Don't give up. If it doesn't happen in the first, second, third or forth time, it doesn't mean it won't ever happen. You just have to push yourself more and give the best that you can always.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Ivan Moreno: Hello, I am Ivan Moreno. I studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design in the University of Bogota -Jorge Tadeo Lozano- in Colombia with a specialization in Digital Edition and Multimedia from the same university. Recently I finished my second specialization in the International Digital Media Master program from the University of Applied Sciences of Bremerhaven, Germany. I took my firsts steps into web design about nine years ago and then I moved forward to interactive development. In the past three years my focus has been related with 3D content creation and I'm going to stay a while exploring this area.
Delia Otetea: Hi, my name is Delia Otetea and I am a 3D and graphical artist. I was born and raised in Romania, now I'm living in Germany; maybe next year this will change. I did a Master's Degree in Digital Media where I teamed up with Ivan in doing 3D interactive applications. I really like what I do, it's always different and it never gives me the chance to get bored.
What do you do for inspiration?
Ivan: Read something, watch a movie or play a game. Also, I like to talk with others about everything and in many cases outside the regular work environment.
Delia: I like to play games, browse the internet and watch movies especially. But sometimes I get inspired from small everyday things, when interacting with people and objects.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
Delia: ted.com, 9gag.com, bbc.co.uk
Ivan: google.com, thefwa.com, facebook.com
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Ivan: Everything that is happening to me in this moment. There are many constraints one can find in coming from Colombia, like learning more languages, bureaucratic requirements like visas and permissions, adapting to new cultures and the list can continue. Coming to Germany with a university scholarship, meet my colleague in this program, learn what I have learned during these last years and be recognized by the industry, I will say is my biggest achievement until this moment.
Delia: My biggest achievement so far has been coming to Germany and meeting Ivan, together with all the circumstances that were created. Without this, I wouldn't be here right now.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Ivan: Something related with creation or academics, that's for sure. Maybe musician.
Delia: Industrial design.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
Delia: One of my favorite part is when we create the concept. That's the moment when I get very excited about a new project and try to give the best possible and suitable ideas. The hardest part sometimes is when trying to make the concept come true. Some ideas can be very difficult to implement but it's never good to give up ideas because of technicalities, so we try to find solutions to them. As for when I get stuck, I like to take a break, or search obsessively a solution reading forums or books.
Ivan: Different than Delia, my favorite part of the job is when it is over and we can see the end result. Is in that moment when you see the progress you made, things you learned and know what you will do better next time. Another favorite part of what I do is the freedom I get. The hardest part of my job I would say is to get the right client for the right idea. When I get stuck I alternate between the projects we work on, or go and do something completely outside the work bubble; so when I come back to the problem I had, my mind sees more clearly what before it couldn't.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
Delia: I learned that failing isn't always bad. This I have to relate with me failing to get into Architecture school, and instead studying Product Design. A big turn took place when we decided to work on Plus 360 Degrees and put our best skills into action.
Ivan: Nobody really taught me about the random facts of life in school/home when I was younger. As a result I made many ridiculous decisions in my life that afterwords I could analyze and learn from, but I have to say that coming to explore in Europe was a pivotal decision in my career.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Ivan: I don't want to sound repetitive, but the biggest hole in web design is the extensive fragmentation. This leads to other issues like lack of creativity and freedom of choice, among other things. Although I understand the necessity of competition and contribution to push the boundaries of evolution in any field.
Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?
Ivan: I like to say Tokyoplastic v 2.0, Leo Burnett Canada 2005, Get the Glass, The Eco Zoo, Three Dreams of Black, Google and Facebook. I know that there are some older than five years, but I still enjoy them so much.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Delia: Definitely. It encourages us to reach this goal with as many projects as we can. We are getting in contact with many talented people in the industry and this is always a nice experience.
Ivan: Absolutely it helped us in many ways! Personally this is like the “ata boy” needed to continue working hard.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Delia: We wrote a “Web3D for Dummies” Master's thesis, but this is not a published book. Basically we created one prototype using the three most popular platforms to do high-end 3D visualizations on the browser in this moment and we explained how this works. Besides the explanations, we measured the penetration rate, time of development, platform stability among other things. This definitely helped us to gather useful information for our future projects.
Ivan: If everything goes good, we will write a second chapter, in a PhD thesis. Unfortunately we don't know yet if that will be possible or not. But we are always keeping up with Plus 360 Degrees as we want to make it grow.
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
Ivan: I move around on my bike, the only action of riding is relaxing. Then go to a park, take the sun and have some snacks with friends. I like to play poker as well drinking some beers.
Delia: Biking, almost every day, playing games with friends, just disconnecting for a while from the everyday computer.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Ivan: It was an offline personal project. It was made in 2005 I believe, and it was an installation that played different videos projected in a box. The videos were controlled with laser sensors using a disassembled keyboard. The project took me a lot of time, I don't remember exactly, basically because I had no idea what I was doing but I learned many things in the process.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Ivan: On the browser, I don’t think so. I am sure it will stay around for more time but it is unpredictable to say for how long. Despite rumors, Flash is still the most economic way to do rich applications and games in this moment. We know that you save in development time, in fixing compatibility issues, etc. And the file compression that is possible with it, is something that we cannot ignore; the same app can take the double of server space in HTML, which means it consumes the double of machine energy, this without counting the different audio and video codecs for the different browser vendors. Since HTML is the future then it needs to be improved in this sense considerably. Energy resources and consumption are hot topics nowadays.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Delia: Yes! There are many self-taught talented people who have the capacity to do better than the ones who studied at a university in this specific field.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Delia: Don't give up. If it doesn't happen in the first, second, third or forth time, it doesn't mean it won't ever happen. You just have to push yourself more and give the best that you can always.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
Delia: A spaceship. I have always been fascinated about space.
Ivan: For me, the ultimate vehicle needs to transport safely as many people as possible using the least resources. Until this moment the best approach are trains.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Ivan: I follow some people on the social networks that have shown their skills and interest over the years. Also reading blogs and the technology pages updates.
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
Ivan: Sweden, UK and Japan. I like Germany too. This is the global innovation index of this year in all the areas (PDF), made by the experts of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
Delia: We have been thinking of a project for about 2 years now, and hopefully we will get it done in the next years, and is about an educational game for kids.
Ivan: I will say the same in this moment, since we want to have it for dedicated consoles. We have been working on it for over a year and a half and we haven't finished even the first level. Making a serious game is a really time consuming task and not only for the graphics and programming part, but for the gameplay, the mechanics, the target audience requirements, etc.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
Ivan: As a company we want to grow, maybe not in the sense of increasing our team but more towards gaining more experience and interesting and challenging commercial projects. As a person I want to leave something useful or enjoyable behind.
Delia: We are always learning and that matters if you think to project yourself in the future. When you gain knowledge you are ready to apply it, when you apply it you get experience, so hopefully we will always do this to make our company and ourselves as individuals evolve.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
Ivan: I want to learn two things in this moment: graphics programming and vegetarian cuisine.
Delia: Game design and user experience. It will help us in our future projects, as we want to create good experiences for all our users.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Delia: I just got a new computer. I really needed one. Now everything runs so fast and smooth. (laugh)
Ivan: (laugh) Indeed, I need a new one too. I got an Xbox with a Kinect. The first time we played was so charming and fun. (laugh)
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Ivan: Be humble, respectful, tolerant and kind; listen always carefully before you raise your voice and always, always no matter what you do learn mathematics.
Delia: Aim high, otherwise you may never know what your limits really are.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
The privilege was ours. Thank you!