At 21 - I felt that I had become one of the world's best flash designers and reached my goal. Which made me depressed because I thought it would make me happy.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Mattias Lindberg, 29 aka. Fakepilot. At 18 – I found out what I wanted to do. At 21 – I felt that I had become one of the world's best flash designers and reached my goal. Which made me depressed because I thought it would make me happy.
Started reading books, travel, jump from airplane, bungee jump, dive with sharks and climbed a mountain. On the side I worked for Coca Cola, P. Diddy, Beyonce and more. Started The International Style with my colleague Andreas Lindholm and did a lecture in Japan with my alter ego Fakepilot.
Now I have been working on a secret project for a year.
What do you do for inspiration?
I think the basis of my inspiration comes from my childhood and from experience. I have my dreams and most of my inspiration is from there.
Also greatly inspired and a big admirer of Banksy, Chris Cunningham, Alex Rutterford, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. When it comes to design, I don't have any real pride. I do my ideas and then I steal trends and make it better.
You should know that no idea is new, they are always based on 2 older ideas blended together, hopefully to something better. Not even the wheel is an entirely new idea. It was from the idea of rolling a log down a hill. Then cutting it into smaller pieces.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
Lynda.com – great place for learning on your own.
EnglishRussia.com – things are happening in Russia but we never hear about it. Until now.
NonFormat.com – just love their design.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Waking up. Reaching my first goal and getting depressed about it. That made me wake up and think deeply for the first time – about my own life and life in general.
What software could you not live without?
Software are just tools! ;-) Well, OK then. I love my Mac. Photoshop, Flash, After Effects and iTunes.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Only one. The secret one. Then I have clients and some unfinished non-profit projects waiting.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Design is making messages look pretty. If the message is ugly inside, design can only fool people for so long.
Who is your target audience?
Clients with money that want to hire me.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
My very first flash website is still online. It's geeky and dark. You can find it here:
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I haven't written any books yet. It would be fun to do when I'm older.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Hmm.. Not sure how you measure tough. One project could be measured tough, because they clients where such a pain. Another one could have been a candidate because the time it took to finish it was to long.
The Spy Bar took almost a year, working nights and weekends. You can watch a small part of it on my site.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I'm not sure. It's complex. Apple seem to be moving away from Flash. No support on iPhone. They released Safari 3.1 now, with video and audio tags, web fonts and css animation, support for CSS 3 and HTML5.
If all browsers start building this way, some of the major reasons to use Flash disappears.
I don't think Adobe will give up that easily though.
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, I'm a living example. Schools are great for giving you time and inspiration. For the learning part, you cannot depend on your teachers. It's only you who can learn.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
When I didn't have so much in my portfolio, I made flash animations to show off my skills. Tried to make something incredibly cool. Then I started spreading it around in design communities and such.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I animate in Flash with 25 fps, frame by frame, tons of layers. No movieclip animations, I want to see everything I animate updated in the main timeline, without exporting the movie.
I play my animations over and over and follow my gut feeling, mistakes and interesting shapes : improvised. For more advanced vector animations, I use Cinema 4D and After Effects. I always delete frames in Flash, when something isn't playing smooth enough.
The key is to make your audience follow your moves. Keep their attention, don't get them bored. Watch the movie yourself; what is distracting and what keeps your attention?
Don't do motion graphics. Animate. It's a huge difference in quality. Anyone can move some text around. Not so many can animate. Animation takes time, skills and patience. So, animate your text. Don't move it from A to B with a tween.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Dinner and King Kobra beer. Like a champagne bottle with really tasty and strong beer. 8%.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I don't like labels – walking around like a billboard... I like clothes with hidden or small logos.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Well, I can end with a quote from August Strindberg:
"By trying to do the impossible you will reach the highest degree of what is possible."
When someone tells you something is impossible, they simply lack the ambition to do great things. Peace on earth has always been considered an impossibility, but why should it be meaningless fighting for it?
Like my favorite commercial by Apple, "...the people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world – are the ones who do."
It has been a privilege, thanks very much.