I started a good while ago by designing flyers and brochures. Then I robbed the password and login of a friend's internet connection and I started to surf.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I started a good while ago by designing flyers and brochures. Then I robbed the password and login of a friend's internet connection and I started to surf. Somebody then passed on flash 3 to me and I began by moving around squares and balls. I then met an ASP programmer while working on a job and together we set up mFactory. That's it, more or less.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

First of all www.TheCounter.com, www.JoeCartoon.com and all the rest....sorry, I also meant to say FavouriteWebsiteAwards too...

  What do you do for inspiration?

I know that this could seem a bit unprofessional but smoking spliffs is one of the ways in which I have fun and helps me work, perhaps also watching a film (I'm obsessed), or reading a book, talking shite with my girlfriend (TexitheowneroftheBEAR) or with my friends.....sometimes it's enough just to look around.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

When we launched mFactory version 3 we got recognition from lots of design sites and won some awards - since then we've had about 100,000 unique visitors to date.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

The fact that I've never been one to do well at school and studying in general, that people were always telling me I wouldn't get anywhere, that I never had any clear ideas of a 'career' plan and yet here I am, completely self-taught with a successful company that has been around for three years ....and I'm still having fun.

That's The Revenge of the Bear!

  What software couldn't you live without?

Photoshop, Flash and ICQ for complex rendering...(hee hee).

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

At the moment I'm involved in an on-line campaign for the re-launch of a car for an important Italian company. I'm working on the concept and design of the site as well as creating the script for a couple of fun, short videoclips.

I'm also re-designing sbozz.com.

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

www.Preloaded.com, www.VolumeOne.com, www.fantasy-interactive.com.

  Who is your target audience?

People who like teddybears and the colour red.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I don't want to come across as too critical but I'd like to see more ideas behind the designs. Not to do something just because of the asthetic, technical or 'new' aspect of it. I believe that people like to take away something extra, to feel more involved in what they're seeing.

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

A mechanical ostrich called Fenixlab

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

Noooo.....but I'm thinking about writing a screenplay for a film....we'll see.

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash?

The mechanical ostrich because I had no idea of what I was doing - I'd like to have a look at the source file of that site to see just what I did!

  How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

I'm completely self-taught. I learned by surfing, working day and night and annoying all the people that knew more than I did (newsgroups, forums, chat etc etc) and by downloading source files from Flashkit.com. I think that's the best way for people who are starting out. It helps if you have passion + don't just see it as work but as a way to have fun.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

I think that flash and XML will be the future of the contents of the web. HTML will become just a support.

  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 that design school can help people who want to do this job by giving them the advantage of getting all the information they need in a short time. On the other hand, if you have the necessary drive and motivation, you can learn by yourself. I myself am a case in point!

  When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

We started by doing a job for a big Italian company, they liked what we came up with and our way of working, and so they offered us another. With two or three jobs like that in our portfolio, things naturally went on from there, mostly by word of mouth. We never found it necessary to advertise ourselves apart from our website.

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

One orange 60s lamp for my new home.

  What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

Generally I'm naked. I'm more of a streaker than a flasher...

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Enjoy it.

  It's been a privilege, Stefano, thank you!

It's been a pleasure - thanks to you for the opportunity.

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