Meet Matt D. Smith from Studio Mds
Name: Matt Smith
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Alma mater: University of Georgia
Major: Graphic Design
I’m african-american. No seriously. My dad was born and raised in South Africa as a full-blooded South African citizen and moved to the states when he was 16. He married my mom who is American.
Tell us about yourself. Official businessy bio here. I transferred to UGA from East Georgia college in Swainsboro, GA. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from UGA in 2005. Since graduating I went the digital path of the web, made some outrageously bad Flash websites and learned about motion design and programming Actionscript. I soon began contracting at larger agencies in Atlanta and soaked up a lot of user experience (UX) design knowledge. I’ve now been designing digital things for decade. I’m married to my beautiful wife, Shana, and together we have four lovely children who are all Athensmade.
How long have you been in Athens? I’ve been in Athens since the fall of 2002. I thought for sure I’d need to move off to Atlanta or some larger city after graduating from UGA, but I found a job as an in-house designer at Ciamillo Components, a cycling a diving product manufacturer, near Commerce. My wife found a job in town as well, so we bought a house and started making babies. Pretty soon our roots grew deeper and deeper.
What do you do? The easiest thing to say is that I’m a designer. The longer answer is that I also do a fair amount of front-end development work, interaction and motion design, as well as commercial photography. My main focus is primarily on a wholistic design approach to clients who need a very well thought through user experience and solid user interfaces. I work primarily on mobile interfaces for iPhone and iPad apps, as well as responsive web design.
Why co-working or what are some benefits of co-working? Working alone is good for being productive and getting things done but sucks over long periods of time. You start to feel out of touch with reality, forget to go outside and/or put pants on. I had an office away from home for nearly two years, but still found myself yearning for more human contact.
Tell us what inspired you to start a co-working space. I got to know a handful of folks from Greenville, SC several years back who had a vibrant coworking space, ran small events, and held an annual conference. I drove up semi-regularly to visit and always left feeling inspired and energized from the people and the work they were doing. There was a time where I considered moving up there, but felt called to invest in Athens instead.