Interview with Khoi Vinh...

Sorry for breaking the streak! Although I am not a fan of it, eighth graders have homework, and parents...

Today's interview will make up for the "breaking of the streak." Today we have Khoi Vinh on insta5. For all of you designers, I am sure you know who Khoi is. If you don't here is a short bio. Khoi was the design director at the New York Times for 4.5 years! He is the founder, creator, and designer of Mixel, a collage app for the iPad. This guy is so impressive and it was an honor to talk with him.

Q. How did you get into designing?

A. It was a circuitous route that started with my obsession with comic books as a kid. That led me to draw, which led me to art, which led me to art school, where I originally enrolled thinking I would be an illustrator or painter. But somewhere along the way I realized what I was really interested in was actually closer to graphic design than painting, and when I discovered the Mac, it was all over.

Q. What/Who has been your greatest inspiration?

A. I don't know how to answer this because I've been inspired by so many things. I guess if I had to say just one thing it would be I'm inspired by not knowing what's going to happen when I sit down to make something. The fact that every design problem is a little journey with an unforeseen outcome is what makes it interesting for me.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. If you're asking me to choose a single dish, I can't. But if I had to choose just one kind of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, it would be Vietnamese food, naturally.

Q. What can we expect from you in the future?

A. We're continuing to evolve Mixel so that it chips away at our central challenge: getting people who don't think of themselves as creative to lower their inhibitions about visual self-expression. It's a really tough, incredibly fascinating problem, and I can't wait to show you what's in store for the next few versions of Mixel.

Q. What is your ideal car?

A. In my idea world, I'd be able to walk or bike everywhere, and I wouldn't need to own a car at all.

Khoi is one of the most talented, kind, and creative people I have ever emailed with. Mixel will be great, and in my opinion so will most of the things Khoi turns out.

I realize that writing to an eighth grader certainly isn't at the top of people's "bucket list" but Khoi, like all my other interviewees found this interview somewhere on his "list", and was able to cross it off. For that, I am forever indebted.

On another note...

Recently I have started to say thank you to my interviewees in a more personal way. So I have started making custom desktop backgrounds as a thank you. Here are the two(I sent the first one by accident) background I designed for Khoi. If you are a fan, feel free to use on your own computer.

[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="rand"]

Feel free to send any feedback on my design to instantbight[at]me.com

Thanks Khoi,

instantbight