I drew caricatures of my teachers and fellow students. I drew in my books and on the school benches. My teachers became mad and my parents lost all hope. I had found my way in life, though it seemed I was the only one who could see it.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Born in Täby, Stockholm, Sweden 1972.
I spent much of my childhood in Eskilstuna, until I was 6 years old. Then, my parents got divorced and I moved with my mother to Stockholm where I went to elementary school and, later on, graduated from the Östra reals gymnasium. I began drawing for real at the age of 15. I started to copy illustrations and paintings. I drew caricatures of my teachers and fellow students. I drew in my books and on the school benches. My teachers became mad and my parents lost all hope. I had found my way in life, though it seemed I was the only one who could see it.
Aged 20 I did military service, to my surprise, and got totally disillusioned, not to my surprise. At the age of 22 I went to The Art School in Stockholm for one year where I learned a lot about painting techniques and visualization. I continued the following year attending evening courses at the same school. During daytime I worked at different places throughout the year.
Together with a friend I started up gallery and workshop on Kungsholmen in Stockholm. We painted a lot and also had exhibitions. I had this beautiful vision that everybody should be able to buy art.
So the price tag on my work was as low as it could be, which was about 20$. I think that backfired a little, as I understand now that people want to pay for art, and they want to pay a lot. The same year we suffered a tragic loss, my sister died of a disease. I got tired of my situation. I wanted to do something for other people. I wanted to make some changes somewhere.
Africa, its nature and people have always fascinated me. So I decided to become a volunteer for a year. I studied for 6 months in Denmark, and then I went working in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa for 6 months.
It was a wonderful time of adventure and new impressions. I met so many people that inspired me. All the cultures and their different ways of living made us want to explore more of this continent. So after the volunteer period I went travelling through West Africa.
This journey was not only a starting point of new visions, but also still was an endless source of inspiration to my work. We travelled through Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Benin, Togo and Ghana. I kept a diary of the journey in which I recorded everything from architecture to different plants.
When I came home I knew what I wanted to do. During our trip we noticed that much of the educational material that could be found throughout West Africa came from the former colonial rulers like Portugal, England & France.
There was surprisingly little material that came from the African countries themselves. So I decided I wanted to learn how to create books and folders for educational purposes and maybe one day be able to contribute in some way.
I started to study computing and Desktop Publishing at the NTI-School in Stockholm, I learnt about Photoshop and Illustrator, and new worlds opened up. I heard about the school's multimedia course and about animation. I have always wanted to learn animation. During the Multimedia course I learned about Flash, at that time it was version 3. It was not until after the course that I really got interested in Flash.
I started to work at the NTI School after the graduation, and today I am teaching animation and digital art.
I also run my own little company called Goober Productions that specializes in art and animation.
What do you do for inspiration?
I get lots of inspiration from travelling, just small trips around Sweden together with my girlfriend. I scribble a lot, inventing little figures by chance. I like just fooling around with the pen in the sketchbook.
I have always felt some pressure whilst drawing, as I believed everyone expected me to make something really good. And when I tried to make a good clean drawing, it looked really bad. Scribbling gives me practice and new ideas.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
www.oohbitey.com Some great movies here, make sure to check them out. Adam recently won a Flashforward award in the "cartoon" category for his film Hitchhiker II .
www.suryahenna.com.br A lovely site with inspiring design. A jewel on the web.
www.rustboy.com I have really never been into 3D, but if there is anyone who could change all that it is Brian Taylor. A wonderful artist and animator whose work I believe has inspired thousands of people around the world.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Well, our yet unborn baby who is due to arrive in middle of October would be the answer to that question. But I suspect you mean regarding Flash .
I think that would be "The Gooberstory". I was quite new to flash when I began with that project. It took me on a journey through flash and I got to know its inner secrets. There are loads of ways I could have done it differently today. I had a vision and it took me about one year to make it, from the first sketch to the finished film. I was tired of flash for 6 months after that, but it was worth every itching second.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
There are quite a few of them, the problem for me is to make prioroties. But my major project is a real fairy-tale story, "Nim's journey". I am constantly developing the story and the characters. This will be a huge project and might as well end up as a feature film in the end. Nim´s winter tale takes place in the same world, and Nim will be one of the main figures.
