.

Traffic and response has been great since I won the FWA. It's an oddly satisfying feeling to know that people from 130 countries have actually seen my face.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I was born and raised in rural Northern Ontario. I spent the first five years of my professional career working at a gas station and shingling roofs. I moved to Toronto in 1999 and have been working in the online advertising industry since 2000. I started at a small branded content studio called Unpluggedtv and then worked at a number of large agencies before arriving at TAXI in 2006.

What do you do for inspiration?

I tend to look outside of the online interactive world for inspiration. There are times when I see a site and I'm inspired by a clever use of technology or design, but for the most part, I like to try to find inspiration in movies or video games. Some small element here or there that would fit well in the interactive space.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

pbfcmics - hot chicks with douche bags - joblo

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Traffic and response has been great since I won the FWA. It's an oddly satisfying feeling to know that people from 130 countries have actually seen my face.

Who is your target audience?

It all depends on the project. For my portfolio site (http://www.vermeersch.ca), the target audience was people within the advertising industry as a whole. Usually, in commercial work, it's the general public, the type of people who couldn't care less about how the site was put together.

What area of web design lacks the most?

I'd have to say the biggest issue is the fact that a large number of developers and designers are developing and designing for the wrong demographic.

For most projects, the general public needs to embrace what you've done. If you're simply trying to show off your cutting edge design, or optimized AS3 class structure, you're likely going to alienate everyone outside our tiny industry. You need to start with the idea and form your design and development around it.

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

My first site was a Flash 4 site with a stupid looking wolf skip intro. Unfortunately it has long since been lost.

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

I'm planning on collaborating with a friend of mine on a comic book at some point. Nothing Flash related though.

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

I built a fully functioning email/personal calendar/personal assistant/instant messenger/news reader/weather reader in Flash 6, Action Script 1. The client ended up disappearing around the time of completion, so it never really launched. It did work though.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yup, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. It will continue to diversify in what it can do and so will the people who use it. It's already used professionally for we development, banners, broadcast animation, application development and video game menus.

The number of industries dependent on it are diverse enough that even if something better comes along in one industry, it'll remain in use in another.

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

If you know the basics of the software and are lucky enough to get a low level job somewhere, you can definitely work your way up.

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

I learned Flash 5 by going through the Action Script library one entry at a time until I'd used everything command Flash 5 had. From there I made up real world applications of those commands. In each subsequent version of Flash since then, I have done the same basic thing for all of the new commands. It's not quick, but it works.

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

A painting from Africa

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

A brown shirt of some type

It has been a privilege, thanks very much.

Much obliged


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