.

Listen to that little voice in your gut. If something just doesn't quite feel right, don't ignore it. Always find a way to address the issue.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I'm a producer-type hobo currently working as the EP over at Droga5 in New York. I try to spend my days making beautiful things. 

What do you do for inspiration?

Bury myself in story. I read a lot of literature, watch an obscene amount of film and play video games here and there. 

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

www.ubuweb.com
www.resn.co.nz
www.computersclub.org

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Finding a job where my hyperactivity works for me.   

How many hours do you work each week?

That's all over the map. 50 - 120 hrs. I suck at the whole work/life balance thing, but that's fine with me. That's what this part of my life is reserved for. I'm here to make the most beautiful and amazing things possible, and that often doesn't accommodate balance. 

How do you relax or unwind?

I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm hyper. 

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

Probably sitting alone in my apartment collecting coffee cans in old aquariums.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

My favorite part of this job is that I feel like I'm playing every day. And I am. 

The hardest part, particularly on the agency side, is latching onto an idea that could be amazing, getting so excited about it that you feel like you just might explode, and then seeing it killed by a client. It's a huge part of the game, but it's something I'll never really get used to. 

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

It's not uncommon to work three or four days straight. It's kind of a "healthy" part of my process at this point. For me, really good producers are guys who can burry themselves in the weeds--and l love that. When a project is in full-swing it's hard for me to want to break away, even for things like food or sleep.

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

Going to film school was good I think. I didn't wind up working in that industry for long, but the intense focus on story was key in preparing me for what I wanted to do in interactive.

What software could you not live without?

Reeder, Photoshop, Google Docs (I loathe e-mailing working documentation). 

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

I thought everything about Dumpster Drive was pretty amazing. I kind of adore it. http://dumpsterdrive.com/

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

This is a tough one as the scene is always changing. I'll give you some of my favorites right now. 

Resn: the hyper-talented subversives who always leave you saying, "Damn, I wish I'd made that."

Anonymous: the crew that makes the stuff you love to play with.

Red Paper Heart: the new guys you better be paying attention to. 

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Totally. In order to be considered a legitimate player in this game you kind of have to have one, right? Don't worry Rob, you're in a good place.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

The first site I ever built was on GeoCities in 1996. It was horrible, but I had a hell of a lot of fun and got strung out immediately. There was a little bit of magic in being able to stay up all night making something that your friends could look at and play with at their house before school. 

Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

Try not to miss a damn thing.

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

Absolutely. I have a penchant for the interactive bits, but you have to use whatever medium makes sense to touch your audience. 

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

This is a question for minds far greater than my own. 

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

The PUMA Africa site. I was stoked with where we got on the finished product for sure, but beyond that the build was one of the most collaborative and enjoyable experiences I've had in interactive. 

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

Unnamed project. Countless hours. No, thank God. 

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Absolutely. We have more tools now, but there are definitely still times where, "you can do that in flash" is a godsend.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

The schools are behind, of course. You can get into this without school. Just look at everything you can. Pay specific attention to why the stuff that doesn't work doesn't work and try to imitate the good stuff. Schools are great for pushing stuff in front of you (even if it's a bit old) and growing a quick network.  

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Listen to that little voice in your gut. If something just doesn't quite feel right, don't ignore it. Always find a way to address the issue.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

Life would be good if I could spend most of it on a motorcycle.

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

The FWA, Twitter and Google Reader are the resources I use on a daily basis. But a lot of the best info I get is through conversations with creatives, producers, developers, designers, etc. A big part of my job is helping to make sure we have a culture that promotes that constant and open exchange of ideas, opinions and discoveries.  

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

I've always been way into the work coming out of Japan and I'm super interested in finding ways for western agencies and clients to tap into their knowledge, experience and design.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

Whatever came up today. I get excited easily. 

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

I don't buy much. I try to keep my "things" limited so that I can move everything I own through the mail for less than $100. The only thing I really spend money on is eating out. I'm bad about that.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

I often thought someone should travel to schools around the country and tell the kids that nobody really knows what they're doing. Don't worry. The pressure is off. 

It's a bit of an exaggeration, but I see people too often limit themselves because they feel they just don't know enough to pull it off or get that job, etc. Most of the successful people I know didn't either. It's way more these days about being curious, relentless and resourceful and finding the answers when you need them to help you do what you want to do.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thank you, sir. Here's to subversive interactive! 


Links

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The guy who paints cartoon cats at miniature golf courses in Texas is a-okay with me.
The guy who paints cartoon cats at miniature golf courses in Texas is a-okay with me.

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PUMA Africa

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Prudential Day One

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Rihanna Reb'l Fleur

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Decode Jay-Z with Bing

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Decode Jay-Z with Bing

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PUMA Hardchorus

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