Do not get discouraged. Flash has a steep learning curve. Accept that and stick with it. It's an amazing piece of software with endless potential.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Hi. I'm Dave. I'm the Interaction Director at POP in Seattle, Washington.

I've been with POP for 10 years now and working with Flash since it's inception as FutureSplash.

I hail from the southeast and hold a BFA in printmaking from the University of Georgia.

I developed an infatuation with 'all things internet' after the bottom temporarily fell out of the local film/tv industry way back in 1994-1995.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I like to read. Reading clears the gunk out of my mind and helps me focus.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

At the moment I'm healthily obsessed with:

1. Digg

2. Lifehacker

3. Newsvine

Wait, none of those are flash sites.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

It would have to be my duration at POP. I'm very fortunate to have such a great job and to work alongside such an amazing pool of talented people.

  What software couldn't you live without?

My email programs (Entourage & gMail) and iTunes, the first things I fire up every day no, matter what.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Well, we do a lot of work for Nintendo and this could be a very important year for them. We have some great projects for '06 in the kitty, but nothing I can mention out loud right now.

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

Based on consistently impressive flash work:

North Kingdom

Soleil Noir

and the WEFAIL guys, I love their sense of humor.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Depends on the client's wants and needs. For someone like Nintendo, they know up front that their servers are going to be hammered when a site launches, so they're prepared for it, and we do everything in our power to keep file sizes in check.

  Who is your target audience?

Again, it all depends upon the client/project. I can't imagine a demographic exists that we haven't targeted at one time or another... Hold on, have the numbers on internet-use-by-infants gone up drastically in the past few days?

  What area of web design lacks the most?

Simplicity/Ease of use.

A site needs to look good, feel good, and make sense to the user. Flow is very important to a Flash designer and often overlooked.

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

Funny question. My very first site was the Caustic Seattle Compendium, "an unflinching urban guide to Seattle living." It was the Citysearch of its time.

Of course, at that time Citysearch was Sidewalk, and Sidewalk followed me. When Sidewalk launched I remember thinking, "Oh crap... There goes the neighborhood."

As far as looks go, the initial build relied very heavily on the "punch label" font. Very 1995. Yikes.

Still online? Nope, long gone. I felt really horrible about it, but I had to let it slowly wither away. There was interest in publishing the content in book form, but it didn't pan out.

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

Nothing flash-related... I did self publish some art books in college, does that count?

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

POP did a project for an MSN 'channel' with John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, many years back (96-97) that never saw the light of day.

Weekend Pussy Hunt would have been one of the first interactive comics to hit the web.

For nearly six months I was fed original art, audio, and animatics from Spumco.

It was my job to get everything into Flash (while preserving the integrity of the line!) and rough the animation out. Once that was done, I would shoot my FLAs back to Spumco for John's team to finalize.

Unfortunately (and even though we had a few episodes in the can), MSN changed gears and the project got shelved. Sad yes, but being a huge comics/animation fan, the whole experience was a dream come true.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

I don't see a direct threat to Flash on the horizon and Flash is so agile that it can be incorporated into relatively new (or old depending on how look at it) technologies like AJAX.

As long as we continue to push in new directions and create unique user experiences, Flash will remain an integral part of every designer's toolbox.

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

Passion for what you do, a strong portfolio, and a good personality speak volumes.

Whether you pick that up in school or on the streets, your attitude and abilities matter most.

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

I wasn't responsible for bringing in new business, but I know that our willingness to delve into uncharted territory helped shape our growth.

We were scrappy and never afraid to tackle a seemingly impossible project.

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

For all the young 'uns out there, I'd like to pass on these sage words of advice;

Do not get discouraged. Flash has a steep learning curve. Accept that and stick with it. It's an amazing piece of software with endless potential.

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

Drinks at the Sunset Tavern when a big horde of us went to see Llama.

Rusty Willoughby fronts Llama, he used to work at Pop, but recently moved to Arizona. In case Rusty reads this, "I go pancakes house!"

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

No labels for me. If my wife would let me, I would wear the exact same thing (tshirt, jeans, flip-flops) every day of my life.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

To quote Groucho Marx, "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

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

Thank you Rob, I appreciate the opportunity. All the best to FWA and thank you for your support.

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