.

Winning best costume, most original act and third place in the Yarrawonga talent contest when I was 14 by dressing up in a chicken costume and telling really bad chicken jokes.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I’m the creative director and co owner of Visual Jazz.

I grew up in the small town of Yarrawonga and then moved to Melbourne when I was 18 to study a Multimedia degree at Swinburne University. Somehow I passed that and then went on to start Visual Jazz with my good friend Konrad Spilva.

Our plan was to make some money and travel overseas together but that didn’t work out, and as our business became a success we stuck around to work.

7 years later I find myself in the same situation be it a little older and hopefully wiser and Visual Jazz has grown to about 40 people with a client list that includes Australian Defence Force Recruiting, Holden Australia, Porter Davis Homes and a whole bunch of women’s shoe brands like Shoobiz, Scooter and Mollini.

  What do you do for inspiration?

It usually finds me, sometimes over a beer or sometimes when I’m trying to get to sleep. At work I often try looking at the FWA site of the day or “Borrowing” ideas from my work mates.

Failing that there’s always Eye of the Tiger ….. “Dant dant dant dant dido didoo dido doo, Eye of the tiger!”

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

http://www.google.com.au/

http://www.youtube.com/

http://www.apple.com/trailers

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Winning best costume, most original act and third place in the Yarrawonga talent contest when I was 14 by dressing up in a chicken costume and telling really bad chicken jokes.

Oh and running a successful company which allows me to work with some really talented people and enjoy going to work each day.

  What software couldn't you live without?

I don’t think there is any software I couldn’t live without, but I would miss:

Itunes - Music makes me happy.

Outlook - As much as I hate outlook I would be totally screwed without my calendar and task lists.

Flash and Photoshop - That’s how I get money to buy stuff.

FIFA on the Xbox 360 - I think I’m addicted.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We are busy working on a couple of multiplayer flash games for the Australian Defence Force and a new Visual Jazz website, which is the job I always find the hardest to finish.

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

I tend to like the work of:

http://www.psyop.tv

http://www.bigspaceship.com

http://www.wefail.com

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

As we just won the Holden account in Australia I’m hoping our new designs will mean more Holden’s on the road.

  Who is your target audience?

For this interview I’m guessing mostly other web designers, but you would probably know better…

  What area of web design lacks the most?

Good functioning flash sites that improve the user’s experience and have lots of interactivity without it getting in the way.

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

It looked like a strange beer drinking contraption floating in space and it’s still online. Mmmmmm beer

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

I once wrote a book in pre school I think it was called “Super Frog” it was sweet. It was the story of one super frog’s journey from a pond to my house. I thought about writing a sequel but I’m struggling with the illustrations and don’t think I could top the last one.

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

The toughest thing we have done with flash hasn’t even gone online, it was the new scoreboard system for the Melbourne Cricket Ground which uses a wireless Wacom tablet with a custom flash interface to handle all of the scoring at the ground.

I sure hope it works ok during the up coming tests and Australia can win the Ashes back.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yeah it’s definitely here to stay, but I can’t wait until it gets a true 3D engine.

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

Yep, it’s all folio, folio, folio and contacts. Actually come to think of it I got both those things at school so although I don’t think its necessary to have a degree it’s probably a good start.

The piece of paper at the end doesn’t mater, in fact we rarely look at resumes when hiring, we judge people by their folios.

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

Being nice to ex girlfriends, I think the first client we ever got was my business partner Konrad’s old girlfriend’s new boyfriend (who would have thought).

Not having client meetings at our office also helped, which at the time was a spare room in share house with other uni students.

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

Just get in there and have a go, the internet is full of tutorials and inspiration and most of the skills I learnt originally were self taught.

Also don’t think you are going to be great overnight you have to work at it, but if you enjoy it and work hard you’ll get there eventually.

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

50 litres of sangria, 1 foam rubber face mask and a coffin, all for a Halloween party we had at our place last week. It had some of the best costumes I’ve ever seen.

You can check out some photo’s here.

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

A green I love Seth Cohan t-shirt, can’t be beat as a conversation starter.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Be honest and have fun, the rest kind of sorts itself out.

  It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Oh no the pleasure was mine, thank you.

Hi mum :)


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