A site really has to catch my eye in order for me to take the time to figure out who did it. I'm just coming out of that mentality where I'm amazed we get paid at all to do what we do.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

My name is Brian Miller and I am currently an Art Director at Juxt Interactive in Newport Beach.

I've been designing since graduating highschool and eventually worked my way through the field to Juxt. I attended Biola University and majored in Graphic Design and minored in Biblical Studies. I'm married to a beautiful girl named Brittany and together we reside in Tustin, CA.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I love to draw, watch movies, read books, and surf the web for inspiration. I do a lot of my stuff based off a mood or feeling I get after finding inspiration through hours of exploring (which is the artistic way of saying I drag junk around on a blank canvas until I come up with an idea).

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

I don't really have too many favorites - these are the sites I visit a lot - some for their aesthetic quality, some for their content, and all because the art and inspiration behind all of them is really contagious.




  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

In the design world I think my biggest achievement has been knowing where I want to go and having the drive to get there.

God blessed me with many opportunities to get around people who have the same ideals and work ethic as I do - so I've been able to thrive in an environment where hard work and determination pay off.

It's also been a very humbling experience but one that has been very enriching.

  What software couldn't you live without?

Illustrator and Photoshop

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

For the past few months I've been working on a lot of pitch work - so nothing new has launched in a while.

The last two projects I was able to work on and am able to show are the Mark Hoppus Blog site and the micro site we did for Fuse TV

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

I don't actually keep up with a lot of design shops out there - I'm notoriously bad at knowing names of firms and who did what.

A site really has to catch my eye in order for me to take the time to figure out who did it. I'm just coming out of that mentality where I'm amazed we get paid at all to do what we do.

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

Wow. My first website was for a cable company in Colorado - I believe it was called Cabletime or something like that.

We made the whole site retro with lots of 50's style illustrations and a TV remote for the navigation (at the time it sounded like a revolutionary idea).

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

Not yet - but in 5-10 years I hope to be able to publish a few illustration books - whether it's graphic novels, comics, or whatever.

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

For me the toughest thing I did with flash was learning it. I never really got into action script too deep and never really had a desire to.

So I'm constantly amazed to peek over the shoulders of the awesome developers we have here to see what kind of stuff they're working on.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Definitely seems like it is.

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

Speaking from firsthand experience, I do not believe someone needs design school to get into the field.

I ended up going to a few different schools only to realize too late that school isn't the be all end all solution to learning the trade of graphic design.

Maybe it was when my school was actually charging me close to 1200 bucks to go out on my own and get a non-paying internship for 4 months that I realized this. . . or perhaps it was when I was staring down the barrel of a very sizable student loan payment realizing that even with a significant paycheck, I wasn't going to be paying this off until I was 30. . .

Either way, if I could do it all over again, I would have saved the money I took out in loans and just started from the very bottom at a good agency willing to help me learn, like Juxt.

The only time school will give you an advantage is if you are extremely focused on knowing what you need to learn in order to succeed in your field.

The only way to do that is to actually have experience in your field to see what you're good at and what you need to work on. Without that focus, school will be too general an experience - and you'll end up having to start from the ground up anyway.

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

Doing good work and getting it done ON TIME is HUGE. It creates a good reputation that people will talk about - and through those talks comes good referrals.

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

I learned almost all of what I know technically by just opening up the program and experimenting like crazy.

I would constantly look to people who I knew were good and study their work - trying to dissect and understand what they did that made their stuff so good. Emulation can do wonders for people trying to learn.

Once I had a set of skills that would get me a job doing what I loved, I worked harder at honing them by operating under the rigors and challenges of a work environment. Getting things done so they looked good was one thing - getting them done in a timely manner was another.

You won't learn that until you practice it though.

My advice to newbies is to just go out there and do it. No one is going to give you a chance until they see that you're willing to work hard for it without the reward.

You have to love what you're doing whether you're getting paid for it or not. Once you have that passion, it'll drive you to great places.

Make fake projects for yourself and have people hold you accountable to getting them done in a specific amount of time.

Get internships and learn from those above you who are willing to pass down their knowledge.

Avoid going into debt for education because in the end, a diploma won't get you a job. You still need to have the skills and the work to back you.

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

My student loan payment. Lame I know. . . but this weekend it might be a Nintendo DS Lite!!

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

I'm not a labels man at all. I literally buy all my clothes from target.

I'd wear the same outfit every day for the rest of my life if I could (even now I try to get away with that until my clothes stink so bad my wife forces me to wash them)

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

All that I have is empty without my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. He alone deserves the glory.

  It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Thanks for the opportunity!

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