Sawyer Hollenshead on having the freedom to work on kick-ass projects

One of the 10 nominees for Young Designer of the Year in the 2014 net Awards (opens in new tab), Sawyer Hollenshead is a designer, frontend developer and partner at Oak Studios. His impressive portfolio of work encompasses a wide range of projects, including work on the Creative Mornings website. We chatted with him to find out more.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

18 years on a dairy farm. 3 years at RIT. 3 months at Mozilla. 3 months at Wander. Currently a partner at Oak Studios.

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community

What have you been working on over the last year?

Last year was the year of shipping at Oak. We launched a ton of things. There were three projects we launched that I'm especially proud to have had a hand in. The brand new, which launched in 11 languages and with over 345 hours of video. Siteleaf, which we initially designed, developed and launched within a month. And finally Gazette, our weekly rss-to-ebook service — something I've wanted for a long time.

What have been the particular high points of your career?

Joining Oak and having the freedom to work on kick-ass projects. Also working with Tina Roth Eisenberg and gaining her support has been great. She's the best "client" you could ask for.

Who and what influences and inspires your work?

Films, walking, and Kanye West.

What are you excited about at the moment?

Things I'm excited about at this exact moment: space travel, SVG, the new VICE News, genome sequencing, and putting an end to horrible parallax scrolling sites.

Siteleaf is a flexible cloud-based CMS

Siteleaf is a flexible cloud-based CMS

Tell us about an important lesson you've learned in your career.

"Don't do it for the money. Don't do it for no money." — Oliver Reichenstein

Name an 'unsung hero', someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.

I can't really say I have any heroes, but here are some other people who are getting started, who do great work and to look out for:

Vote in the net Awards!

Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards (opens in new tab) is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here (opens in new tab).

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.