Sam King

Photography, Software, and Design

Vancouver, Canada


An introduction

Hey you, how are you doing?

I thought my first post here should be a little introduction to me and what this site even is.

First of all, my name is Sam (he/him). I’ve been a Product Designer now for about a decade. At the time of posting this, I currently work at LloydsDirect, an online pharmacy. Soon I’ll be joining some old friends over at Plain, a startup making a customer service platform designed to be built with.

Way back when, I was really into photography and worked as a freelancer. I was far too young to even know what that really meant, how to get good paying clients etc. I mostly took photos of BMX, but now I get the most joy out of photographing landscapes, especially those without humans in for some reason. This lead me down the design and engineering path because I was building a new portfolio site every week. It got me hooked on making digital things that were publicly accessible. I had my own place on the internet where I could express whatever I wanted to.

That’s what I do and have done for a living, but it doesn’t really say much about me as a person. I’m a proud vegan, which means I obviously love animals. I have a strong affinity to pigs for some reason—maybe I was one in a past life. Also a special shout out to mushrooms. I still ride a BMX every now and then, but I don’t have the reckless confidence of youth that I used to. I end up hurting myself when I ride these days. I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I’m a big fiction fan, especially Murakami, I love the imagery he counjours up for the reader. I also love a good negroni.

I try to be creative outside of work when I can, but it tends to be a great cause of discomfort for me, especially this last year or so. I always feel like I’m not good enough, doubting myself before I ever really get started. It’s one of the many things I’m dealing with in therapy. I can’t recommend therapy enough if you can afford it. Fortunately I’m lucky enough that I can, a priveledge I don’t take for granted. I’ve only been on this journey since June this year, but it’s already changed my life. I feel a bit weird putting the fact I go to therapy out into the world because it’s often seen as taboo, but I want to use this “platform” to talk about it more. Maybe it will inspire someone else to seek the help I think everyone deserves, no matter how small or silly it may sound.

Because of this fear though, I end up with a bunch of half finished projects that have never seen the light of day. The only reason this site exists is because it was quick to build, and I stayed up all night thinking about it.

A sort of “aha” moment I had recently was…

I guess I have to remember that creativity isn’t like a tap you can turn on, and is more like rain. It comes periodically and sometimes in seasons. There will be dry spells and that’s ok.

Twitter thread

Some of the things I’ve been tinkering with recently are:

  • Roots, an NFT collection of 40 photographs exploring my roots in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Gēnetisk, experiments in generative art, although I haven’t produced many works this year.
  • AnaLog, a React Native app that helps you log settings you used when shooting photos on film (still needs more work).
  • A yet to be named game idea that’s still germinating. It’s a text based rougelike/dungeon crawler where you play as an alien that’s been sent to back to your old planet. You have to obtain info about a new species that’s hoovering up resources at an alarming rate, and harming the native species that still live there. You’d be able to collect companions along the way that help you with certain tasks. It’s supposed to be a comment about the current state of Earth. I also toyed with ideas of integrating this into web3 in some way.

I tend to jump around between projects a lot, or if I run up against a hurdle, I get disheartened and abandon it. It’s strangely only with personal projects that I feel this way.

There’s a couple of things I’d love to get more into though. If you’re reading this and think you could give me the nudge I need, then DM me on Twitter.

  • Web3. I tweeted this recently but I feel like I’ve always been on the edge of the crypto rabbit hole, watching and tentatively exploring. I’ve been spending more time in random Discords, seeing what people are building and it’s really exciting. I’d love to be more involved.
  • 3D. It’s always been on my list to learn, even more so when I started digging into generative art last year.
  • Ceramics and pottery. I’ve done a couple of classes here and there, and made things at home. I love the fact I’m using my hands to make something instead of typing out a bunch of words into a computer.

So what is this?

I haven’t had a dedicated space to write for a long time, and it’s meant I kind of stopped doing it outside of work. Writing is just another creative outlet that I’m not using. I wanted to have somewhere to share thoughts without too much effort. It should also get me back into writing again and hopefully I improve over time.

It’s going to be a place where I can share thoughts on whatever I’m doing or find interesting at that moment in time. It might be about design, crypto, therapy, but it could also just be an opinion on something.

Maybe you’ll enjoy reading along! If you do, let me know on Twitter. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading, Sam.