.

A few weeks ago I went to the Plastic Arts school from my town to recruit new talents to GrupoW and it was a disappointing experience to me. They are still working with obsolete tools and concepts, and most have no idea about new media.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I was born in Torreon, a small northern city in Mexico. Ever since I was a child, I was interested in movies and media, and I graduated with a Bachelor's degree as a Communication Specialist 1996 Coahuila University.

I founded GrupoW with my business partner Miguel Calderon in 1999, since then that’s my leit motive in my professional life.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I haven’t a way to the INSPIRATION ZONE; I try to collapse some elements trying to find new points of view.

Frequently I hear a song on the streets and check how it works with the real life; it is amazing the way of the world changes with one song or another.

I see a lot of movies, and try to read as much as I can. I observe people, reactions, behaviors of human being, I’ve learned so much with this process.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

I love the contents from www.stashmedia.tv (the feed section is very useful), www.bannerblog.com.au, www.atomfilms.com.

You can notice that all of them are compilations sites where you can find great ideas and work from a lot of new media artist, independents or working for clients with big budgets. Also I can mention here the FWA too.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Victoria, my little baby. She’s almost 4 years old and she has magic, you can learn too much from children. The way she speaks (with the truth all time), what makes her laugh or cry. She surprises me all the time, I’m really proud from her.

  What software couldn’t you live without?

I work with much development software. Flash, Adobe Premiere, Particle Illusion, Adobe Audition, 3D Studio Max. But I could shock without an internet browser. Any of them, right now I can’t see my life without navigate from time to time.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

I have some ideas for personal projects, some shorts animated films. I have one advanced, in fact I have edited almost 4 minutes, but I need time to finish it.

And I’m talking with some friends to start another with some help from illustrators and artists. I hope I can finish some of them.

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

Recently I saw the work from heiwa-alpha.co.jp and I think it is very powerful; since ever I love everything from hi-res.net and northkingdom.com as well

  Who is your target audience?

Independently the audience (children, women, athletes, youth) we are focused in audiences that appraise experiences on line.

We know that for our country it is common the low connections and old computers, but we believe in better places in this internet world, the places that we want to construct. That’s our audience, people with the same idea of internet.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I think the hardest aspect right now in design is the function aspect. I see a lot of beautiful universes without a reason, sometimes they could be art but it is not because it has a purpose of use. I think it is necessary to balance the aesthetic with the function.

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

The first site we did it is not on line anymore, it is a shame because it was a really clear guide to do the worst site ever. It was for a non-profit organization called Jovenes Unidos and believe me, unforgettable.

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

I wrote some articles for ad magazines in Latin America, and right now I have my personal blog (in Spanish) when I can tell my own stories. I hope some day I would have something interesting to say in a book.

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

The last year we were involved in a Nike Project. It was about 2 long months making a web animated film; selecting the cast, taking pictures, editing and post producing. I liked the result but I hate it for a while, just after finish.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

I think the concept is here to stay. The audience demands experiences and audiovisual contents, Flash makes a great job with the compression issue and that makes possible a lot of funny and useful websites. The name of the software or who sell it, it’s irrelevant.

  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 think that school is part of the process. The students have new tools to increase the experience and they have the choice to be different or better, I don’t believe in the school as a former of professional people.

A few weeks ago I went to the Plastic Arts school from my town to recruit new talents to GrupoW and it was a disappointing experience to me. They are still working with obsolete tools and concepts, and most have no idea about new media.

It is a concern for everybody, students, teachers and labor field.

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

The powerful word of mouth. Fortunately we haven’t the necessity to go out to sell, ever.

Since our first work the philosophy was the same: Our work sells us. So when somebody ask our clients ‘who did it’, the strategy works.

The most of the times the clients comes with the idea of work with us, so we spend the time trying to sell the ideas, not the agency.

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

I’m an absolutely self-educated. I had not the option to learn with somebody else, so I can advice the same, there is a lot of resources, trials, exercises, forums, blogs, etc., online so you have to lose the fear to start and simply start.

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

My new years eve vacations to Cuba.

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

As confortable as posible.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

A long time ago I heard a phrase that has a lot of sense to me: The man who has a reason surpass any how (in Spanish is ‘quien tiene un porque supera cualquier como’).

  It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Thanks a lot!


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