Every week we’ll introduce you to an Envato staff member or team. This week we meet Sean Hodge, editor of Vectortuts+, and site manager of the Tuts+ Marketplace.
What is it like working for Envato, and what are some of the jobs you’ve had with us?
Working for Envato is awesome. There is loads of flexibility in my job and they are a company that really appreciates their employees, and are great to work for. It’s an interesting story to tell about how I was hired at Envato. I started when I was living in Venezuela where my wife is from. I was working as a freelancer and struggling to make it in a foreign country, and I slowly built up a working relationship with Collis, which grew into a full time position. Not the most usual of hiring scenarios, but more common than you’d imagine here at Envato.
It’s amazing to see how much the company has grown in the few years I’ve worked here. We’ve gone from something that felt like a startup, to a company that is emerging as a respected and trusted brand. The internal improvements we’ve made have brought loads of security and stability to working here, which is really key for someone like me that has a family to support.
It’s also awesome that we met up in Chicago recently, so I could actually hang out with the people I work with (yes that’s me dancing at the end of the video there). I found out that everyone is in fact real and not well-coded robot avatars. We have a fun corporate culture and many of us chat quite a bit on Yammer, which is our digital watercooler (it’s similar to Twitter, but for companies).
You can read more about my past role as Editor of Psdtuts+ in an interview here. I also Art Directed and Edited Creative Sessions, which was much like running a magazine on the web. That was the coolest and most challenging project I’ve done here. We’ll be bringing that site back with a new force in 2011 with more of our Tuts+ editors involved in the project.
I’m still the Site Editor for Vectortuts+ (vector design and illustration is a passion of mine) and I now manage the new Tuts+ Marketplace, where I get to work on bringing high quality educational material to our network.
What sites and projects are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m the Site Editor of Vectortuts+. My role there is to approve tutorial concepts, edit tutorials, interact with the community, track how successful posts are, set strategies for growing the site, and help develop more awesome vector educational content.
Currently we’re adding more editor created content (from both Loungekat and I), community projects, and we’ve also just released assignments on Vectortuts+. I feel that assignments and project based learning (such as our new Totem Community Project) is a component that adds another dimension to the site. It’s good to learn tips and techniques from professionals through tutorials, and concepts through articles, but learning to solve briefs and build your drawing/design skills from the ground up by creating your own work is extremely important, and very similar to what one would do in University. I’d love to hear your opinion on this new content we’re adding.
I’m also the Site Manager of the new Tuts+ Marketplace, which is off to a great start. Much of my time on that site is currently dedicated to uploading our existing Premium content to make it available for individual sales to non-Premium members. I’m also working with our Tutorial Review Team to bring in more direct tutorial submissions, as well as add more partnership content, such as Smashing Magazine eBooks, and more.
If you have an incredible tutorial you’ve written, then please do submit it to the Tuts+ Marketplace for review. Many of us have lots that we could teach others and just need to set aside a little time to make it happen. We’ve had numerous author success stories already, such as SOSFactory’s tutorial on Mascot Design in Photoshop, and I look forward to more to come.
Describe your workspace.
I work from my home office in Mount Dora, Florida, which is a suburb of Orlando. It’s a bit of a low-key community, though great schools and a safe, comfortable atmosphere for my family. It has a quaint downtown, with nice restaurants, and a coffee shop I frequent for their free Wi-Fi, as much as their menu. I usually work from there once a week to get out of the house.
We moved into our new house in January of this year. I haven’t really designed or decorated my office yet, but I do have an art table set up for drawing, which I do a bit of outside my role at Envato, and I have a separate desk with an external monitor attached to my Macbook for most of the work I do. It’s a nice setup.
What does your average day look like?
Honestly, I’ve struggled with setting an average flow to my workdays lately. Some days I stay up too late, or do something for my family during the day, and it throws my schedule off. I just work whenever it works out, but I track my hours and make sure everything gets done. It’s quite nice to have work fit in around life most of the time, rather than life have to fit in around work. Collis has been known to say things like “he doesn’t care if we were underwear on our heads, as long as the work gets done.”
My typical day is a combination of editing, communicating with writers via email, often writing a bit, tracking how things are going, brainstorming and implementing new ideas. My job is a good combination of low stress repetitive (though important tasks) and really challenging work that requires lots of concentration and thought. It’s nice to have one part of the day dedicated to doing usual activities and then another part where I’m creating something, like an article or new content to release, that requires lots of creativity, thought, and planning.
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I’m usually drawing or spending time with my family. I often succumb to addictions like video games (Wii games on my TV and Angry Birds on my iPhone), reading on my iPad, and watching movies and television. I go to the gym often and we travel around Florida to beaches and amusement parks as well. One of the cool things about working from home is I can structure my day however I want, so I often take breaks and hang out with my four year old son or my wife in between projects and work activities.
I’m always up for a chat, exchanging ideas on educational content on the web, or sharing design and illustration work. You can find me on the web on Twitter @seanHodge, Vectortuts+, and the Tuts+ Marketplace.