The freelance designer that stopped selling his time – Peter Nowell (Sketch Master)

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Episode #18: Peter Nowell

Our guest today is a super talented designer with an entrepreneurial fire burning in his veins. Peter Nowell, a designer based in San Francisco, is the creator of Sketch Master, his scaling platform of professional courses for Sketch. His course was quickly considered one of the greatest resources for designers to learn Sketch and improve their skills.

Peter has worked with clients big and small, ranging from Apple to the Juice Shop, and absolutely revels in the high-level design vision and the execution of every detail. Living by his ideals of simplicity, honesty, and intentionality, Peter has continued to develop his brand and work on the things he really believes in.

This is the sixth episode of the second season of the Hacking UI podcast, ‘Scaling a Side Project’. In this season we interview designers, developers, and creative entrepreneurs who built and scaled successful side projects  that we admire.

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This episode is brought to you by An Event Apart.

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The Side Project Accelerator

The program works in batches, with only 3 batches per year. Registration for the next batch of the Side Project Accelerator is now open until November 10th, and there are only 50 seats available. Apply now to reserve your spot.

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Key points from this episode:

  • Learn why Peter is the most productive in long batches of time, focusing on one thing instead of several things over short periods of time.
  • Understand why batching is important for the creative process and why these long periods of time can unlock more potential.
  • What does it mean to be a successful creative in this era of social media and constant distractions?
  • Learn why Peter’s best piece of advice is to be defensive with your time, and how simply saying “no” more often has helped him succeed.
  • Peter finds spending his time on vastly different projects brings him the most excitement. Why is that, and how does he implement that with his work?
  • Find out what first motivated Peter to design his courses for Sketch and how that has changed the design world.
  • Learn Peter’s top tips for working on your side project while working a full time job.
  • Find out how Peter gained his following, and how Medium helped him grow.
  • What pushed Peter to launch Sketch Master?
  • Understand the importance of having others test your product pre-launch and how that feedback is critical for success.

Links from the show


If you’d like to read the full text of this episode, you can  download the transcript.

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About The Hacking UI Podcast

The Hacking UI podcast is hosted by Sagi Shrieber and David Tintner, a designer and developer who are also both entrepreneurs, bloggers, productivity/time-hacking maniacs, and all around tech geeks.

We started this podcast off with the ‘Scaling a Design Team series’ where we spoke with design leaders from top notch companies like Facebook, Apple, InVision, and Intercom, to discuss team structures, responsibilities, and workflows.

A few months ago we quit our day jobs to work on our former side project, Hacking UI, full time. So we found it fitting that our second season of the podcast should touch on that subject. The second season is called ‘Scaling a Side Project’, and we’ll interview creative entrepreneurs that we admire in order to get them to share their tips, experiences, and secrets to success.

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