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Iany Trisuzzi

From Itatiba, Brazil and Designer & Webflow Developer, Iany recently transitioned from being full time as a Visual Design Lead at a consulting company to becoming a self described solo-preneur doing the whole design through development process starting with analyzing how a brand works in the digital environment.

About this episode

In this episode, we’ll hear how analog photography helps her design process, inspecting templates to learn from experts, and understanding the rules of design so you can break them.


Matthew Munger: Hey, Iany. Thanks for joining me today.

Iany Trisuzzi: Thanks so much, Matthew. I'm really glad to be here.

Matthew Munger: To get us started, why don't you tell everyone a bit about yourself and who you are?

Iany Trisuzzi: My name is Iany Trusuzzi. I was born and raised in the capital of Sao Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. But last year I moved to the countryside with my wife and there are two stray dogs. And now I live in a city called Itatiba, which is still very close to Sao Paulo, but it's much quieter and peaceful.

Itatiba, Brazil

Matthew Munger: So what do you like about living there in Itatiba?

Iany Trisuzzi: So we moved here to actually be closer to our families. That's the part that I really like the most. So, my family, such as her family, lives nearby. So we get to spend more time with them. And I think that the peaceful way that the people live their lives here, as opposed to San Paulo, which is really in a rush. 

Matthew Munger: Mm-hmm.

Iany Trisuzzi: You never know how long you’re going to take to go from one place to another, and there’s so much noise. Here it is really peaceful and quieter. We can do stuff being more close to nature. Ever since we moved here, all of our friends are still in the big city. So when we want to get together, most of the times are, we're like, “Hey, come spend the weekend with us.” And they usually get here by like Friday night or Saturday afternoon.

Matthew Munger: Yeah.

Iany Trisuzzi: And then they spend the whole weekend and we have really quality time together. We cook, we watch something, we go to the park. It's just really quality time, you know?

Then every morning when we wake up there's this really cool climate that it's not hot, but during the day you really feel the warmth. Like during the days I like to take a pause and go to the garden with the dogs and feel the sun in my skin. So that’s really good.


Matthew Munger: What does your workspace look like?

Iany Trisuzzi: My work desk is quite small actually. Rather than being wide, it is tall. At the base, I literally have space for my screen. I have an iMac, my keyboard, and my mouse.

On top I have two to three shelves with some things. I like decorating them, I have a Hey Arnold bobble head, a Korok plush. I don't know if you play Zelda, but I have a little Korok behind some dried flower decoration, like an Easter Egg, like you were playing the game, you know?

Matthew Munger: Yeah. Tears Of The Kingdom may or may not be happening for quite a few hours in our house.

Iany Trisuzzi: It’s a whole feeling, I've been playing a lot too. But some things like that, so when I need to take a break and look up, I can see those different things that I really enjoy.

My desk is actually in between my living room and my dining room. So in my living room, I have a big window that shows the street, basically, of my house. But I live in a closed condo of similar houses. It's a really quiet street unless it’s like 5 pm and all of the dogs are out going for a walk.Then all of the dogs of the street just start barking too, including mine. 

And to my left where I have the dining room, there's the door for the garden. So there's a lot of green and a really cool space where we spend most of our time there.

I actually like to take a few breaks during the day, So we have like two camping chairs. It's not anything fancy, like camping chairs that we leave there.

Matthew Munger: Hmm.

Iany Trisuzzi: So they stay closed, and when we go out, we open them, sit there, let the dogs have their fun, and we just chat a little bit during our day. It helps a lot to relieve stress, like have small breaks so you don't spend the entire day sitting in front of the computer. That helps me with any creative blocks, anything that's happening. I like to take these moments during the day.

Matthew Munger: Consistent breaks, it’s good for the body, it's good for the mind, and good for your creativity.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yep.

Matthew Munger: Do you like to listen to any music while you work?

Iany Trisuzzi: Actually, I think I have two states of listening to music. When I’m in deep work and I need to really concentrate on something, either it's writing or reading or something more complex, I use music more as a way to muffle the sound outside. Usually I end up listening to some Lo-fi, mainly video game themes. Anything Nintendo related. Zelda themes, Pokemon themes. I really like them, it's like a little noise in the background that helps me shut everything from the outside.

But when I click the creative mode, I choose the music usually according to my mood.

Matthew Munger: Mm-hmm. 

Iany Trisuzzi: But it goes from everything from 2000’s pop, through some more current R&B songs. I really like Paramore, Taylor Swift, some things like that.


