We usually work in our underpants; it's company policy for our employees to wear only underpants and it's only fair we lead by example.
Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.
Sam Lanyon Jones
1976-onwards: Uphill struggle.
1973-onwards: Uphill struggle.
What do you do for inspiration?
Surf the net, read books and watch movies. Taking time off is really important to me and sometimes creatively is far better that looking at other peoples work.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
It changes all the time and it’s not so much the sites as the work exhibited that has always impressed me. Here’s some sites that always inspire awe:
If any of you are reading this, hello.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Owning an underground laboratory maintained by a squadron of athletic schoolgirls.
What software couldn't you live without?
The Swift 3D Plugin for 3D Studio Max.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Things are going pretty crazy at the moment. We are working for the next couple of months on something a bit like the drummachine but more ambitious. Two groups of characters battling for audio supremacy. We are really enjoying it and can't wait to unleash it upon the world.
The completion of tokyoplastic 2.
Remember the bloody robots from tokyoplastic 1? They are going to be blown up big and put on canvasses. Unique prints that will be created bespoke for anyone with enough money. Well not quite, we are trying to make it as cheap and accessible as possible. You can buy one if you like :D
We are working with Nick Toons to bring the drummachine to television.
And we are collaborating with www.flying-cat.com on something but it’s all a big secret at the moment. If you live in Hong Kong you may have seen the adverts in 'Playground' ;)
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
It varies hugely, sometimes things go nuts and sometimes they don't. The whole drummachine thing was an example of that. It was being hosted in two or three places other than our site and we released the final version a long time after the first wave of people saw it.
As result a great deal of the traffic didn't come through our site but then thanks to the fantastic publicity that the Sundance Film Festival and Rockstar Game gave us we reached a wider audience than we would have been able to otherwise and landed some great work.
Who is your target audience?
Us. We haven't a clue what sort of other people like our work.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Pornographic websites are terrible and they could be so cool. We have never really regarded ourselves as web designers though so we aren't about to do anything about it.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
We hope to contribute to some books in the near future, mostly on Flash / Internet design. But no not yet.
It would be awesome to put together a book of our work and we were in Pictoplasma 2, which is beautiful, buy it.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
The toughest work we have ever done is on the second tokyoplastic. Some of it has been a total nightmare and so far it has taken the best part of a year. Hopefully you'll be able to see why.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Yeah absolutely. Vector graphics are not going away and as far as vectors go there is currently no viable alternative. Any other product (if released by anyone other than Macromedia) is going to have a lot of catching up to do.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
My biggest problem with schools is that they attract so many teachers and so many teachers are just terrible. It is an old paradigm that people that can’t do teach, but sadly and especially in creative fields this seems (but for a few notable exceptions) to be the case. Besides this I believe schools are excellent, they give you an opportunity to work alongside your contemporaries, to build relationships and make contacts that would be otherwise inaccessible.
However I genuinely believe you needn't attend in order to be successful, I feel one of the best things about the www is that it lacks that incestuous hierarchy that almost all other design / art / film industries are rife with. If talented anyone can and ultimately will be recognised.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Initially traffic; if you are getting a lot of it then something is going right. Once people contact you I think you have to play it by ear.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I learnt by sitting at my computer sweating and screaming and slowly going mad and then following some tutorials. It's like that creative block that hits so often when you start something new, you have to work it out for yourself when to work through it (most of the time for me) and when to take a break from it all and go naked skydiving (sadly not as often as I'd like).
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
A new uniform for the employees.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you labels men?
We usually work in our underpants, it’s company policy for our employees to wear only underpants and its only fair we lead by example.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Alan Chow is a dude. If you ever have the chance then work with him.
It's been a privilege, thanks very much.
The pleasure is all ours :D