Interview with User Interface Designer Callum Chapman

We haven’t had a interview on Creativeoverflow in quite some time so I thought it was time to get one up again. Today we have Callum Chapman in the hot seat, I’m sure most of you should know about him. Originally from Cambridge, UK now stationed in Melbourne, Australia. Callum is a passionate designer and a great guy, loves his beer and always has something on the mind. Let’s see what Callum has to say.

Get in touch with Callum
Follow him on Twitter: @Callumchapman
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1. Welcome to Creativeoverflow, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the Blogging/Design Industry?

Hi everyone! I’m Callum Chapman. I’m a user interface designer mainly focusing on iOS applications and web design. I’m from Cambridge, United Kingdom, but recently (August 2011) moved to Melbourne, Australia, to work for an awesome company called MUD Inc, who created a great iPhone navigation app called Mud Map.

I own my own company called Circlebox Creative, and was recently shortlisted as one of the top young designers in 2011. If you like my work, I’d appreciate a vote over at The NET Awards. Thanks!

I got into the industry when I left college in 2009, but had an interest in design for as long as I can remember. I’m not so much into the blogging industry right now, however getting into it really helped to get my name known and brought in some really awesome clients. How I got into it… good question! Mainly through blogging for my own sites about design and putting together small but handy tutorials. These were picked up by larger blogs and that’s where it all began!

2. Over the last year or two you have launched quite a bit of different websites/blogs and stores and then you end up selling them again. Do you start the sites with the intention to sell and move on? What’s your reasoning behind it?

That’s me all over. I tend to love the idea of things and then over time have the urge to start something new. This attitude usually leaves me with too much on my plate and to make room for new projects means selling others on! My latest was Picmix Store, which I would have loved to keep, but as it was running from the UK and I’m now in Australia, it wouldn’t have been the easiest process!

3. What is a typical day in the life of Callum Chapman like?

At the time of writing, there isn’t really a typical day. Having moved to Australia 10 days ago at the time of writing I’m still settling in and building my new life. I start my job in a few days time and that’s when my new typical day will begin! My previous, however, was get up when I felt like it. Worked 8-12 hours in a day taking various breaks and walks and then chilling out. I have a feeling here in Oz things will change quite a bit, considering compared the UK the weather is much warmer, and I live just 3 minutes from the beach!

4. How much different would your life be if you weren’t able to get up every day and design? What would you be doing?

This is a hard question. Honestly, I don’t know. I’d probably be trying to set up a shop in some awesome “hip” place like Melbourne, London or NYC, selling awesome stuff like posters and prints, books and vinyl toys.

5. What do you think makes up the perfect blog? Is content king? Do you have to concentrate on the layout and design? Your thoughts?

Content is king, end of. You can have the simplest, most boring layout but still have a successful blog raking in the cash if you have brilliant content. Sure, design helps, and is an important factor, but when it comes to keeping users occupied and coming back to your site, it’s the content that is king!

6. I’m aware that you have just moved to Australia, what made you decide to make the big move?

A few things contributed to the decision; I have an Australian passport as my dad was born here, that’s always left the possibility of moving here relatively simple and very inviting! Being stuck in an office all day is hard, but here in Oz I get to enjoy the outdoors a lot more and experience a lot more. Back in the UK there were limited things to do outside unless you were really into certain things (i.e. if I wanted to learn to surf in the UK it would involve joining clubs, meeting new people to go with etc). Here I can just sign up for a lesson one weekend and away I go. Same with most things!

I guess I wanted a more active and exciting but equally as laid back lifestyle! If you’re interested in my move (with my partner), check out We’re blogging about it all here!

7. A lot of people like seeing what people’s workspace look like, do you have a photo for us with a brief explanation to show where you are working from?

I have a photo of my old workspace; my new one is currently in progress! This is my bedroom studio back in the UK whilst living with my parents (I was saving to move to Oz – one of the most expensive places to live in the world!). I use a MacBook Pro 2.66Ghz Dual Core (would love to get a quad i7 soon!) with 8gb ram, and back in the UK I was using a 24” Apple Display. I’m now using a HP x2301 – I decided to save some cash here as I won’t be using it 12 hours a day now I have a full time job!

8. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you would like to say to the up and coming designers/bloggers out there?

No worries! Really just to never give up. If you make mistakes, learn from them. Also, my number one top tip is to take deposits and don’t undercharge. Undercharging is likely to attract “cheap” clients, and they’re fussy, don’t know what they want, and are much more likely to do a runner with your work. If a client is happy to pay a deposit (I take 25%) the chances are they’re going to be awesome to work with. Cheers, and good luck!

Thanks for your time Callum, good luck in Melbourne.

Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest