Just bought myself a new paintball gun. I play paintball every weekend and find it to be a great stress release to light some people up with paint.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Yo! My name is James Begera, 27, 6ft and stylin playa:) Born, raised and still reprazenting in Miami Florida, USA where the sun is hot and the drinks are cold. I am a fulltime pixel pusher and started in the design industry in the early nineties experimenting in different areas of design, architecture, urban and industrial design till I was introduced to the web.

Being fresh from school I quickly started learning the web and started working at a few firms. Then flash came along and I was hooked on it forever. I decided to further my creative disciplines by engaging in my own project that was started in 1999 as an online experimental project called WEBAGENT007.

After working at a few firms I decided that it was great experience but I needed to branch out on my own venture. I then decided to move forward and make WA007 an agency in 2002. I knew that by opening my own studio I could concentrate on my design discipline and share the work from the studio to the world.

As founder and Creative Director at WA007 I have turned this Miami based interactive agency into a worldwide virtual studio. I have also had great experience being able to meet other talented people throughout the world who have collaborated with me on projects. I am happy that with all the hard work, I can do what I love and keep my pimp hand strong.

  What do you do for inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration will come from the strangest things like commercials, magazine ads (HUSTLER PREFERABLY) :) I really like looking at what designers do when developing interfaces for DVDs and games or the opening credits of movies and trailers. A few of my favorite studio titles: Akira, Robotech, TRON, Final Fantasy, Toy Story, Terminator, Aliens, Scarface, Goodfellas, Casino, and Matrix.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

To get my daily dose in design news I always check out FWA of course, then over to styleboost and Ultrashock. Then, for everything else just Google it yo.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I would have to say building the new studio into what it is now and creating the new site for WA007. I really have had a great year even with the fact that a lot of companies were laying off or going under while I still cranked out a lot of great work for the portfolio. I feel really happy with the way things have been going for WA007 and being able to do projects that will make the studio grow in the future.

  What software couldn't you live without?

Man that’s a hard one! I would have to say Flash and Photoshop.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Right now I have a lot going on in the studio and a lot of fun projects that may be coming in. Doing a redesign for DUB and doing the new Latrell Sprewell site for his motor sports shop in California. BMG, Warner Brothers and Capitol records looking at us to do a few group sites in the upcoming months as well.

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

I wish I could put it in a top 3 but there's so much good talent in so many areas that I can not just list 3.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Because of the WA007 site being a great resource for design it tends to get constant traffic which is great for the studio and the clients we feature.

  Who is your target audience?

I would say WA007 is for everyone because we do not direct our work to a certain audience. It’s an experience for everyone to enjoy so you either like it or don’t .

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I think that the first major problem with web design is attention to detail on design and in programming. I would also say audio is what lacks in a lot of design because it can provide even more impact with visuals.

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

Man it was so sci-fi. I had spinning planets that I did in 3d and had them spinning in gif builder yooohoo. No flash then buddy. My oldest site that I have on record is still online which was my own portfolio site. Check it out yo Jamesworld.com 1997

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

I have been in a few magazines and featured in a couple of books for my work. As far as sitting and writing that may never happen because I am not much of a writer. I wish I could give back to the community more but it just seams to be impossible for a workaholic like me.

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

I would have to say the new version of WA007 because of the amount of design flash production I had to do in between other project deadlines. It took me around a year to finish the whole thing from doing the initial 10 concept ideas to every little detail in the flash design. I am still doing updates to it monthly and making additions in the near future to keep it fresh for all the people out there looking for some pixel freshness.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

FOR SURE. Its capabilities are endless and keep growing. I think Flash is the standard for anything that is rich in interactivity and functionality. I just see it evolving just like any other application like Photoshop and will help us produce better projects in the future.

  What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

I believe school is good for learning the foundations. I learned traditional design and art in high school and in college I learned the tools to produce the ideas. I do not believe that school can teach you to be a design guru. It takes years of experience and practice just like anything to be good at it. I have been doing this stuff for over 8 years and I am still learning everyday so it’s a constant learning curve because the technology is always evolving.

  When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

I found whatever work you do make sure you give it your all because whatever project you do reflects on you and how you handled that client. Good experiences with clients can only bring more clients. All my business is usually referral from other clients I have done work with in the past. Self-promotion and making your brand strong online is very important as well in the eyes of prospective clients.

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

With all my skills I have been self-taught. I have found a lot of tricks and ideas from experimenting with the tools and from other designer friends and the internet. I try to keep tabs on what's going on in the industry from going on developer sites, talking to friends and reading through books.

My advice for newbies would be whenever you try to do something just have a open mind and be creative. The tools can do almost anything but it’s the passion and dedication that helps you execute those ideas.

  What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?

Just bought myself a new paintball gun. I play paintball every weekend and find it to be a great stress release to light some people up with paint.

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

All about the labels yo. Can’t be a pimp without labels and 20’s http://www.webagent007.com/drop/lexus_1.jpg

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Don’t listen to what other people think. Just believe in your ideas, be dedicated and push them pixels.

  It's been a privilege, James, thanks very much.

Thanks FWA for the interview. Its been fun and now its time for a drink.

Cheers and Beers- James Begera /// WA007

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