Can we just marvel at how anyone color corrected anything before Photoshop?
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I have eight years of motion graphics, print, and interactive experience leading up to my position as an Art Director at Big Spaceship.
I have focused on combining motion graphics and interactivity. I have worked on a wide variety of projects including parallax environments on web sites, illustrated music videos, pachinko-minigolf, fusball sensor rigs and stop motion animations, but mostly web sites.
What do you do for inspiration?
I like to escape from the computer and take pictures outside, make things by hand, and draw. Especially if I don't have ideas yet. Everything ends up on the computer, so it's refreshing to break away from that.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
That's a toss up. I did a site for the Sony Pictures film, 30 Days of Night, which I made with a very small team. But we managed to pull off a game made with video which was integrated into a 13-layer parallax.
But I'm also proud of some video titles I made for an AIGA presentation. I hid the physical titles in a wooden box and filmed people trying read them with their fingers. So each introductory title was a close-up video of a stunned participant trying to sound out the hidden word.
What software could you not live without?
The same one no one could live without. Can we just marvel at how anyone color corrected anything before Photoshop?
I attended a lecture once where I listened to a designer describe how she composited legs onto a typewriter for an ad well before the days of computer graphics. I'm thankful that I don't have to spend hours progressively sanding down film negatives to achieve a soft feathered edge.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I'm building a landscape for an upcoming design conference. I am animating a stop-motion-graphics piece for Big Spaceship. And launching a music video for Man Man in my spare time.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Other than where I work, I have some favorites. I'm not sure "top" should mean biggest, so:
For polish, North Kingdom
For working in tons of different media, FutureFarmers
For general awesomeness, Universal Everything
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
I should hope it doesn't decrease site traffic worldwide.
Who is your target audience?
If I actually got to choose that, I would go for 25-35 year olds with a quirky intelligence, curiosity and a sense of humor. Wait, that sounds like a dating profile.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Motion graphics. I'm intrigued but sometimes wary of the recent industry focus on more casual and smaller experiences that don't call for a lot of animation.
Things like embedable 0bjects and applications. But I have to believe that there's a role that motion graphics can play in tying these smaller interactions into larger experiences.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I designed a class-scheduling HTML site in 1998 for a start up company in Honolulu. It had a weird name which never made sense to me and whenever we placed ads we had to convince newspapers that it wasn't a porn site.
They filed for bankruptcy years ago, after they changed my designs...correlation? People referred to it as the brown site and it had way too many rounded edges (OMG I'm subverting table structure in HTML!).
But looking back on it, I'm happy that I am not repulsed by my first steps into site design.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
No, but I'd love to do some writing. I think starting with a chapter would be nice, I'm not sure I have enough material at this point for a full book.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
I generally think that it's getting tougher and tougher as I try to push things farther each time.
So the latest would be "The Corona Beach." We had to figure out how to deliver a broadcast-level of visuals, a 3D environment, and a largely interface-less interaction. It took roughly 3 months from concept to completion.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
As long as they keep updating it to fit the ever changing needs of designers. Designers are interested in so many different technologies now, so as long as Flash continues to be where these technologies come together online, it will stay relevant.
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 got a masters in order to pursue certain ideas I wouldn't be able to do in the professional world. But it is certainly not necessary.
The benefit of school is to learn in an environment that is not focused on branding and selling -- so that you can separate what is an idea and what is just client service.
But if your goal is to make pretty stuff, be successful and learn programs, you don't need design school. Still I'm thankful I know how to craft an idea out of nothing. And I attribute that to open-ended projects that I did in graduate school.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
I've been told that it's been word of mouth since the beginning. I started a few years ago. It's nice not to have a sales team.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I learn most techniques from opening other designers' and developers' files. So newbies, ask for people's files.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
I bought a classic bike with a chain guard and fenders.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
When I actually go out and buy clothes, it's usually at a vintage shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. So the labels are just things that I don't recognize. Or have been rubbed off over the years. Does Woolrich count as a "label"?
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
I think I'm all out of wisdom at this point. But I'd be happy to dole out some high-fives if any one's willing to come to the office.