With 5 exams left to my degree, I dropped out and I started freelancing.
Do you also suffer from imposter syndrome?
Despite being title holders of multiple Awwwards, Digital Design Award & CSS Design Awards and other pretentious accolades, it’s funny how as creatives, we still suffer from this.
I had the fortune to connect with the talented Lorenzo Bocchi when he was holding a Sketch workshop at Digital Design Days in Milan.
To me, he is a master in the art of code and digital design. I hope you get a chance to learn more about my dear friend, Lorenzo, on today’s #DesignWithDot post!
1. You’re originally from Cremona, Italy. You recently married the love of your life and both moved to Sydney Australia. What spark this decision?! Is it a better place to live??
Yeah, got married last November with the most beautiful person I’ve ever met.
We got married on our exact 10th anniversary just the two of us on a desert beach in Australia.
Barbara, my wife, is also an incredible illustrator, you should check her stuff out [here].
To be honest, I got to Sydney by coincidence. In 2014 I got a job offer in San Francisco and I started the process to get a VISA and move my whole life over there. Unfortunately, or better, luckily, my VISA application didn’t make the cut so I had to look somewhere else.
I was still looking to move to an English-speaking Country to finally learn how to speak English decently, and at the same time I was also looking to find a similar lifestyle to California.
So the decision was pretty easy: Australia! I’m sorry UK 🙂 I didn’t know anything about this place before visiting and I immediately fell in love. Australia is just incredible! It’s an amazing place to live and to work.
Currently, I’m working as a Senior Brand and Product designer at Airtasker, and right now I’m leading the creation and the implementation of the Design System.
Sydney is home for me now, and I look forward to applying for permanent residency in a few months.
2. You’re a Digital Design Award Winner, CSS Design Awards winner and multiple Awwwards title holder. Before you were such a big shot in design, how did you start out in the design field? How did you practice and hone your skills??
Similarly to my move to Australia, I also got into the digital design world by pure coincidence.
Before starting Uni, I was a professional waterpolo player. That was my whole life and for a long time I thought that would be my future.
Funny fact: I even played with one of your neighbors in California: 5 times Olympian Tony Azevedo.
Growing up, I realized that my future in a minor sport would not be really scalable and would not give me the future that I was looking for both myself and my family, so I enrolled at Uni and I started studying Engineering focused on Industrial Design.
Over the years I realized that I was much more enjoying presenting the products that working on the actual design of the products themselves.
While getting ready for an exam I was spending very little time working on the product and I was creating all the — btw absolutely not required — collaterals to make kick-ass presentations — I was creating fake logos, websites and stuff like that.
With 5 exams left to my degree I dropped out and I started freelancing with super small clients around my city.
3. Why do you design?
Following up my introduction on how I got in, and I know, it’s cheesy AF, but true — I just love it.
At some point in my life, I realized that I could be paid to spend my entire day doing something I really loved while listening to music.
Now I’m working on an amazing product at Airtasker and it changed a lot my perspective on the value of design when it comes to create real solutions that can help a business to scale worldwide, while at the same time provide a really amazing experience for the people that are using the product, especially, like in this case, when they can make a living thanks to it.
I’ve been suffering a lot from the impostor syndrome and I can’t help but to keep learning and try to do better every day.
4. What do you think is the future of web design?
The future of web design is a bit unclear to me right now. I see a really big gap between the agency vs the startups’ approach.
They are kinda going to the opposite direction. While on one side you see a crazy use of experimental technologies, on the other you can see a deeply thought-through process to impact people’s lives.
I think that at the end of the day, it really depends on what goals the people are working towards. In some cases, pushing the boundaries is the right thing to do, in others, focusing on tiny details is the way to use design to solve actual problems.
To answer your question, I think the fork will open up even more: agencies will introduce more and more sophisticated technologies, while companies will be more and more data-driven and impactful with their design decisions.
5. What keeps you up at night?
Learning. I’ve been suffering (and I still do) a lot from the impostor syndrome and I can’t help but to keep learning and try to do better every day.
There’s nothing more satisfying for me than to learn a new skill and put it to use on my day-to-day work.
6. What is your philosophy about life? Or a mantra, quote or proverb you want to share with us?
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
And it’s so true. Especially when work gets really stressful, I always remind myself that I do love what I’m doing and that it’s probably one of the best lines of work on this planet.
I worked my ass off in the country fields to make enough money to buy my first drum kit.
7. What’s your dream travel destination or the next place you want to visit? #TravelWithDot
Japan! It’s been on my bucket list since forever and I cannot wait to go! Let’s meet there next time 😉
8. What’s your favorite restaurant you would take me to in Ottawa, and what would we order? #EatWithDot
“Dalla Maria” is a really small restaurant – call it “trattoria”, where you can find some amazing home-made pasta. We would have a “tris di primi”, meaning 3 different types of pasta to share.
Kinda an obvious answer from an Italian, isn’t?!
9. What are your favorite iPhone Apps right now?
I absolutely love Figma when it comes to design. They’ve broken away from everything that I’ve seen before and created the killer product! No fluffy stuff, just at its core a super solid product that never lets you down.
I also need to mention Notion, just freaking love it. And yes, I brag a lot about it (ask any of my friends). It’s nothing new, to be honest, but what it does, and the way it does it, is absolutely incredible. Documenting and tracking is never a fun job for a designer, but Notion makes it an amazing experience!
10. Who has been a mentor or someone you have looked up to for advice and inspiration?
Even if we come from completely different life paths, he’s always been my greatest inspiration. He thought me the value of hard work and at the same time how to be respectful and kind to people. Everything I learned from him has helped me out in every possible situation.
I still look up to him and I want to make him extremely proud of my achievements.
A story that I’d love to share —
When I was around 16 years old I wanted to start playing the drums, and when I asked him to buy me a drum kit, he replied: “Buy one”. Simple as that.
That summer I worked my ass off in the country fields to make enough money to buy my first drum kit. That experience thought me the value of hard work to get what I want in life.
At the end of the summer, I just had enough money to buy a crappy one, but he chipped in and I managed to get an amazing one that I still have back in Italy.
Just the best dad ever!
11. Dragon or Unicorn? Why?
In the past few years, I’ve been working from branding, UX, UI, web design, print, photography, video editing, motion design, front-end development, marketing, and client management.
The more we know about what surrounds us the more we can be impactful with our decisions. I’ve ultimately dropped most of them and I’m been focusing mostly on Brand, Product design and front-end development now, but the knowledge and the experience will stay with me forever.
The Fast 5
Your favorite Instagram feed right now:
@barbarafondrieschi — By far the best illustrator on the planet! There’s a little chance that I could be biased.
What is the Best Life advice (or lesson learned in business) you ever received:
Business first! Designers tend to focus on “cool shit” but if there’s not a business behind, you’re not going far.
Also, the same is also true if you are working for a company. The quality of your craft doesn’t mean anything if it’s not able to satisfy the business needs.
Best website/destination you go to for inspiration:
Behance since day 1.
The App you can’t live without?
Notion, both on Mac and iPhone.
Still bragging about it…
Book we should all read?
I’m not big on books (I know it’s bad), but there are plenty of really interesting fast reads on Medium — I think it’s a great way to get to the core of what you need to know in little time.
Also Facebook, I’ve optimised my feed to show me interesting pieces of information only, and it’s actually pretty handy!