Kevin Sharon


National Design Service

“Maybe I was a creative kid; just a frustrated and angry creative kid.”

Kevin Sharon is a creative director and web designer. Went to school to study Political Science and Animation, dropped out to start a band and record label. No wonder we love him so.

Tell us about your path to becoming a designer.
I have a weird path to becoming a designer that makes no sense to anyone but me. I went to school for Political Science and Animation, but before I could become the first historian/lawyer/animator in history, I dropped out of school and went to work at a print shop. Little by little I picked up an interest in the design side of printing and decided to re-enroll in art school. While I was in school, I started a two piece garage rawk band and a record label. I got really into self producing recordings, flyers, albums, and cassettes (it was a long time ago), for the band and the label. It dawned on me that I was interested in a lot of similar stuff: art, animation, film, making noise, writing. Then I sort of figured out that writing, film, audio, animation, and typography, all made sense when you jumble them up and put them together on the web and call it “interactive design”. So I took that interest in media and interactivity and started making websites.

Who or what inspires you?
My wife is my biggest inspiration. We’ve been best friends for over twenty years and she is the smartest and funniest person I’ve ever known. She has an incredible knowledge of art history and has taught me a crazy amount of stuff. Mostly she’s taught me to live in the present, to observe the world we live in and take inspiration from the everyday things—things that I used to take for granted. Nothing inspires me more than wandering around our neighborhood and bouncing creative ideas off each other.

Were you creative as a kid?
I don’t think I was a traditionally creative kid. I’ve always been kind of a perfectionist in the things I create and that has always been a blocker for me feeling like something I’ve created is creatively satisfying. Although, now I’ll look back on stuff I’ve made, that embarrassed me when I was making it, and say, “shit, this is actually pretty good.” Maybe I was a creative kid; just a frustrated and angry creative kid.

What do you like about living in Austin?
I love the people. I think Austin attracts a certain type of person that is open-hearted and creative and it makes it easy to find people you can easily relate to or find cool projects to work on together.

What is your typical day like?
My typical day is pretty consistent. I drop both my boys off at school then drive home. I’ll go for a long walk and then stop at the coffee shop and hang out for a bit. I start actually working around 9:30 and check in on Slack with the folks I work with, who live all over the place: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Greenville, South Carolina, San Francisco, and Austin. Then I try to get as much work done and avoid email as long as possible. As soon as I start responding to and reading email, my day feels shot. My kids come home around 3 and like to hang out in my office. I play with them for a bit before I get back and finish my tasks for the day. I shut down at 6 and try to keep my phone out of reach so I can spend uninterrupted time with my family. The rest of my evening is typcially: dinner, bath and bedtime for the kids, then watching a movie with my wife.

What's your favorite food?
Anything in a tortilla.