I still use Photoshop 6 and Illustrator 9. CS? Does it stand for Cheese Steak?
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Nanahiro Wada, I live in Tokyo Japan.
I majored in Graphic Design at Tyler school of Art in Pennsylvania U.S. Currently I’m enrolled in the Masters Program in Visual communication design at the University of Tsukuba.
After working as a web designer in a design studio, I became a freelance and started teaching at a design institute in Tokyo.
Currently, I am a student, a freelance designer, an artist, and a teacher.
When I was in the United States, my English was pretty poor, and thus, I had a hard time making new friends.
When I bought my first computer, it didn’t take long before I became a computer geek.
I spent a lot of time surfing the web, and I had the chance to see some really cool design, such as Praystaion, Yugo Nakamura, FutureFarmers and many others.
So many great artists inspired me.
After I finished school and became a web-designer, I noticed that the real web-design world was very different from what I imagined. The difference between the great artists and myself was the idea of “creating original”.
After a year of working, I quit my job and started to make my own work, always looking for my own design.
What do you do for inspiration?
I read books, watch films, sleep (a lot), and draw something.
I don’t do anything special. Since most of my work is art based, which demands no client, I don’t usually have deadline.
So, if I lack inspiration or don’t feel like making anything, I don’t make anything.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
These are my heroes from my college days.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
My only animation work MIMI was the biggest achievement even though the work is not matured or completed.
It was my first real creative work. Before MIMI, I was working at a design studio where I made simple ”fade in” and “fade out” for stupid advertisement companies.
What software couldn't you live without?
Of course Flash. AND WINDOWS!!!
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I am trying to connect web and other media or methods somehow. My new project will be a mixture of books, installations, and the web.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
I don’t know. I don’t care about companies.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Well, this is very interesting. My newest website, “memory park”, was released last August, and in 4 months, it only got 50 visitors. Traffic volume does not bother me so much because, I just want to show my work to people interested in my style.
However, 50 people in 4 months were so little and, I was kind of worried. After it was shown on FWA, it got thousands of visitors every week. Now I feel alright.
Who is your target audience?
People who like my style.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Well, I think the web still lacks artists. There are more than enough web designers, but artists who work on their own projects are few.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I used geocities to create my first portfolio site. Since I didn’t know any HTML or Flash, I created it with Image Ready.
Well, it is not online anymore. If it were, I would be very ashamed.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
My next step is to create picture book, those who are reading this interview and working with publishers, please give me an e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Every time I work on Flash, I have some difficulty because I always seek something new.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I think Flash8 exceeded my ability, and covers most of what I want. Flash will be upgraded more, but it is enough for me.
I am not a big fan of technology, I still use Photoshop 6 and Illustrator 9. CS? Does it stand for Cheese Steak?
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Technically, you don’t need to go school to learn web design.
However, you should go because you will make a lot of friends who will help you in a long run.
Also, you will compete among them, and then you will improve.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Well unlike other designers here, I don’t belong to a company or run my own.
That means I never tried to acquire clients. Usually people who like my website e-mail me and ask to create something with my own style. I am successful in this way.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I am always learning.
My Flash/actionscript skill is not enough. I kind of gave up learning on being a hardcore Flash/actionsript programmer.
I try to cover this “lack” with other skills such as drawing, sound, or simply, ideas.
If you want to learn Flash, all you need is buy a book and check tutorials websites. If you want to be creative with Flash, you should be an artist.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
I bought this for my friend. About $10.00
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I always wear Diesel Jeans. I like the label cause they are creating cooool websites.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
If you want to learn Flash, and webdesign, you should go to Temple University Tyler school of art.
It's been a privilege, thanks very much.
Thank you very much. I really enjoyed.