.

Knowledge is key. School is essential. It should be where you learn to doubt.

question  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Born before we landed on the moon. Started drawing in the sixties. Never stopped being creative since then. I was, I am, an illustrator, a graphic designer, an interactive designer, a creative director and an ad man. I'm now Executive Creative Director at TAXI Montréal.

What do you do for inspiration?

Life is the greatest muse. Where you get true insights. So I try to live as much as I can.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Pothole Season (the app & the launch campaign) was a fantastic project. Probably, and considering results, my best work until now. Go to http://www.youtube.com/potholeseason to know more about the project. Another great piece of work was Battle for Beauty for Internet Explorer 9, a project we (TAXI MTL) did with Quatre Cent Quatre and Moment Factory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcWd8PpXIcg

How do you relax or unwind?

I ride my bike.

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

Favourite part: meeting so many talented people. From all crafts. It's a great priviledge.

Hardest part: creating the exceptional. But it's the best feeling ever when you achieve it.

When I get stuck I take a nap.

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

In '95 I agreed to design a website for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The decade of interactive work that followed shaped who I am and how I do things today.

What area of web design lacks the most?

We are great at creating amazing and beautifully crafted experiences. We suck at delivering on the message. Efficiently. Good copywriting is a start. There are lessons we might learn from the past one hundred years of advertising.

Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?

I'm now a big user of applications. My wife & my three kids too. A few years ago we were all over websites. Now, in a normal day, my 3 kids are on gaming apps, my wife is learning Spanish on an app and I'm spending all my free time on photo apps. It 's the year of the app baby!

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

The industry sees the FWA award as a symbol of high standards in ideas and craft. It's always great for your work to be recognized like that. And it's a great server test!

When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

I use all the tools at my disposal. Interactive, new media, classic media, PR, content, apps, you name it. I create the right mix for each task. Difficult? Not really. More fun then ever.

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

As I mentioned earlier, it was a museum site. It was quite clean, elegant and well organized. It was live for years. We were pushing bandwidth limits with all of our crazy animated gifs!

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

I have this dream of doing a movie one day. So I guess I should start writing the script now. A photography exhibit might be in the near future as well.

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?

Photography gives me great pleasure. I use my iPhone for shooting, editing and posting. Quite a creative hobby, I tell you.

What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?

For Pothole Season, we launched the app with a stunt. A red car in a giant pothole. The image of that car was shot by everyone that morning and naturally went viral in a few minutes. Social media really worked for us that day!

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?

Today we have no choice but to be media and medium agnostic. It's the fun part of working in our field in 2012. Everything is possible. Finding a different mix, a different solution is a blast.

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

Knowledge is key. School is essential. It should be where you learn to doubt. 

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

When you think you worked your ass off, work even harder. Good is not good enough.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

A horse. I love horses.

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

I listen, look and interact with life.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

At TAXI we say "Doubt the conventional. Create the exceptional". In short, be the greatest shit disturber ever.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thanks Rob. 


Links

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Me taking a nap.
Me taking a nap.

Pothole Season made a remarkable debut in Montréal.
Pothole Season made a remarkable debut in Montréal.

Pothole Season Live Event Case Study.

Pothole Season 'Lipstick' Poster. 1 of 3 posters.
Pothole Season "Lipstick" Poster. 1 of 3 posters.

Pothole Season App. Find all videos for that project in the links below the interview.
Pothole Season App. Find all videos for that project in the links below the interview.

Internet Explorer 9 'Battle for Beauty' poster for the live online/offline game in Toronto. 1 of 4 posters.
Internet Explorer 9 "Battle for Beauty" poster for the live online/offline game in Toronto. 1 of 4 posters.

Internet Explorer 9 "battle for Beauty" Case Study.

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