Don't spend too much time on your computer, your fish will die of hunger and your girlfriend will leave you.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Joao Guimaraes, CEO, Creative Director at Triworks.net, 27 Years old, Portuguese.

I had a computer by my side ever since I can remember. My first computer was the old Timex 2048K which used tapes.

When I first started design was difficult because there was only DOS then, which had green and black screens.

My first animation, called “Rambo 27”, was done in ‘94 with “Animator” in DOS with a monochromatic screen. This is where I had my first dose of fun. I soon started exploring everything that had anything to do with computers.

I began programming and then integrating design into it and at 17 I started creating web design and HTML websites for other companies as a freelancer. I spent 2 years working as an accountant but at 21 I decided to follow my passion and I founded Triworks.net.

Today I have the pleasure of working with a team of great friends and developers that give their best effort to help us grow as a company.

What do you do for inspiration?

Inspiration comes with the challenge. I find inspiration in our client’s words.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

I would say google.com, youtube.com and northkingdom.com .

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I think that my biggest achievement was founding a company when I was 21, now I think it was a crazy idea but at that time seemed like the right thing to do. I'm happy I did it; and of course getting an FWA award.

What software couldn't you live without?

I hate calling it this name but “Adobe Fireworks CS3”.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Our pipeline is a bit crazy at this time, but there will be a big change in the projects we will be presenting this year.

We are working with great companies and communication agencies all over the world that have put their trust in us so we’re trying to give them the best we can.

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

Well to be truthful I don't really think there are 3 top design companies. There are a lot of great designers all over the world working for great companies. I would say that if it's on FWA then it come from a top company.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Usually they make us work a LOT, which is a good sign.

Who is your target audience?

I try to feel comfortable with any design, from clean to futuristic or whatever. I like the idea of having a challenge ahead and I wouldn't say we have a target audience. However I am drawn to the game industry because it's very creative and challenging.

What area of web design lacks the most?

When you are in the field you know what’s happening and you have a clear idea about what your client needs, he always thinks he knows more than you and forces you to use his ideas.

What lacks the most in web design is the opportunity to show talent.

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

Luckily it is not on-line. It was an HTML/JavaScript website with a form for estimating budgets and introducing me as a web developer. It was not that ugly considering that it was done in 97 and at that time all websites were ugly.

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

No. I thought of that but it's hard to find time to stop and write.

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

Well, the toughest thing is still how to get a good performance out of flash without compromising the design.

Everything is on the client side so for me is a frustration not to be able to use more animation or graphic elements. We spend a lot of time trying to get performance out of flash.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yes, and. AS3 is proof; but it has to evolve to meet designer's needs and right now it seems like it's really catering to the programmers.

In a sense I think we will have the same structure we already have with software development: the need for a good designer, programmer and a creative director. I'm lucky I started programming before I started doing design but this profile is very hard to find.

CS3 ushered in a new era with Flash and I'm afraid this change is going to scare away some designers.

Professional studios have already forgotten the timeline and have transition to creating programmed animations. This makes the work easier and faster but it is harder to learn.

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

In my case school didn't help me much, but I do think that everyone should have school as a first priority for learning and finding their way into the field.

I would advise anyone that this field is very time consuming and the learning curve is crazy, so no one should think that because they finished school they are ready to start working.

Books, forums, discussions on-line and talented friends are the best learning resources. Even seasoned designers and programmers have a lot more to learn.

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

Well, when we started, design was not the first priority for clients when creating a website; instead companies were seeking for functionality like complex portals with CMS and ecommerce websites.

I was sitting alone at a desk with a computer and a printer so getting clients was not easy. I bumped my head against the wall until flash started to get more notice on-line like 2

When we started presenting Flash websites to the clients, they started to realize that they could look much better on the internet.

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

Study a LOT.

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

A 22” screen.

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

No. Not at all, I wear a suit when needed but I am more the regular jeans and t-shirt type.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Don't spend too much time on your computer, your fish will die of hunger and your girlfriend will leave you.

It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

My privilege.

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