Have fun with your work. If you love what you do, people will know just by looking at it.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Joshua Corliss, I’m 28 years old and I’m a lead designer at AgencyNet.
Home-grown in South Florida, I was raised with real Saturday morning cartoons, 80’s music and I adapted an early passion for drawing. I married my high school sweetheart in early 2004, together we have our son Joshua and I’m proud to announce we’re expecting a new addition to our family early this March. It’s a boy!
In 1998, I enrolled in college for 3D Animation and soon after fell deeply in love with flash and the web. Needless to say I found my 3D urges quickly subsiding, and a newer, more passionate side evolved.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Animation and started a job modeling, texturing, rigging, and animating for video games.
I found myself restless, slowly losing inspiration in my field of work. I wanted to take a gamble on a future as an interactive freelancer, under the alias jayemsee.
Freelancing gave me the experience and opportunity to work with some great studios and clients from around the world. In late 2006, I obtained a position at AgencyNet and instantaneously found the discipline and structure I needed to help me grow personally and professionally.
I spend my days, and quite a few nights, surrounded by some of the greatest creative minds in the industry, taking innovative ideas and turning them into world renowned interactive experiences.
What’s not to love?
What do you do for inspiration?
For starters, toss the book of rules out the window! More often than not, I stumble upon inspiration from a number of venues, such as motion graphics, video games, movies, cartoons etc.
Really there isn't a right or wrong answer for me; there's no proven formula, no magical place, or an enchanting tour through Mother Nature.
I find myself trying to get as far away from my usual design techniques as possible. I guess you could call it experimenting, playing around with imagery, and creating whatever comes to mind.
What really helps me out the most is letting go of boundaries, becoming less reliant on any predefined methodologies.
Just messing around in Photoshop ultimately gives me such a different perspective on where I ‘thought’ I was going to take an idea, and more often than not, it reveals techniques that could be used for future projects.
My suggestion: Quite simply, open Photoshop and do what comes natural. Additionally, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have insanely talented colleagues and friends to pull inspiration from.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
Only three? There are numerous sites I visit on a daily basis, but without stating the obvious . . .
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Becoming a father and being able to provide for my family by doing what I love.
What software could you not live without?
Photoshop / Flash / After Effects / Maya / Outlook / Messenger (no particular order)
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
AgencyNet currently has several projects in various stages of production. From what I can mention, amazing internal re-branding collateral, a Standards based portal for Warner Brothers, a site for Sony Music, a mini-site for an old WB favorite, the redesign of Bacardi.com, as well as some motion work for Bacardi. Some HUGE things are also on the horizon.
When I manage to secure rare personal time, I’m always trying to learn more and experiment on my own projects. I am currently working on finishing my personal portfolio, www.jayemsee.com, which I mentioned earlier, and MegaDope. MegaDope will be a collaborative undertaking in many aspects of design and a big update to Shaved Platypus, a forum where I join forces with other great multi-talented creatives, and give back to the Digital community.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
With so many new and established players in the industry that are raising the bar daily, I honestly don’t think I could exclusively pick 3. But be certain all your favorites, are my favorites.
Without sounding arrogant, definitely AgencyNet: what I have experienced here since the day I started, from the culture, to the amazing projects, to the people I work with every day… to me, this is what makes it a top company from the inside out.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
It’s like trying to fight a flash flood with a wet-nap.
Who is your target audience?
It completely depends on the project, the client’s goal and their target demographic… but the internet obviously has a massive global reach. For the sake of simplicity, we'll stick to the United States. 71% of Americans use the internet. That's a big number, but there it is. Your interactive experience has a potential audience of 215 million people in the US alone.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Deadlines: Can’t live with em’, can’t live without them.
Content: I know, this has been mentioned to death.
Experience: Making destinations that have longevity, not one-stop visits.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
That’s an embarrassment I can't live down. But the first one I built was key framed goodness, complete with tell Target’s.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Written a book? No. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I have had thoughts about putting together a collective works type book or maybe a children’s book. Currently my son and I illustrate terrific graphic novels.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Learn how to use it right, and I’m still learning from co-workers and friends. Recently I’ve tried to wrap my brain around PaperVision. Still online? No, but it will be online ~ later than sooner.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
For sure. I think it’s a great time to be in Digital, and it’s only going to get better as more and more clients start to understand the medium and realize the consumer potential.
I think as more motion graphics professionals’ transition to web, and more web people go into motion graphics – there is going to be a surge in beautiful fullscreen video. With H.264 and flash HD, web is the new TV.
What are your views on design/graphic school? Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Definitely. You can’t teach skill and talent. School environments are merely there to provide you with the tools.
How you go about learning, understanding, and using your medium of choice is up to you. You get what you put in. The more you put into your education or even your craft (for you non-scholars) the more you’ll get out.
While constantly evolving can be done on one’s own, schooling is merely the catalyst for exponential greatness; should you dedicate the time and resources needed.
When you were just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Upon entering the freelancing world, I took whatever opportunity presented itself. From that, I was able to build a name for myself, and generate outside interest. Your name and your word are two of the most important things you carry with you throughout your life, both of which sum you up, instantly.
Getting your work out there for people to see is a good way to start. Great work, like most things on the internet, have a viral nature about them. Designers, Directors and Developers alike always bookmark, save, send, show and post things. Through the grapevine, your work will find its way into the hands of an interested party.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Explorations combined with trial and error. From that, I could develop a foundation and further educate myself.
Be a sponge. Learn as much as possible from those you associate and surround yourself with. Then, after you have the ability to learn it, re-do it, re-build it, and make it your own.
Constructive criticism from peers. This will benefit you in the long run because no one interprets things the same.
What others are able to correct regarding your project, through creative tweaks, suggestions or feedback, will ultimately help make your project and future projects stronger. This will give your project the ability to stand on its own in many eyes rather than yours alone.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
OBGYN bills. Anything and everything for the new baby. The 60 Unite for UNICEF book. Clothes and hats.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Definitely labels! Usually from Express or Nordstrom - They have some of the hottest prints out now. Though in reality, it’s still just a shirt and jeans. Top it off with the occasional coordinating hat and I’m ready to rock.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Have fun with your work. If you love what you do, people will know just by looking at it. I try to help people all the time, hit me up on IM or at shavedplatypus. I’m more than willing to help.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much.
Pleasure. We’ll have to do this again sometime.