One of the biggest things that bothers me with web is design trends. I think everyone gets sucked into them and it really cripples any innovation.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

My name is Errol Schwartz, I am originally from Ithaca, NY and am now 21 years old. I first started doing web design in college in the New Media Design program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Before that I didn't even know what photoshop or html was. I am now approaching the last quarter in my senior year and will be graduating this spring.

What do you do for inspiration?

I think a lot of my inspiration comes from movies. Things like colors, themes, sets, the way the camera is used, all that can influence my work. A lot also comes from looking at what other people are doing, and then trying to not do that.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.




What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

As far as anything meaningful in the grand scheme of things I have no idea. But getting my site featured on theFWA has been the highlight of my creative career so far.

What software could you not live without?

Foobar2000 – Firefox – Photoshop - Flash

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

School projects... just lots and lots of school projects. The most interesting one to me right now is a bunch of experiments with Papervision3D, since it is the first time I have used it.

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

This is like the hardest question ever, so here are three that I just like:

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Red Interactive Agency


Who is your target audience?

Since I am still in school right now, it should probably potential employers. But really it is usually myself.

What area of web design lacks the most?

One of the biggest things that bothers me with web is design trends. I think everyone gets sucked into them and it really cripples any innovation.

Another thing is of course that the amount of quality content on the web can’t keep up with the rate sites are being created. For example, how many lackluster CSS showcase sites are there?

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

My first site ever, was made almost four years ago and was a triumph of non-valid html, Times New Roman, and bright blue links, but sadly it has been destroyed.

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

ActionScript was the first programming language I ever learned so just getting the basic concepts was by far the hardest thing.

In school you learn things so quickly that even projects that seemed so hard just a year ago aren’t really all that big a deal now.

I would have to say though, that at the time the New Media Battle was hardest thing. Coding the attack behaviors was pretty tough.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

If it is here to stay, I hope that it evolves into something that has the kind of power that Processing has right now. A lot of flash sites now start to chug when there is too much on the screen, and things are just going to keep getting more intense. I think Flash’s ability to handle the demands of designers is really going to determine how long it lasts.

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 the best environment to increase your skills as a designer or developer and those skills will help someone get a job.

But if you are awesome to begin with, then sure you can get a job. This is kind of cheesy but: school won't make a terrible designer a good one, but it will make a good designer better.

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

The best way I have found to learn new skills is to not think about skills at all, and just focus on project ideas.

If you come up with a killer concept you will be motivated to learn everything you need to in order to bring your vision to life. Then it is just a matter of spending hours and hours doing google searches, flipping through reference books, or asking everyone you know if they can help.

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

I just bought this awesome cheddar cheese that was aged 5 years… was only like $6 but I think that was the most expensive in the last week.

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

I like my shirt and shoes to be kickin, but everything else can be walmart.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Not that I know of, thanks for the interview!


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