When it comes to web design, that's easy. I visit FWA of course, then run in a circle around my desk...
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I was born in Brussels, Belgium 34 years ago, on the 5th of March 1971.
I started to use computers 9 years ago, at that time, I had built a recording studio and my main occupation was to play and record music.
I turned to the computer and quite naturally discovered 3D (and its unfortunate intrinsic slowness) in an attempt to draw worlds and images to put on the music I was doing.
Ironically from that point the excitement and learning process was so overwhelming that I have hardly played any music since then :(
Today, I still wonder sometimes how I ended up doing web design.
What do you do for inspiration?
Mmh.. When it comes to web design, that’s easy. I visit FWA of course, then run in a circle around my desk…
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
Beside the obvious ones most web designer visit daily, here are three from my favorites that illustrate well the originality, ergonomics and minimalism.
and this last one just because I've always loved trees
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
I’m investing much energy in Youki at the moment; let’s call it my biggest achievement wannabe.
I invite everyone to visit it, create their free Youki and share their idea on what could be improved with it.
What software couldn't you live without?
Hopefully I can live with the computer turned off (actually, I should try that someday ..)
Seriously, I probably use the same software as every web designer with a few additions for my animations jobs.
I also believe none are irreplaceable... with a little training.
Now that I think of it, contrarily there are a few ones that I definitely _could_ live without (if there was a alternative solution).
Illustrator for example, after all theses years it still is the only application I can't use without cursing and swearing out loud a few times...
I'd be glad to hear about any alternative for it.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
More Youki features, more Youki styles, more Youkis.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Beat me, I can’t even name one :(
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Hopefully a good one.
What area of web design lacks the most?
If we take a few steps back, current web languages and technologies (or computers in general) can be considered still being at their very early stage of development.(and do seem pretty archaic to me by many aspects).
Yet we are quite often faced with a rampant conformism encouraged by a very large public (not something we can see when visiting FWA of course).
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
What a laugh! I wish we could just see it. It’s not online anymore and it probably got erased in one of my very early hd catastrophes (It had a very sustained smell of animated gif if I recall).
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
No.and I actually rather play some music.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
When it gets really tough in flash, I call my brother.
You have no idea how convenient it is to have a brother that can’t spell a phrase without adding a few mathematical formulas in it. (you can tell HE didn't leave school at 16).
The toughest things for me are actually much more related to the bunch of awful things (ie: browsers/platforms/plug-in bugs workarounds) that one has to go through to make a web application cross browser/system compliant and secure.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I guess so, yes.
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 self formed myself, I’d say yes.(I’m such a bad example though, having left school pretty illegally early).
I'm a little unsure about what you're supposed to learn in schools...
But I have discovered webdesign to be quite an extensive thing to learn if you try to cover all the aspects by yourself; from customer-contact/information and analysis to design and integration, there's plenty of room for learning.
I somehow consider "trial & error" to be a pretty good pattern for efficient learning; and if you happen to cumulate web marketing/design/integration with 3d modeling/animation/lighting you're getting yourself an enormous playground for trial and errors...
The fun part being that if you don't constantly get in touch with new related technologies you'll soon start to feel pretty lonely in your playground and if you still have some free time left with that? Well, go hug a tree for me please.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Word of mouth. I’m not sure what they were saying though. :)
Looking back, it could have been “this guy is so kind, he must be stupid, what a bargain !, etc..”
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Easy, I stayed sitting 16 hours a day in front of my computer for a few years.
Some advice: Don't pretend to do it all by yourself, you'll end up spending 16 hours a day in front of your computer.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
5 x 400GB Hard disks to upgrade my raid system exequo with a trip to Paris.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Please don't take it all too seriously. Self-derision can be such a highly sympathetic trait of character.
It's been a privilege, thanks very much.
The privilege was mine, thank you and again, thanks to FWA for the award and congrats for the new site, now, that _has_ to have an impact on traffic ;)