.

When you win a FWA you are aware that anyone in the world can now look at and judge your work. This can really be electrifying.

The FWA is the only real quality certificate and the fact that it is awarded by the best professionals is a guarantee that you are working in the right direction.

This certainly helps you to achieve prestige and international visibility.

For me, without FWA everything would be less stimulating.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I’m an Italian designer and interactive director.

Having spent some years as a digital designer and freelance developer, I understood that, to keep growing professionally, I had to start working with a team of professionals from whom I could learn and with whom pursue shared goals and objectives. A small group of motivated people who had the will and desire to aim high.

This is the reason why I founded Uprising two years ago, a digital production company based in Milan.

What do you do for inspiration?

I’m not entirely convinced that pure inspiration finds room in our working world.

Our kind of “inspiration” needs to be persistent, something you cultivate day by day, ready to be called on at any moment and in any circumstance, according to the requirements of the task at hand.

In this way, we don’t really talk of inspiration as such :)

I believe that it is fundamental that you are able to accommodate all the ideas and suggestions you encounter directly or indirectly, especially those coming from beyond the purely professional sphere.

Instinct, I think, determines the rest.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Google, theFWA, basecamp.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Founding Uprising.

Italy is a “complicated” country where it’s hard to succeed purely on merit, most likely thanks to connections and politics.

I’ve never been good at politics though, and this is why I took great pride in being able to create my own model from scratch, without anybody’s support but thanks solely to the quality of my own work. This is deeply satisfying.

A longer term objective is to bring Uprising to an international market.

I’m trying my hardest to achieve this. Not immediately, but one step at the time.

How many hours do you work each week?

40ish.

We try to organise all the activities during normal working hours so as to avoid evening and night shifts.

Also because, if you give 100% in your 8 hour working day, everything you try to achieve even in the minutes immediately after dilutes exponentially. Three extra hours today don’t produce what you could do in 30 minutes tomorrow.

Every now and then you may have to work one or both weekend days, but not so often.

As a freelancer I spent periods when I was constantly working, night and day, losing all sense of time, I couldn’t distinguish between Sunday and Monday.

I learnt that ultimately the only result you obtain if you don’t give yourself or others time to decompress is a loss of passion for what you do. 

And this isn’t good at all, it’s not healthy.

How do you relax or unwind?

Once a year, in Sardinia. The sun, the sea, fishing, windsurfing, friends and a couple of beers. For me this is truly relaxing...

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

Luckily, I have never had to think about this.

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

The design process is the most fascinating, in my view.

Even though you have conceived and planned everything thoroughly, it’s only when you begin to give“visible” structure to the product that you have really started.

Until then it feels like you have not put yourself on the line yet.

Working as a designer with a focus on interactive direction is even more exciting as you’re making your idea “real”, yet still allowing room for imagination, whilst planning and thinking through the development of the project into the subsequent phases.

I can’t really find a hardest part, every production is its own story: one may have “critical” technological implications, another may require a greater level of attention to the management and adjustment of the resources at play.. etc.

When I come to a dead end I focus on another project, I take a break and go back to it later :)

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

Bringing Uprising to London

What software could you not live without?

Photoshop

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

At the moment, not more than three.

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

The potential of WebGL + three.js

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

Academy, North Kingdom, HelloHikimori and unit9.

I know it’s 4 of them...

Who is your target audience?

Uprising is a digital production company.

And it’s the first digital production company whose productive core lies in italy.

We have imported a model that is clear and well established abroad but mostly unknown in italy.

For this reason I think that being clear and coherent is fundamental, we can’t create confusion. If the target of agencies are direct clients, our target are the best agencies around.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

When you win a FWA you are aware that anyone in the world can now look at and judge your work. This can really be electrifying.

The FWA is the only real quality certificate and the fact that it is awarded by the best professionals is a guarantee that you are working in the right direction.

This certainly helps you to achieve prestige and international visibility.

For me, without FWA everything would be less stimulating.

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

It was "fantastic", but the site of the pub where I used to work is unfortunately (or fortunately) no longer online.

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

Jagermusic.it, without a doubt.

We started with nothing, with a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve but without really knowing how we would do it.

When I think that only two of us created it... I am even more proud.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Two years ago I would have said: “certainly yes”.

Now I say “almost certainly no”.

New “standards” are continuously being set and in this sense alternatives multiply. On the flipside though, this is a shame, it’s the end of a whole digital era.

One thing is certain...for everything it had represented, flash has left a massive legacy for those who follow.

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

Having talent is the key, after that the drive and ambition to improve oneself and to always keep learning.

If it’s true that talent can’t be taught, I nevertheless believe that it can be refined through study.

“Real” schools of design do exist and in certain cases play a fundamental role in a designer’s professional growth. They are however very few and far between.

Those who are lucky enough to attend them, certainly get a head start.

The other lesser schools are scattered around the globe, with a few existing in Italy too.

These are schools you enter and come out of, most often, with the belief that you are a “phenomenon”.

And this is only because you pay a school of “design”, and a lot!

You come out thinking you know everything, losing that necessary humility and desire to learn even before you start.

Not only do these schools not help, they make aspiring designers even worse.

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

To always be very critical of your own work and give constructive feedback on the work of your contemporaries.

To never feel that you have made it and to not just think of your own lot.

To specialise in something, yet keep expanding your professional repertoire without losing sight of the bigger picture

If you are a designer, study to become a developer.

If you are a developer, get stuck into design.

If you think you are at a good point, start experimenting in motion graphics, get closer to 3D modes...

You may then be able one day to understand what happens beyond the end of your nose. You may even become an excellent producer like this :)

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

It’s been an honour for me, really. Thank you :)


Links

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Uprising™ Showreel 2012

montblanconesecond.com
montblanconesecond.com

jagermusic.it
jagermusic.it

trytodestroyacandy.com
trytodestroyacandy.com







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