.

My advice to any newbie would be to realise how committed you must be to succeed – if they want any easy ride, go flip burgers!

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Hi, my name is Matjaz Valentar; I am 31 years old, born and living in Slovenia. I'm the co-founder of Webshocker a new media agency.

I became interested in web design nine years ago, experimenting in Flash and html. Work at this time involved pizza delivery, working in gas stations and getting by anyway I could really.

With a dream of one day becoming a successful website designer, spare time was dedicated to spending hour after hour in front of my PC or with my head in a 'how to' book.

After a year or so, I gained enough skills and confidence and freelanced for five years.

Then in 2003, (along with my 'like minded' friend Grega), I established Webshocker new media agency, three years on I am doing an interview for the FWA...wow!

  What do you do for inspiration?

Look and learn… Anyone can gain inspiration from their ordinary day-to-day life. Be aware of things happening around you, whether it's on TV, the Internet or just walking down the street!

  Please list 3 of your favorite sites.

I guess the FWA website is one of my favorites. It's definitely the most frequent one I visit, usually in the morning over a coffee.

What were your favorite sites one week are not necessarily your favorites sites today. So 'today' I like:

http://beyes.jp/recommend/20/

http://www.hiltonjourneys.com

http://justforthefofit.com/

Ask me again tomorrow…the list may change :)

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Hmm, I'll tell you that in 30 years… So far I'm really proud that Webshocker has become a known player in the web design industry and that my job is also my hobby.

  What software couldn't you live without?

Photoshop and of course Flash – Long may they live… I couldn't face another pizza delivery :)!

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We're in the final stage of developing a innovative media-rich website for Fletcher Chicago.

We also design and develop a number of projects for Elan Skis and have a number of exciting opportunities ahead working in conjunction with our UK partners – Cloud Nine Design.

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

A: I like the work of many design companies and individuals from around the globe. It's really hard to name just three but here goes:

www.fantasy-interactive.com

www.northkingdom.com

www.group94.com

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

If any of our work features on sites like this, our traffic increases a lot! – thank you for the exposure guys!

  Who is your target audience?

Very difficult to answer actually…Our clients tend to target us I guess. If they like what we do, they get in touch.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I must say it has to be audio. Something we will be addressing in the near future.

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

You want the truth? Ok, it was TERRIBLE! I believe it was produced using Flash 3.

No, it's not still online, it was taken offline by the 'bad taste' Internet. I pleaded guilty and they let me off with a caution :).

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

No I haven't, but you never know, maybe I will someday when the days last 28 hours and not 24?

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

Hmm, I must say our latest project for Fletcher Chicago was very challenging and the toughest one to date. It'll be online very soon and when you see it, you'll know what I mean!

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Definitely! People like me have spent too many sleepless nights trying to master it, so let’s hope it's here to stay.

  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 guess I can use my own career path to say that spending years studying at college or university is not compulsory to succeed in life.

Dedication, patience and a passion for design are the most important factors in my opinion.

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

Our portfolio without doubt won (and still wins) the work. It also helps if you have good communication skills.

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

Lots and lots of sleepless nights behind the computer, experimenting and learning from mistakes.

My advice to any newbie would be to realise how committed you must be to succeed – if they want any easy ride, go flip burgers!

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

A speeding ticket when I was running late for a meeting!

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

I'm afraid comfort comes before vanity in our office and we certainly were not born in the label stable.

When you spend all-day sat in front of a PC you want to be wearing what you feel comfortable in.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Just follow your dream, work hard and of course have fun!

  It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

A: Thank you. It's an honor.


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