For the past 11 months, we’ve asked different designers to take over our Twitter background and made the design available as a free desktop and mobile download. We call it Etsy’s Twitter Artist Series and this month, we’re honored to feature Ben Hansen, a graphic designer who works alongside a small team of talented creatives in Austin, TX. They go by the name Ptarmak and I had the pleasure of chatting with them about following your passion, getting your hands dirty, design as a full-time career, and claiming your Etsy identity. After the interview, be sure to pick up your free download and don’t forget to check out Ptarmak’s brand new Etsy shop, it’s filled with a whole lotta awesome.
Your bio says you make things with all your heads, hands and hearts. That sounds fun. What types of things do you make?
Aside from our graphic and motion work we make furniture, fixtures, fine art and friends. We choose projects we’re passionate about – with an affinity for stuff that requires strategic thinking and more than the computer to execute. Open minds. Dirty hands. Full hearts.
What’s the meaning behind Ptarmak’s name?
No one knows, but it’s hard to forget something that’s impossible to remember.
A lot of designers on Etsy currently work freelance but hope to one day make a living off their work. What advice would you give to them?
There is greatness in all of us and good ideas come from anywhere and anyone. Your great ideas don’t make you special. Realizing them does. Point being that people who stop at nothing to make it happen just so happen to make it. Etsy is a catalyst for that very thing.
What’s a typical day like for you?
We view design as a lifestyle (vs. a job). So, we keep our schedules flexible. That means, while doing right by our clients is top priority, each person manages their day around their creativity and workload. Some of us come in early, others work late, and sometimes we’re inspired to work through the weekend. It’s all a part of loving what you do and building something you believe in.
Can you tell us a bit about the design you made for Etsy’s Twitter Artist Series?
It’s a celebration of the online flea market that is Etsy, the bazaar of style and ideas informing all the businesses Etsy has launched. We couldn’t fit 400,000 on the page but the flags are analogous to saying, “My Etsy shop is my identity.” Oh, and the black flag is pre-Rollins.
I’ve never been to Austin and not had a good time. However, being locals, what are your top three favorites?
Free Desktop + Mobile Wallpaper!
1. Pick your device above and save the image to your computer.
2. Sync your device and click the photo tab to include your pretty new wallpaper.
3. After syncing, view the photo and click the lower left button to use as wallpaper.
4. That’s it! Now show off and tell all your tweeps to follow @Etsy, @EtsyFR, @EtsyUK, @EtsyDE, @EtsyNL and @EtsyJP.