Made By: Chris Coyier, Founder of CodePen

“One of the coolest parts about CSS is that it lives at this intersection of really kind of nerdy things like math, systems, and programatic concepts and art [like] color, shape, balance, and layout”.

So begins the latest video in our Made By series, which explores the story of how Chris Coyier came to be at the top of the web design game.

If anyone is allowed to have an opinion on CSS, it’s Chris. In case you didn’t know, he’s responsible for sites like CSS-Tricks, CodePen, and the Shop Talk Show podcast. Yeah, we’re impressed, too.

His life’s pursuits had always been a combination of the nerdy stuff and the artsy stuff in their own separate corners until he happened across CSS and web design, which allowed him to pursue both of his passions at once.

And he also thinks the notion that you must live in a big city like Los Angeles or New York if you want to be involved in the tech community is just plain wrong. “You can be as big a part of the tech community from anywhere that has Internet access in the world and I think we need to take advantage of that more,” he says.

Chris knows what he’s talking about. He lived in California for a bit but the locale just wasn’t for him. “I’m a midwestern boy,” he says.

Along with a tour of the lovely landscape that makes up Milwaukie and Lake Michigan, Coyier also discusses the joys of working for himself. The shape of the day is entirely up to him. “My commute is up one flight of stairs”.

Some days he gets to work right away, others he lingers in bed for a bit (and may even answer a few emails while he’s at it). “I can work for two hours, three hours maximum at a stint before I run out of mental juice points,” he says, laughing, “Then I need to recharge.”

He does that by sitting around and watching TV, taking his dog to the park, or going to the gym.

Health has become a great matter of importance to him over the past few years. “I was sitting in coach on a flight and was kind of cramped in [the middle seat],” he says.

He felt like the people on either side of him weren’t too thrilled to be sitting next to the big guy. “I would get anxiety when I boarded a plane,” he says, which prompted him to take positive steps toward improving his health. “I googled ‘adult fat camp’ and booked it up,” he says.

“Anything I’ve ever done that’s ever had any success at all is because I just sat and just did and I kept doing it for a long time,” he says with a smile. It’s that whole “if you put your mind to it thing,” and whether it’s getting healthy or designing websites that people the world over visit every day, Chris Coyier has certainly put his mind to it. And then some.

Enough of our babbling. Here’s this week’s Made By video featuring Chris Coyier:

In our 'Made By' video series we feature and celebrate some of the most innovative, creative and successful people from around the world. Don't miss the next episode by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

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