I've got so much I want to do I find it's far less difficult to be inspired than it is to be focused enough to get everything done.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Drew Ungvarsky, 26 - Owner and Creative Director of Grow Interactive. I live in Norfolk, VA with my charming wife (Amber), faithful dog (Dudley), and fickle cat (Sampson).
I freelanced a bit in college and started doing work under the company name Drewmedia Studios. In the summer of 2003, work was consistent enough for some friends to come help out, and everything grew from there. In early 2006, we rebranded as Grow Interactive and continue to work hard to make a name for ourselves.
We're now a seven person shop who's done work for the likes of OfficeMax, CMT, Gamefly, NASA, Namco USA, Starbucks, and more, and our best is still very much yet to come.
What do you do for inspiration?
I've got so much I want to do I find it's far less difficult to be inspired than it is to be focused enough to get everything done. Generally, I try to surround myself with people who aren't happy with the status quo.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Having a team of guys who are as excited about what we're doing as I am.
What software couldn't you live without?
Outlook, Winamp, Textpad, Flash... in no particular order.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We're doing a photographer's site that's coming along nicely, along with several other projects of varying types and sizes, both for our own clients and working alongside agencies.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
I've long been a fan of EVB, both for the quality of their projects and their company image. Big Spaceship always impresses, and I'm looking forward to seeing more great stuff from Freedom Interactive this year.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Our designs are as functional as they are attractive, and that's probably the most critical element contributing to the success of our sites.
Who is your target audience?
Our audiences are as varied as our projects, though we certainly enjoy the projects that have a consumer or entertainment focus.
What area of web design lacks the most?
I hate to see usability lost for over-the-top design. I'll leave a site the minute I feel like I'm lost in it.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
My first website was a Geocities site for TI-83 calculator games. If that doesn't take the cake for most embarrassing, I'm not sure what will.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I'm far more interested right now in taking in everything I can. I've got much more to learn than I have wisdom to share.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Our "A gift from OfficeMax" sites were collectively fairly challenging, namely given the size of our shop compared to the complexity and number of sites we completed in about seven weeks.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Our ability as a community to find the right uses for Flash (and filter out the wrong ones) will seal Flash's fate. It looks like it's going to be around for some time to come.
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'm far less interested in someone's educational background as I am in their work ethic and raw talent. There's something to be said, though, for the communication skills you acquire by going to school.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Word of mouth and never saying "No."
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Lots of books, lots of practice. There's nothing you can't figure out with Google and some hard work.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
Our monthly parking bill.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
H&M is slowly taking over my closet. My new Ser-vice shirt is also getting some serious mileage.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Pearls of wisdom? No. Shameless plugs? Definitely. We're looking to hire a Lead Flash Developer, and we're always looking for new clients and agencies to work with, should you be any of the above.
It's been a privilege, thanks very much.
Thanks for the opportunity.