Relaxing is super important, i made my best work in a relaxed surrounding, i worked for a lot of ad agencies and can say i was most productive when people are nice and not so pushy.
Hi! My name is Gen, i am japanese and grow up in germany, now based in berlin. Started 20 years ago with graffiti moved to advertising as an art director and since 3 years working for my own startup EyeEm, a photo sharing & discovery app.
What do you do for inspiration?
Its important to get inspired by different perspectives, so if you are a designer, dont get inspired just by other designers, its better to interact with architects or lawyers or directors. So besides that its important to see always the best stuff, best food, best architects, best designers, best apps, best websites etc! And go out to art vernissages, museums, exhibitions, shops and nice bistros, cafes, inspiration comes from live, real live and not just from browsing the web.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
In Advertising i got a gold cannes lion, but most proud about my silver cannes lion i won for volkswagen, also a red dot design award for owl optics and for sure the FWA for EyeEm, to be honest it was always a wish to get one!
How many hours do you work each week?
In advertising it was tough, but now for your own company its a different story, you do it for yourself, so its okay to work 24/7!
How do you relax or unwind?
Relaxing is super important, i made my best work in a relaxed surrounding, i worked for a lot of ad agencies and can say i was most productive when people are nice and not so pushy. So i would say dont come into a situation and get busy from you have to relax or recover. Your work should be so much fun that it dont feels like work, if not , you should change your occupation. But i relax best by drinking a sternburg beer!
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Would be in Advertising and creating classic ads, billbords and TV commercials;)
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
As i said it should be fun, and always something new to learn, its not the money, its more the experience. Its always great to work with people you like or get inspired and work together on something nice, because in a team youre stronger and better. But more people means it takes more time for a decision, we are 4 Founders at EyeEm, thats tough, because everyone has a different opinion and thats quite exhausting.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
At Jung Von Matt it was normal to work before every common presentation till 5 o'clock in the morning and this happend every other week.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
Be authentic and try to be patient, it takes time to make something special and put passion and effort in it and people will feel it.
What software could you not live without?
Who is your target audience?
EyeEm is created for everybody, so all people should understand it but mainly its for people who love photography, that could be from a teen to an old woman!
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
For my ego ;)
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
It will be not on a common screen, thats for sure, so it will be a projection in your brain or on your hand etc, what you can see in science fiction movies is getting real.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
Once i had the opportunity to fly with a helicopter, it was super loud, but it was really fun. Maybe for travelling not the right vehicle, so the heli you see when the american president is landing at the white house, this one could work!
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
There are no bounderies, its not just america, japan or europe. a lot is happening in scandinavia and a lot of swedes are here in berlin and this excites me quite much!
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
A mobile photography museum or at least to get some mobile shots from our community into the guggenheim.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
We are 18 people now at EyeEm, community team, ios and android devs and it would be cool to be sustainable with our vision.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
New NIke Air Max 180 in white, i wanted them always now they are back in stock!
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Smile and you get a smile back!
It has been a privilege, thanks very much