.

I remember a text by Borges: near the end of his life, he said he regretted not having lived, not having made more mistakes, not having dared to try what was forbidden… Well then: let’s make mistakes and live adventures :-)

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

One could say that I was born at the end of the world: Finisterre (from the Latin expression finis terrae: “end of the earth”), in the northwest of Spain. My father was a lighthouse keeper, my mother a teacher. When I was ten we moved to Barcelona (a few years later I was very glad about that!). I studied Fine Arts, although only for 1 year, since I could not take any more (after that came 8 years of ‘artistic drought’! Fine Arts is no good).

To change surroundings I enrolled for Technical Architecture, and I finished it! (yes, I got a diploma that allows me to do some nonsense with bricks and mortar).

It was just when I finished my studies that I began to do what I really wanted: music. My 4-track cassette recorder, my first computer (32K of RAM!) and MIDI. Later on, my Atari (1MB of RAM!!!), the keyboards, the rhythm box, the sampler.

It was a real wonder, I was the happiest man in the world! I devoted myself to music for a long time, and then art came back to my life as strong as ever: the Joan Tabique Foundation (a group of artists with whom we did incredibly beautiful things), and Matavacas (a great musical project that is still alive).

My story with the Web begins in '93: the Tabique Foundation was awarded a grant to develop an artistic project on the Internet (something really ‘exotic’ by that time in Spain), and I learned everything I could about html, javascript, etc. 3 years ago I started working for a design studio in Barcelona (El taller interactivo), and in the meantime I discovered Flash and Actionscript -a real finding!

Since September 2001 I have a space for art and design at LEOGEO, enabling me to experiment and to express myself.

  What do you do for inspiration?

Anything inspires me. Books, art, movies, music, photography...

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

I like a huge lot of sites, so it is difficult to reduce the list to just 3 names... I really love, for example, to drop by www.Natzke.com, www.Levitated.net or www.Insertsilence.com.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Maybe each new thing that appears in LEOGEO... in its time each was a great achievement.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I still don’t understand how can those enormous portals exist, all crammed with texts, headlines, subheadings, buttons, thumbnails and links... They look like visual noise to me.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

I would like to develop the website for our group Matavacas, and I’m excited to be collaborating with Adela de Bara in "El Abecedario de la Gravedad", a future literary project that I’m sure will be very beautiful.

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

I can’t answer this question.

  What software couldn't you live without?

Mmm... I couldn’t live without a pencil and paper! hehe

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

I’ve only written books like this one http://www.leogeo.com/libros/. (Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I illustrated them) :-)

No, I really haven’t written any books on Flash (I think I’ll never know enough to do so). The closest thing to a book that I’ve ever done is a tutorial which is about to be published in the excellent flash magazine E-site (no longer online).

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

The first thing I did for the Web was the Joan Tabique Foundation’s magazine, which was called ‘Fíjate TNG’. It was the online version of the ‘Fíjate’ newsletter, which we published on a monthly basis during three years (1990-1993). It was a little hand-made newsletter (7x10cm), that was given as a present and included original work by various artists (kids, mothers, famous artists, students, etc...).

Surprisingly (yes, sometimes these things happen...) it can still be found online and it is a true electronic fossil. You can see it here.

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

Mmm... I think it was the first big project I worked on, just when I started programming with Flash4. It was an educative program aimed at kids, designed to bring them closer to the world of art and words.

Using this program one can build letters with 0bjects or geometric shapes, draw with words, create calligrammes, animated mini-movies or discover ‘the rhythm of the divisions’... A very creative work that helped me learn Actionscript as I went along. We worked on it for almost a year, it is ‘Visual Poetry’.

  Who is your target audience?

Everyone. Myself :-)

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Absolutely. I guess it will keep evolving at its own pace, but it will remain there. It is a very creative tool. You can do almost anything with it, and it has already revolutionized the world of the Internet.

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

I think the best way to learn is trying to understand how things work. Investigate, experiment, make mistakes and learn from the errors.

It is possible to learn a lot just by opening and having a look at the fla files that can be downloaded from sites such as Flashkit, Praystation, Deconcept, etc... The Internet is great for such things.

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

I like comfortable and practical clothing, and this doesn’t necessarily mean brand clothing. In any case, I like it for what it is, and not because it has this or that brand name. Definitely, I’m not a ‘labels man’ :-)

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

No idea :-)

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

I remember a text by Borges: near the end of his life, he said he regretted not having lived, not having made more mistakes, not having dared to try what was forbidden… Well then: let’s make mistakes and live adventures :-)

  It's been a privilege, Leo, thanks very much!

Many thanks to you. It’s been wonderful. And thanks a lot to Clea, for translating my answers to "perfect English"! :-)


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