I am a huge fan of animation and I guess an early sign for me was the devaluing of textbooks from school as I drew small characters on the edges of each page to create flip book animations.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Fredo Silva (27) is cofounder of Who's We Design Studios where he currently serves as Senior Art Director and leads a strong team of sound, video and graphic designers who deliver Information Through Stimulation for entertainment groups and large corporations.
Before Who's We, he began illustrating for childrens' book writer, Linda Mcbride and graduated from a Design Institute in Texas 1998.
Meanwhile, he held a position with the Lycos group where he served as creative designer.
What do you do for inspiration?
Watch movies, draw, play video games, look at magazines, or simply observe life.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Quite simply, the fundamentals of design itself. That abstract 3d is beginning to annoy me. It was cool like three years ago, but damn...now everybody does it. Please people... be original!
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
I would say Who's We, although it was a group project with my boys, it had been something that my brotha, Phree and I have wanted to try for a few years back.
With the use of 3d vectoral animation slowly taking over the net, we had always wanted to take it to the next level with rasterized images.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Right now, Flash Trailers for the entertainment industry, and so many others which I can not disclose at the moment...you know how it is.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
I think now that we (Who's We) are the "flavor of the month" and we are driving a considerable amount traffic to whatever we get our hands on. I'm sure it will stay that way especially with all the new changes we are constantly going through. Our Who's We TV will soon show that!
Q. Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
There's just too much sick talent on the web... but the first ones that come to mind are Frog, rezn8 and I'm really feeling the WDDG. There are others that come so close but those are the three that stand out the most for me.
Who is your target audience?
I do not try to focus on any particular demographic. I like to train as a "chameleon" when I design. For many designers, you can observe that most of their sites look so much alike and the style is distinguishable in everything they do. I'm not saying that that is a bad thing, just your options will open up tremendously when you can produce any style for any client.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
My very first site was completely hand coded (Won't ever do that again). It was a site for a friend. I cringe when I think about it. No it is not online.
What software couldn't you live without?
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I have illustrated quite a few...but not written. Been in a few graphics magazines.
There is also some talk with a couple of publishers for future flash books we may be featured in. It all depends if our schedule allows it.
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?
Being a past art institute student, I recommend one to take time to examine the school's credibility. Specifically ask to see the staff's portfolios. Unfortunately, many schools hire people that "just couldn't make it" in the industry so it is sad to see the level of talent being pushed through these schools from the lack of quality teaching. As for someone without prior education making it in the field, yes, it is very possible. There are a few well-known designers out there that I know of right now that have no degree in design/graphics.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
What is most effective is networking... get your name out there. It is a lot of hard work, but you will find strength in numbers and the people you know. The key to a good business is a strong network.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
A Canon XL1 with all the goodies- Lovin' it!
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it?
The toughest thing was probably the Who's We site. Endless ours of test renders and optimisation and coding and debugging and image manipulation is what made it so tough. It took over 9 months to complete with much of that time given to client projects in between so collectively around 6 months.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I have learned my skills through practice and mimic of what I had already observed through traditional animation. I am a huge fan of animation and I guess an early sign for me was the devaluing of textbooks from school as I drew small characters on the edges of each page to create flip book animations.
Advice? sure... learn the fundamentals of design and color theory. They will take you a long way. And come original!
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Not really, I played tons of soccer growing up and still do, so you might see some Adidas or Puma on me. Anything comfortable enough to design and work out in.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Yes... Keep your eyes busy.
It's been a privilege, Fred, thanks very much.
Pleasure was mine.