Matthew Munger: Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Iany Trisuzzi: So I really like cooking. I'm a vegetarian, so ever since I became a vegetarian like 10 years ago, I started really enjoying the process of cooking and learning any recipes. I think I like anything that is creative, but has a science behind it. 

Matthew Munger: Yeah.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yep, I really like cooking, I like going out to take photographs, I love playing video games. So I have a Nintendo Switch right now. Zelda, it's obviously the main thing that I'm playing. But these are a few things that I like doing, but I think cooking is probably the one that I'm more interested in right now. It’s the main side of my Gemini. I'm a Gemini, so any hobbies or interests, I'm like, “Okay, now I'm fully invested, let's focus.”

Matthew Munger: With your photography, is there anything like a type of photography or things that you like to take pictures of?

Iany Trisuzzi: Really into analog photography ever since I started at 15 years old. I always liked it. I like lomography a lot. So double exposures, like creating new worlds, and seeing things from a different perspective, but using the film to create this kind of magic world that I live in.

I really enjoy this process. I think it helps me see things differently. I think composition in photography helped me a lot during my design process. Understanding where things should be to make them feel better plays a huge influence.

Matthew Munger: Yeah. Photography it really– you have to understand the fundamentals of framing and structure, like thirds, and focus and composition, exposure, just all those things. And yeah, definitely those kind of fundamentals transfer into the digital world, into web development and design as well.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah, for sure. Like black and white photography, you learn a lot about hierarchy and composition and knowing where to place things. But the color photography also helps a lot with color composition.

Matthew Munger: One thing I like to do in Webflow is turn on x-ray mode. So everything is just like black and white or gray. And I actually like designing that way because, like you said, it gives me that visual hierarchy and without kind of the noise from color overwhelming, and see it from that composition and the contrast level.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah.


Matthew Munger: What is something that would surprise people to learn about you?

Iany Trisuzzi: I never took a proper English class besides the ones from school that we have that are really basic. I learned how to speak English by listening to pop punk when I was a teenager, and I really wanted to know what they were saying. So by the time I was 14, I guess, my brother started listening to Good Charlotte Simple Plan, and I was like, “I really like this song, but I don't understand what they're saying.” So I usually looked up the lyrics online and started making references. So that's how I learned how to speak English at the beginning. Of course, I was developing by watching series, then I changed the subtitles so I could catch up. But I really like learning things my way.

Matthew Munger: Yeah. That’s a good way to learn a new language is actually through consuming media.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yep.


Matthew Munger: What is your role and how do you describe what you do to others?

Iany Trisuzzi: So until pretty recently I was a Visual Designer Lead. I was working at a consultant company. So my career is really focused on UI design and user experience. But recently, I took a shift and started working solo, and now I describe myself as a designer and Webflow developer.

I like doing the entire process, actually, ever since the branding until the development. So one major step in my process is looking at the brand and understanding how well it really works inside the digital environment. That's the thing that I like doing the most. From there, everything becomes much easier, the design and the development process. I think my passion is not that much in the brand, but how the brand works inside the digital environment. There are a lot of brands that think that only popping a bright color, it's called digital, so that's the thing I really enjoy: working the brand assets inside the web design environment.

Matthew Munger: What you're doing now, freelance design and Webflow development, is that different from where you might have imagined that you would be at this point in your life?

Iany Trisuzzi: For sure I've never imagined in my entire life that I would try eventually working solo. Ever since the beginning in my career, I always wanted to grow inside the companies. But I reached a point last year where I was leading teams. I was happy with the process of helping others develop themselves, and that part I really liked. But my self-development, I think that it was beginning to slow down.

I spent much more of my time helping others go through the process that I already have been through, which it's really fulfilling in a way. I knew that I needed to go a little step further and I was not being able to do it. That’s when I decided that I really wanted to take this next step and try to go solo, so I could be able to have my time for studies and really applying those new things that I was learning without some of the barriers that you have inside a company.


Matthew Munger: You've probably already touched on this some, but is there anything else that you want to talk about that really motivates you about what you're doing in this decision that you've made?

Iany Trisuzzi: There's a thing that made me look to it as a possibility, because I always worked with the design process alone. I didn't develop it. For me that was a barrier. There was always that part that would be missing from the entire process. That's when, actually, I learned about Webflow. There's a Brazilian guy called Rodolpho Passos. He has a course, a really great course here in Brazil, about Webflow. And I started following him on Instagram and I was like, “He's doing such amazing things, delivering really amazing websites.”

