Mochila Mail departures.
Our journey started in November last year after I had posted an email client on Dribbble for fun. I teamed up with Andrew Zimmer and we came up with the name Mochila Mail.
The word Mochila translated from Spanish to English means Backpack. We drew inspiration from the Pony Express, fast mail service of 1860-1861. The mailmen delivered mails riding on horses from the west to the east in the United States. And it became the West’s most direct means of east-west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the country. The mailmen attached Mochila bags that carried mails on their horses. We were looking for a name that represented speed and had a historic meaning mashed up with the present. Therefor we went with the name Mochila Mail and used a rocket horse as inspiration from the Pony Express.
In November 2012, I started designing on an email client for fun. I imagined an email client which purpose was only to satisfy my email needs with being simple and lightweight. I designed it and published it and was directly contacted by Andrew. We were an instant fit. We started to work on Mochila Mail with the vision of creating something together that was entirely for us lightweight users that needed something plain simple.
We were looking for a name that represented speed and had a historic meaning mashed up with the present. Therefor we went with the name Mochila Mail…
We got carried away and lost a lot of focus on our own personal lives and our current jobs. But we wanted this so badly, and recently a lot of different competitors has reached the market before us. We’ve therefore decided to put the project on hold until we find a financial solution or a lot of extra time to work on the project. I’ve hammered out a huge amount of design and Andrew has done an enormous amount of coding. But every happy story needs its end. So therefore Mochila Mail is officially put on hold for an undecided amount of time.
You can follow the projects from its beginning till today here.
How I learned to Design
I’ve always been keen to hear about how other people learned to design. Some people went to school, some people learned by themselves. In the end what defines an extraordinary designer is the willpower of always wanting to become better. Never settling for “okay”.
My chronicle began as I’ve mentioned before in about one year ago. I was unemployed with a newfound hobby called design. I could never imagine making a living out of design, I thought I would never be good as Robyn Morris, Facebook. And one of the key-factors in my career is that no matter how good I become, I will never ever see myself as good as Robyn Morris, or any other of my design influences. My key to success has always been that I’m desiring to be the best, but I’m never satisfied with what I create. It could be an iPhone application for a client, it could be a personal project, I’m never satisfied with the results. And that is in some bizarre way, what keeps me going.
… what defines an extraordinary designer is the willpower to always wanting to become better. Never settling for “okay”.
I was a teenager without any experience that created my own cleaning company with 10 employees and 500$ in salary each month. We topped Google search. We had an incredibly ugly website, so I had to install Photoshop and get creative. I managed to create some kind of replica of some other theme that some other designer had made. But then I had to code it, so I ended up using the already made theme. But that is my first experience with Photoshop.
On the side of being the CEO of a small cleaning company in a suburb to Stockholm I played around in Photoshop, creating meaningless things, learning how every feature in Photoshop works. Later on when I left the cleaning company to go study national economics at Stockholms University, I realized I have to have a job on the side to even be able to live. I looked around the internet, browsing various McDonalds jobs and found a company in the heart of Stockholm, a start up, that needed a designer. I’ve always been the guy that applies for any job I want even though I don’t match what they’re looking for. Luckily these guys brought me in for an interview and it was an instant match, even though I had no clue how big the design industry really is. And I don’t really think they took in consideration that I didn’t know a dime about the industry. Good for me, bad for them.
Here I was, 19 years old, with my foot inside of an enormous industry I had no clue about. I had to create an iPhone application for this startup, and I had no clue how to create for a retina iPhone. In fact I had no clue how to design at all, I only knew about all the features in Photoshop. They had expectations and I wouldn’t let them down, so I studied various articles about how I design for iPhone. I even printscreened the Facebook application, put it into photoshop and studied how they did their app. After studying every pixel of the Facebook app, replicating it for educational purposes, I actually learned something.
Somehow I found Dribbble through the internet, I don’t remember how, and I don’t remember why. I scouted Swedish designers that lived close to me and I found Patrik, my mentor. I showed him my poor replicas and what I’ve done in Photoshop so far and he took me in, he wanted to mentor me without any gain. I practiced through replicating works from designers such as Daryl Ginn, Thom van der Weerd, Tim van Damme and Patrik. Learning all about how they style their elements and what is common. I didn’t show any of my replicas to anyone but Patrick who gave me critique, totally ripping me to shreds.
I practiced through replicating works from designers such as Daryl Ginn, Thom van der Weerd, Tim van Damme and Patrik.
In pursuit I didn’t want to bother Patrik as much as I did and I asked him for a Dribbble invite, so I could get feedback from others showing my own work. He declined, he didn’t think I was good enough and that I could do better. So I had to prove myself to him, by creating my own stuff with what I’ve learned through other designers. He gave me tasks such as creating my own User Interface kit. He ripped my designs to shreds until I learned and he was happy about the results. After a while of breaking me down and building me up, he was happy about me and I was invited to Dribbble.
This opened up a new world to me
Now I could get feedback from 100 different angles. I could interact with others and learn even more. After leaving the startup in Stockholm I pursued learning more, craving better results. I was addicted to design. I was addicted to become better at my craft. I took constructive critique in, and pushed out a new design. Some were successful, some were not.
After one year in the industry, I still feel the very same hunger for success, that I’m a nobody, that I’m a shitty designer. And I’m never going to make it. But in the end, that is what keeps me going, keeps me evolving, keeps me from settling down - never learning new stuff. I would say you’ve lost the ability to grow as a designer when you’re fully satisfied with what you’ve created.