The pixel is mightier than the sword.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Introducing Ronald Wisse, manufactured 14-04-1973 in the Netherlands, graduated at the Faculty of Architecture Delft in 1998, working as a freelance designer / 3d visualizer in Amsterdam ever since - mostly for dutch architects. Most of my spare time goes into experimenting and producing non-commercial work for the www.visualdata.org website.
What do you do for inspiration?
I surf the web.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Release 4 of visualdata.org - especially the reactive work.
What software couldn't you live without?
I'd be lost without 3dsmax and Flash.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Nothing big really, just creating more work for my personal site visualdata.org and some covers for ezines, and I'm building my very first screensaver.
The new stuff will be uploaded to visualdata when I'm satisfied with it. Oh, and the friendly folks at Threadless.com have asked me to design a t-shirt for them, so I'm looking forward to doing that.
As far as commercial work goes, I'd like to do more work for the web and for print, so to all you great companies out there looking to push the boundaries: contact me, I'm available for freelance work!
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Traffic has gone up quite a lot since I put the new work up, and the site is getting a lot of recognition from portals and award sites like yours, so that's really great. Also, people from all over have been emailing me telling me how much they like my work, and that's terrific as well. This feedback is very inspiring for me, makes me want to keep going.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Nope, maybe sometime in the future though. But I'd love it if people want to publish my work in design books.
Who is your target audience?
I don't really think about that, I'm just glad that people seem to like what I do. Considering the pieces on my site are all my own personal work, made for my own pleasure and basically just doing what I like, I don't think I'm designing with any specific audience in mind, apart from the fact that everyone should have a fast connection and a fast machine.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
It was one page done in html and displayed one image of my prototype robot. I took it down pretty quickly when I learned to work with Dreamweaver and Flash.
What area of web design lacks the most?
I think a lot of the big sites out there (news sites and such) display a very poor visual quality and layout. Copying your print layout and pasting it onto a webpage doesn't seem like a very good idea to me. It totally ignores the possibilities of the web and looks terrible.
Why not try something new instead of imitating the old media? Well, maybe it's just me always wanting to be surprised and aesthetically pleased.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Sure, I did. Well I studied architecture, but that doesn't have much to do with new media. In the design and interactive field I'm pretty much self-taught.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Word of mouth definitely. But ever since my website has been getting exposure things are nuts. Due to my site I got to work on X2-movie.com with some very cool people in LA.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
The 55 Degrees North book.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it?
I guess that would be the 'magneticsyringe' piece currently online. I combined two pretty complex actionscript codes for this to get the effect that I wanted. I must've spent two full days on figuring out and modifying the code to get the stuff working the right way.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I've learned everything I know about flash through the web, by frequenting community sites like Were-here and Ultrashock and experimenting with the actionscript codes. Before I had an internet connection I had already taught myself how to work with 3dsmax and photoshop. my advice: practice - experiment - learn - persist.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Not really, as long as I believe I look good in what I wear I'm happy. I am quite a freak for t-shirts though, and I think it's great that sites like Derush and Threadless are selling their shirts online. Oh, and there's one brand that has my utmost respect - Fuct. But when I'm working on my own stuff at home I'm mostly wearing my pyjamas because I get too wrapped up to take a shower on time.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
The pixel is mightier than the sword.
It's been a privilege, Ronald, thanks very much.
And thank you for the interest. Take care!