Matthew Munger: Mm-hmm.

Iany Trisuzzi: He showed a lot of the process that's not really that different from what I'm doing inside Figma. So it made me feel like a possibility. So that's when I started searching more and learning more about Webflow and no-code tools. That played a major role in my decision. My main goal is to really establish myself as a solopreneur. For a year now, that's my aspiration. From there on, I really want to develop more skills. I think they're going to help a lot. I always like learning new things. I think being a solopreneur will allow me to step up my game a little bit further in the direction that I feel like going, you know?


Matthew Munger: What is a resource that you think more people should know about?

Iany Trisuzzi: I've been listening to a lot of a podcast called Webflail that focuses exactly on that beginning process of working with Webflow. It has helped me a lot. I think it made me feel less alone during this beginner process of starting working solo. So that's something that I highly encourage anyone that’s starting working with Webflow to listen to. That has some really valuable insights there.

Matthew Munger: Oh yeah, absolutely. The Webflail podcast with Jack Redley, yeah. It's an amazing feeling, that connection with others who are like, “Oh, I'm not the only one who has to deal with this or has gone through this,” you know? There’s some solidarity knowing we're in this together. Any other things you'd like to recommend?

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah, I mentioned it, the course that I took, but that's more focused on the Brazilian fan base of Webflow. It's from Rodolpho Passos. It's called Dominando Webflow. The translation would be Mastering Webflow. And I believe that for Portuguese speakers that’s a really solid course that has helped me a lot in understanding the process behind building in Webflow. So you really go from the beginning to advanced mode really quick if you follow up.


Matthew Munger: Who in the Webflow Community inspires you?

Iany Trisuzzi: There’s two people that I'm really enjoying looking at their work. They’re called Moritz Petersen, and another one called Dennis, from Code by Dennis. They are two really, really solid players. I've been understanding a lot of the way they are working, and I aspire a lot to come somewhere as near as possible of them one day.

Matthew Munger: Do you go into those sites and see how they're built and try to understand?

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah, I've been doing that a lot with the templates. So when I learned Webflow, I learned by the client-first logic of building. 

Matthew Munger: Mm-hmm. 

Iany Trisuzzi: And I know that inside the templates, the naming process is a little bit different. So I've been studying a lot of the templates inside to create different ways to build the site.

Matthew Munger: Yeah, so you're talking about different frameworks that people use in Webflow. So yeah, there's Client First, there's Knockout, there's Mast, which is a new one.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah.

Matthew Munger: Yeah, there are quite a few.

Iany Trisuzzi: Nikolai. He shares a lot of templates and I really like to see his work.

Matthew Munger: I find it fascinating, inspiring, and educational at the same time. Yeah, when you're able to see, “Wow, here's this masterful build in Webflow,” and you're able to open it up and see how they accomplished it. Yeah, it’s one of the best ways to learn, in my opinion.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah. Fun and useful.


Matthew Munger: What is some advice that you would like to give to others in the community?

Iany Trisuzzi: I think my advice would be to first learn the rule so you can break it. That way you can create something that is truly innovative, not being by accident. I first look at something that I like, understand how to build it, and then when I really feel like I'm mastering that build, I get to look at it from a different perspective and know the ways that I can make a difference inside that build. It’s quite like cooking, actually. You understand how that dish is made and then you add your little pinch.

Matthew Munger: Yeah, right. If you don't understand the science behind the recipe and why it works, then you don't know what you can actually kind or tweak and adjust to make it your own if you don't understand the kind of core principles. Yeah, it made me think, when you're talking of this concept, it's called JOOT SING, J O O T S I N G, and it stands for jumping out of the system.

Iany Trisuzzi: That’s really nice.

Matthew Munger: So it’s like everyone's always like, “Think outside of the box,” right? Well, you can't think outside of the box unless you understand the box.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah.

Matthew Munger: It requires that you understand the system to think outside of the box, to have that kind of unconventional or creative thinking. Like you can't do that without understanding what the thing is, or like you said, the rule that you want to break.

Iany Trisuzzi: Yeah, that's exactly it.


Matthew Munger: Iany, how can others in the community reach out and connect with you?

Iany Trisuzzi: Okay, so as I said, I'm starting to build my own brand, so I have my main website that is iany.works. It's pronounced, i a n y dot works. From there you can find me on Linkedin and on Twitter. I'm on Twitter as iany_works. I'm trying to be more present inside the community, so it would be really nice getting to know more of you.

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