.

The first professional site I did was for a waste disposal company. I remember designing the page for a 10-seat porta-potti. The web business is still as glamorous today.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Lasse Bjurman, currently 32 years old and live in Stockholm, Sweden with my girlfriend and my 4,5 bikes.

I work as an Art Director at B-Reel creating real fantasies and faked realities for all our sweet clients.

My first encounter with computer aided "design" was in 1983 with the eminent film ”National Lampoons Vacation” starring Chevy Chase where the family son reprograms his pac-man to attack his sisters video game.

And it all seemed so easy -You could just point with the joystick to tell it where to go.

So when I got my first VIC20 that same year for Christmas I was a little dejected when I understood that you actually had to write at least 960 lines of strange code just to play Snake.

In 1997 after some years in school I entered the sprouting Swedish web design market and in 2002 I took one of the best decisions in my life and joined B-Reel.

Mainly because of their unique mix of talents and their multitude in design disciplines and also for being genuine nice people.

  What do you do for inspiration?

Apart from all the obvious stuff that everybody does (films, fwa-lurking, art exhibitions etc. ), I love to work non-artistically with my hands and off the computer.

I usually hammer on my pick-up truck and tinker on my downhill bikes. Downhill biking is a really good way of being reminded of your own mortality which usually works as a good kick in the butt.

A never ending inspiration is nature and I try to spend as much time as possible in the summertime outdoors. We're lucky in Stockholm to have nature as close as we do.

And I've found that one of the most counter productive ways to get inspired is to try to get inspired.

Usually it's just better to put the tools down for a while and think of something completely different. Or it might just be me being lazy.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Wow, that probably depends on when you ask me. This morning: getting up.

Last year: DearMrB.se which was a really a new type of project for me. Designing a 6 minute short movie in Flash that was directly addressed to the head of the EU council isn't your everyday task.

But it was cool and I learnt a heap from it. Every project we do at B-Reel feels really unique these days.

  What software couldn't you live without?

Photoshop; lying gets so much easier with this. And it's great learning new magic stuff every single day.

After Effects: next best thing to sliced bread. When they improve the bridge to flash we'll see even more beautifully executed motion graphics coming out online.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Oh, it's a secret as always but it's a mix of local, international clients for cars, freezers and an online TV platform.

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

I've always appreciated Mk12 and their work for years. They have a great mix in what they do and have a very special soul to their look.

New but vintage, smooth but crude and always spiced up with just the right amount of humor Shynola is one of the brightest guiding stars up there and all they do is 24k solid gold.

Wefail is a favourite for their very special what-the-hell attitude to design and animation even though they feel a little single-track minded in the long run.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Very different depending on the type of project and client.

It certainly depends a lot if the campaigns are integrated in other media. But it's always flattering when you develop a site based on the user’s creativity and contributions and you get to see the first works being submitted.

We did the Kalles Kaviar site that you featured here on the FWA which simply lets the visitor play around with a very traditional Swedish product (sandwich caviar) and it was really amazing to see the creativity among people.

We even found at least one marriage proposal among the 140.000 contributions. Wonder if it worked out ok for that girl.

  Who is your target audience?

It might sound boring, but everybody really.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

Copy-cat design. Sadly I don’t think it will ever catch up with the originals.

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

That was probably an old school project that is fortunately offline and the backup copy is hopefully burnt.

The first professional site I did was for a waste disposal company. I remember designing the page for a 10-seat porta-potti. The web business is still as glamorous today.

One of the hardest projects I did in the early days was a anti-designed campaign which was supposed to look as if a family-dad-moron did it.

I remember it as being fairly easy to get into character, but somehow it was surprisingly hard to make all those flaming logos.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Of course. Is this still a valid question?

  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 definitely think there are great possibilitiess for talented people to succeed in whatever they want.

Schools are great for giving space and time for training but there is nothing compared to learning through hard work experience.

The added reality of client/time/money is usually hard to simulate.

But schools have really improved their understanding for digital design over the years and today there are some really great choices out there.

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

Doing great work showing your creativity and talents.

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

Through hard work and doing lots of mistakes.

There are usually millions of ways to get to the same visual result but some of them are faster smarter and just better looking. Listen to and learn from your colleagues and competitors.

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

A new kitchen that I'm building in my spare time. It's glossy white and full of secret doors. Building it is like playing with LEGO, just add powertools.

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

I really like limited stuff and collaboration editions. Like the X-Large/Alpha or the Michael Leon/DC.

I also like stuff that is practical and that last for at least 15 years cause I’m heavy on wear and tear.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Never stop being curious and remember to have fun.

  It's been a privilege, thanks very much

Oh, I'm honoured too


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