Speed machine

Day in the the life of Craig

“Right now, life in the studio and at home are full on.”

As any 30-something designer will tell you, balancing family life with work life isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes drive, determination and an immense amount of energy to make it happen. Managing it all in a way that leaves everyone satisfied is a rarefied talent, but there are certainly those that can make it happen – and still have a big smile on their face at the end of the day.

One of those people is Craig. As creative lead for all KTM motorcycle designs at work, as well as a consummate family man, you can be sure that balancing work and life is an ongoing battle, but one that he is winning.

It all starts with the right morning ritual.

“Right now, life in the studio and at home are full on.”

As any 30-something designer will tell you, balancing family life with work life isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes drive, determination and an immense amount of energy to make it happen. Managing it all in a way that leaves everyone satisfied is a rarefied talent, but there are certainly those that can make it happen – and still have a big smile on their face at the end of the day.

One of those people is Craig. As creative lead for all KTM motorcycle designs at work, as well as a consummate family man, you can be sure that balancing work and life is an ongoing battle, but one that he is winning.

It all starts with the right morning ritual.

“Every morning I watch the clouds flow through the valley.”

There’s no substitute for getting the day started off on the right foot. For Craig that begins with spending a few quiet moments on the balcony, enjoying the scenery and grinding his coffee. For the London native, village life can be a bit too quiet for comfort, but it’s this private time that gets him in the right mindset for the rest of the day.

For many design leaders like Craig, family breakfasts are important. Times of creative inspiration, unpredictable schedules and client demands can make sticking to the normal “nine-to-five” workday a challenge. So, sitting down and having a rowdy morning meal with the kids is a great opportunity to connect and have a good time before the daily grind.

“Every morning I watch the clouds flow through the valley.”

There’s no substitute for getting the day started off on the right foot. For Craig that begins with spending a few quiet moments on the balcony, enjoying the scenery and grinding his coffee. For the London native, village life can be a bit too quiet for comfort, but it’s this private time that gets him in the right mindset for the rest of the day.

For many design leaders like Craig, family breakfasts are important. Times of creative inspiration, unpredictable schedules and client demands can make sticking to the normal “nine-to-five” workday a challenge. So, sitting down and having a rowdy morning meal with the kids is a great opportunity to connect and have a good time before the daily grind.

“My desk is almost always empty, but that’s probably a good thing.”

If you want to make a designer roll their eyes, show them an advertisement in which a man wearing a scarf is looking intently at a tape drawing in an empty room. The fact of the matter is, design leads do so much more. Overseeing the design of all of KTM’s motorcycles is just one part of the package for Craig. His days are filled with hands-on reviews of the bikes mid-development, working with the project managers to keep development on-track, weekly portfolio review sessions with HR and day-to-day contact with key players at KTM R&D. When he walks through the door, the questions, requests and the “have you got a minute?” begin immediately.

How does he manage it all?

If you want to make a designer roll their eyes, show them an advertisement in which a man wearing a scarf is looking intently at a tape drawing in an empty room. The fact of the matter is, design leads do so much more. Overseeing the design of all of KTM’s motorcycles is just one part of the package for Craig. His days are filled with hands-on reviews of the bikes mid-development, working with the project managers to keep development on-track, weekly portfolio review sessions with HR and day-to-day contact with key players at KTM R&D. When he walks through the door, the questions, requests and the “have you got a minute?” begin immediately.

How does he manage it all?

“Answer the easy questions and tackle the easy wins first, then get on with your day.”

With so many tasks, priorities and people demanding his attention, does it ever become too much? It’s all about balance and Craig has a strategy for making the most of every day: the lunchtime shred. For 27 minutes each day Craig thrashes through the hills, trails and valleys around KISKA HQ. It takes 17 minutes to get to the top of the trail and 10 minutes to get back. Evidently the aggressive session is the perfect pressure release and a great way to give yourself some perspective on the day.

After a quick bite at the “gas station” (a favourite of the KISKA lunchtime crowd, which isn’t really a gas station at all, but, long story), the afternoon provides the atmosphere required to reconnect with project teams. Weekly status updates are the ideal setting to get entire design teams together and get everyone on the same page. It’s in these meetings that the small details of a project are hashed out, and bigger concepts are explored through the different perspectives each person has.

“When you’re in the thick of a project, getting time for big picture thinking is difficult. Reconnecting as a team whenever you can is key.”

With his full-on schedule and a brain full of blue-sky ideas, relaxing into at-home life can be difficult, but that’s where the fun of a young family comes in. The mountain bike gear and toys spread around the house might drive Craig a bit crazy (he’s a designer after all), but they’re evidence of an active and fun-loving bunch of people living life to the full.


“It’s cliché, but the key to staying fresh and focussed, is nailing work-life balance; making the most of every moment outside of the studio.”


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