Ryan Connolly Designing at Liferay since 2017

Manager, Product Design

How did you get into design?

I had just finished a master's degree in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a friend of mine in Chicago thought I'd be a good fit as a designer at the Design Agency where he was employed. The rest is history and I've enjoyed every moment of it.

Favorite tool?

My favorite tool is pen and paper. That's the one tool that makes me feel like I am in complete control of everything I do. I also feel like I have more opportunity to be original and unique by creating every bump and every line by myself.

Best lifehack?

Everyone knows the answer to this is chips on a sandwich.

Where do you find #inspiration?

I love Dribbble and podcasts but the real place I get inspiration is from looking at old sketches or going to museums.

One thing you are getting better at?

I'm getting better at helping people move to the next level of their design career. I feel like we are all victim to becoming stagnant and hitting plateaus. But now that I have the experience of what helps me overcome those obstacles I feel I can impart that knowledge to others.

If you weren't designing, what would you be doing?

There's no question that I would be illustrating like a mad man.

Advice for ambitious designers?

Never stop practicing. Design is a skill that needs to be practiced and constantly worked on -- good things don't just happen out of nowhere.