Interview with Jakob Nielsen
Jakob Nielsen is a hands-on, outdoorsy designer. After a decade of working for agencies, he decided to strike out on his own, founding projects and brands that seem more like a labour of love than a day-to-day job. These include The Little Kitchen Brewery, which sells easy-to-use beer brewing kits you can use at home, and Tälja, Swedish for "carve," which offer a selection of wood carving kits for the aspiring lumberjack. He also finds time to run the freelance design studio Nakob Jielsen.
It's always so inspiring to find an artist who is able to make a living from their passions and personal projects, so we were super curious to chat with Jakob and find out how he does it.
What have been the major milestones in your career?
I worked at great agencies with big clients over a ten year period. So the major milestone is probably when I understood that instead of doing that — supplying ideas and design for clients — I could create my own projects and businesses and apply my skills to them. I learned to capitalize on my own skills. Such a relief.
What do you eat for lunch on a typical working day?
Lunch is a speed bump for me. I want my lunch to be over as quickly as possible so I can continue my work. So I often eat at McDonalds. Drive-Thru. 3 cheeseburgers and a small coke. I know.
- — How many phone calls do you get during a day and how many of them do you ignore? And why do you ignore them?
1. How much of your day do you spend working? Five hours of hands-on work. And five hours of worrying.
2. Where is your ideal work environment? Home alone. In the sofa.
3. What do you hope to get across with your work? The aha!-effect — people should like and understand it immediately.
4. What inspires you? Discussions / debates / arguments.
5. What's the secret to a successful day's work? To do one thing and do it well.
6. Is there anything in your life that you can't live without? My glasses. Practically blind without them.
7. Is there anything about you that people might not know? People seem to be surprised when they find out I’m really, really interested in cars.
8. What would be your dream project? Something with cars.
9. What is the most time-consuming aspect of your work? Worrying.
10. What legacy would you like to leave behind? That's one thing I don't worry about!