Another project (a short film) I am working on now is "Sumo the Bamboo man", this idea I got while working in Guinea-Bissau, West-Africa, seven years ago. At that time it was just a one-page cartoon. Now I am bringing him to life using flash and photoshop.
What software couldn't you live without?
That is a tricky question, I think my answer would be Flash, though Photoshop is equally as important to me. So if I could choose both, I would.
Who is your target audience?
I am trying to reach those people who often do not use the internet because it is unispiring, stressfull and ugly. I believe in, contrary to many experts, that internet is not all about speed. Getting there, doing that, bite your fingernails, rush on. I believe that we do have the time for the internet, if we give it time.
And to give it time, we have to like what we see and like what we hear.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
It is hard to say, but if I have to choose among a bunch of them I might say: Blitz Digital Studio, Paregos, and 2advanced
What area of web design lacks the most?
I would like to see more ideas of how to use the space on the screen. Many pages fill up all the way to the browser edge. I think the content of the site needs some space around it, like paintings in a gallery.
It took me three years to realise that what I really wanted was an oval shaped website. I made quite a few brave attempts with rectangular ones, they were never really finished and were all discarded.
I never knew what the problem was. It just struck me one day, it was the form, it had to be oval.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Many people visit my site and watch the films. The traffic is like a roller coaster, one day 80 visitors, the next 2000. It all depends. But the design makes the difference, if people don't like what I do, I would not have that many visitors.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
No, I have not. I have thought about it, I would like to. It is all time and money right now.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I have put it up exclusively for you so that you can marvel at this splendid creation (I will probably regret it).
Please notice the very user-friendly design and the very logical navigation. As well as the wonderful midi music "Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy".
I went on an HTML course, a really basic one, and since then I think I have developed my web-skills somewhat.
This is were you will find it: http://www.goober.nu/websites/1/index.htm
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
There were many elements in "The Gooberstory" that I worked on for some time. I was not that good at flash then, so everything was quite a challenge. It is mostly little things that one really might not notice.
One is the little bumblebee who flies around in a three dimensional way. All is done with shape tweens in flash. I had a hard time handling those shape hints.
You can find another piece in the intro to my flash site, the firefly. I wanted it, like the bumblebee, to turn away from the camera while flying off to the left. The tricky part was to make the wings look like wings, soft and a little transparent, whilst still buzzing.
Now I know a lot more, so I think most of it can be done, it just takes a lot of time.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I hope so, and I believe so. I do not know if I will continue making cartoons with flash for all eternity. Flash has great problems in handling bitmapped images, like zooming, panning, etc. And I use a lot of these. When I feel I have reached the borderlands of flash I might swap to another program.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I participated in a basic flash course once, but I forgot most of it. Later on I started to fiddle around by myself. It was Christmas 1999 and I felt like making a Christmas card. That developed into "A Christmas tale" and that was the beginning of my animation career. Since then I have continued to explore the program.
I find some ideas here and there, a couple of great sites for resources and forums are: flashkit.com and flashfilmmaker.com
I am not really a designer, I know what looks good, but it is tough to get there. I like to make things cozy, I want to be in places where I can be inspired. A good bit of advice is to find a site that gives you that feeling. Ask yourself the question, why do I like this place? Is it because cool things happen, does it make me feel relaxed, is it the colours? the sound? or is it everything at once?
If you find such a place, then be inspired by it and try to make a similar one yourself. Begin slow and easy, one step at a time. Do not rush it. If it does not feel right, then you have to change it. That means you are already developing, you at least know what you do not like.
Check out the forums, there are loads of people who enjoy helping people for free. You can usually find the answer to our question in earlier posts on in a specific forum.
Another great site for forums and tutorials are were-here.com
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I do all of my flashing in my spare time. But I hope that one day I can do it for a living.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
I would like to wish everyone the best of luck on their journey towards realizing their dreams. And thank you so much for being a part in mine.