Five questions for Patch Sobrak-Seaton
While we are busy resetting research publishing with Hypergraph and drafting our first community projects to give our community members an open platform to share their experiences with academic work culture, we also want to introduce the team to the community.
To cut a long story short: Please say hi to Patch Sobrak-Seaton, our in-house designer! In this blog post Patch will answer six questions about himself, because five just were not enough to capture his sociable nature. 🤗
Please introduce yourself: Who are you and what is your role at Liberate Science?
Hey everyone 👋 My name is Patrick Sobrak-Seaton, but most people call me “Patch”. I’m a designer and illustrator from the California Bay Area (West Coast = Best Coast) who made his way to Berlin in January 2017.
Here at Liberate Science, I am working on all things aesthetic. I am helping to define the forward facing appearance of Liberate Science, p2pcommons, and most importantly our first product Hypergraph. It isn’t all just beautification, I am also the primary UI/UX designer.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that design is a highly collaborative field and the insights and suggestions of my coworkers have been essential. In short, my roll is to use my professional experiences to help guide a collaborative design process.
Why do you choose to work at Liberate Science and what do you hope to achieve with the team?
The first thing that drew me to Liberate Science was that I absolutely believe there is a need for the product we are creating. Secondly, but just as importantly, it was clear since my first meetings with the company that they planned on structuring things radically differently. Here is a tech company that invites you be an equal collaborator, recognizing that no matter who you are, your work plays an essential role in the success of the company and its products.
As for what I hope to achieve with the team, I feel like I am already there. I want to spend my time being creative and building beautiful and interesting products with people that inspire me.
What are the most important things you learned while working at Liberate Science?
I have immense amounts of respect for all of my coworkers. They each bring such a wealth of knowledge and expertise and I am constantly learning from them (another reason I choose to work here). I have learned so much about how to advance my craft, so much about the industry in which we are working, and so many new and exciting tools. However, I feel the most important thing that I have learned while working here is to feel confident about working asynchronously, and about making decisions that pertain to my domain of expertise.
Can you describe your life in 5 pictures?
If you could gain any one ability or quality you admire in someone else, what would you choose? Do you think you could develop that ability or quality just by working at it?*
I have a great admiration for people that have the ability to choose a topic and specialize. The design industry seems to by-and-large prioritize generalization for employability, yet craft specialization is a key component for creating brilliant work. I so often find myself fascinated by new topics and tools that I want to abandon everything and start that new journey and I have to actively fight that impulse on a weekly basis.
I definitely believe that this is a skill that can be developed by working at it. There are constraints in regard to time, money, and space that definitely restrict some pursuits, but also as I get older it is easier to talk myself out of being swayed in new directions. It also helps to have coworkers and partners that understand this tendency and can encourage you to make the right choices.
Would you rather be happy and unimaginative, or unhappy yet bright and creative? For example, would you choose the life of a tortured, brilliant artist like Vincent van Gogh, or of a happy, carefree soul?*
Oof, this is a tough one. I would’ve said “unhappy yet bright and creative” in a heartbeat if Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t the example. I can say with certainty that I do not wish to change places with Vinny, but I do admire his focus on his craft. I think my ego and my pride keeps me from choosing the “happy and unimaginative” option even though that seems like really the best way to maximize comfort on this earth.
By my estimation, I am in the middle with this question. I wouldn’t call myself brilliant but I am quite imaginative. I am mostly in good humor, but have my occasional torturous days. After a bit of reflection, I don’t think I would change a thing.
*Credit for these questions goes to The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock.