours of distraction free time. I’m usually back at home or doing sports around 7 or 8 pm.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why? Not really design related, but books that have helped me on my profession:
1. Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
3. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Whats your take on internships? (do you take interns now?) Our take on internship is positive. We had our first intern Viivi start a 1.5 years ago, and now we’re in the progress on making her a partner in the company. We paid our first intern 10% of our monthly income. We might have a internship position open next fall.
What career advice would you give your 16yr old self? Figure out something else to do than graphic design if you want to get rich. 😀