Back the days I wanted to become a jet fighter pilot :-)!
My name is Chris and I was born and grown up in Dortmund / West Germany. Since January 2011, I am working as an J. Art Director at Jung von Matt/Neckar. Before I came here I have studied Graphic Design and was working as a freelancer.
What do you do for inspiration?
Should the time allow me that: Travelling. The best inspirations are won through exciting experiences. Different countries, different people, different cultures. That’s what makes me exciting. I think nowhere else it is easier to have so many inspirations and own life-experiences than while travelling in foreign countries and cultures.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
That I have been moved to Rio de Janeiro for an internship. Without having been proficient in the language neither having known anybody locally. It was an exciting experience. That time has formed me and has brought me further more humanly than technically.
How many hours do you work each week?
Mostly I am working until midnight . It is difficult to count it in hours. There are strong, but also some silent phases during work. Though, the strong working phases dominate normally. Especially the midnight working hours makes a lot of fun. If you have dinner together, listen to music, drink beer and have exciting projects, than this is not only working, it is more than that. Of course the motivation is also an important aspect to make good works.
How do you relax or unwind?
Sports, to keep the mind clear. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is the best workout for me, because during that you get to your conditional limit and you can power out yourself. Or I go to the market with my girlfriend on saturdays, to buy fresh vegetables and cook something tasty.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
That’s a difficult question. Back the days I wanted to become a jet fighter pilot :-)!
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
To celebrate the moment within the team when a good project goes live.
When a project, in which you see a lot of potential is confirmed within seconds.
When i stuck, I go jogging. As long as possible, until my legs cannot hold me any longer.
What software could you not live without?
Photoshop and Nike+.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
It is not really new, but I have found a lot of fun at the Sencha Animator. It does definitely not generate the cleanest code and almost every programmer would scream out for help, but you come fast and easy to good results. And for small mobile projects it is totally enough.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
In the digital world: North Kingdom / Firstborn / R/GA
Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?
5 years are a long time in the internet world.
"Decode Jay-Z" is one of my favorite campaigns. The first time I saw that a map has been applied really excitingly.
"GE" http://ge.ecomagination.com/smartgrid/#/landing_page the first time I have seen AR. I instantly wanted to do it myself and have worked on it for days. The result was nowhere near enough so good, but at least it worked.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
YES. I think my personal mobile site which won an mobile FWA some years ago was one reason, why I was invited to Jung von Matt. That was a big step forward. Thank you very much FWA for your help!
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
It was a flash site, which I have constructed during my studies with a friend. It was for a fictional skater shop with a long skyline, which was built together.
Within this city scenery countless small animations were included, which we previously had filmed infront of a greenbox. It was a very extensive site, from which we learned a lot while producing it, starting from releasing in After Effects until animation with Action Script, because we had to do everything on our own. Unfortunately the site is not online anymore
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Not yet. I think it would not come so far. Writing is not my strength. I am already a bit overwhelmed with the interview :-)!
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?
Graffiti is one of it. In which creative field is one able to boldly take as much freedom as in graffiti? It is made for to brake the rules.
The Scene is super creative and the people come together from so many different branches. You meet and get to know totally different personalities. Besides, you can combine it with „travelling“ mentioned upwards.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I think it is going to be difficult. I have seen lesser sites made by Flash and I think it is going to be more less. If you for example look at http://www.dubfire.com, you nearly see no differences to flash. Anyhow, I guess that from time to time nice flash sites will delight us. Like http://www.sound.philips.com/, which would be an example.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
I think there are a lot of talents, who never have been studied. They just do wherein they have fun and that very motivated and ambitious. Nevertheless, I think that it is good to study. During studies you have a lot of time to try out things and have chances to make mistakes. I would do it again. It was a great time and I do not want to miss it out.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Twitter is for me the best tool for to be updated. From nowhere else I receive faster and better informations than from there. Facebook I am using rather privately and have normally only my private friends. At twitter I try to follow exclusively people from the branche.
I think that‘s a good differentiation.
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
I have been a couple of times to Seoul/ South Korea, from which country I am always shocked about that it is so much ahead from Europe. Some years ago, when the smartphone was not so popular like now, from young to old was already watching Olympia in the subway on their phones. Really impressive how fast the country reacts on new technologies.
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
I guess to be within the development of a product like Nike+ or the Fuel Band would be exciting.
The digital sports sector I would be very interested in, because I have a passion for sports and of course for new trends and technologies. All together would be a good combination.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Generally the most important point is „Respect towards each other“.
Very good was also what Leigh said some interviews before: " Leave your ego at the door. Nobody enjoys working with an arrogant person, no matter how good you think you are."
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you FWA. Thank you very much guys. It has been a big honor to me.