There's no better compliment than praise from fellow developers/designers/production houses. It's the toughest audience, but also the most rewarding.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Squarewave was born in a dismal little Boston bar back in 1998. At the time, I was working at a small media company as a flash developer, and it was there that I ran into Mike Wislocki, a friend from high school who was then working as a backend developer at a large financial company.
We started doing work on the side together, and brought in Adam Otcasek, a kick-ass designer that I had met through a few previous gigs. We've since ditched the 9-5 jobs, and now we piss each other off on a full time basis.
What do you do for inspiration?
Inspiration has a habit of sneaking in from a limitless supply of unlikely sources, but specifically, I'd say that we feed on gadgets, NASA, movies, commercials, architecture, video games, music, books . . . oh and cars. Good car designs rip.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We're currently doing a site for Aura Entertainment, a film company out in LOther than that, we're doing a few things that we have to keep on the down low.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Being able to do this full time, under our own creative direction. I mean, Hell, we'd be doing this regardless, but the fact that we can support ourselves through it is a nice little perk.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Our goal is always to increase it, and we've had pretty decent success there. Especially if we can make a site worthy of being listed in some of the terrific design sites out there like linkdup, newstoday, styleboost, and, obviously, FWA.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Oh, also, www.Rootylicious.com recently said some nice things about us and we weren't familiar with their site so we checked it out . . . not only is the site tight, but we were looking through their portfolio saying, "Oh. Damn-they did that site . . . and that site . . . "
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Flash is here to conquer.
Who is your target audience?
Well, we really need to cater to our clients, so our first goal is to make sure that they're happy with our work. However, when we're allowed some flexibility, we design with our peers in mind, that's who we want to impress. There's no better compliment than praise from fellow developers/designers/production houses. It's the toughest audience, but also the most rewarding.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
We've written a page for one book, Flash Frames. I think it goes without saying that we'd love to do more.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Luckily, our very first site is offline, and hopefully, the hard drive that it resided on has been folded, spindled, mutilated, and then burned. It would also be nice if the ashes were then scattered across the globe. It was the typical 'My First Flash', only uglier.
The first site that any of us would still put our names on was the original Control Group site.
What software couldn't you live without?
In no particular order: Flash, 3d Studio Max, Photoshop, Winamp, and Windows media player with the divex codec and a dvd decoder.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
The toughest thing we did that's currently accessible was the new Control Group site. We created a little drag and drop mp3 player that could stream in full mp3s off the band's album, with a seven track memory selection that the user could cycle through.
This would be pretty easy in flash 5 or mx, but we had to do it in 4, with its thin cut 'n paste scripting system.
However, the most complicated thing we've done will be in the Aura Entertainment site that we're working on. No hints, though.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I would say that anyone that is serious or passionate about development is an excellent observer and emulator, just to get the mechanics of the tool down.
Like busting a clock open and putting it back together to see how it works. But, the real key is to add your own stink to it, that makes it the art. That makes it yours.
What area of web design lacks the most?
A lot of sites are long on design, but short on functionality and solidity. This results in clumsy navigation, poor loading schemes, and ineffective communication between different levels and movies. Or worse, movies that break.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Well. Adam is the labels man. All that LA crap like diesel jeans or leather pants with his shirt open. Mike's more of a Tshirt and jeans kind of guy. White t-shirts, changed often, preferably, to prevent any threatening armpit rings from forming and slowly working their way to meet at his sternum. It's pretty foul.
Shamefully, I wear a Star Trek II movie T-shirt and cargo pants when I'm working. It's soft and comfortable and makes me look like I am.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Absorb, experiment, practice and never be afraid to f*ck up, it's the best way to learn.
It's been a privilege, Andrew, thanks very much.
Thank you Rob. Keep up the great work and thanks for the opportunity to blah, blah, blah.