With the rise of HTML5 I feel like websites have dulled down a lot in the past year. I expect this to get better as HTML5 progresses.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I grew up in Houston, TX and later spent 8 years in Savannah, GA where I got my BFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design and worked at a web agency there.  I then worked at a children's education publishing company before biting the bullet and going full-time as a freelancer in Brooklyn, NY!  It's been over 5 years now and work has been steady, so I'm very grateful.

I love to work on projects that I can use a combination of my illustration, design, animation and development skills.  Lately I've moved away from Flash, getting into the app market.  It's the wild west right now; very exciting.

What do you do for inspiration?

Drawing is always fun.  I'm a fan of sequential art and find a lot of inspiration in comic books and pop culture.  Watching movies and listening to music helps as well.  And on the flip side to pop culture, I love spending some "unplugged" time at the park.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.


What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I just recently passed my 5 year mark working as a freelancer.

How do you relax or unwind?

I relax a few different ways.  I'll either go for a bike ride around Prospect Park, Brooklyn or I'll sit on my couch and "iPad it up!"  

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

I would probably be an illustrator making picture books.  

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

Sleep is very important for my creativity, so I try hard to stop working by 10pm.  The latest I've worked is 2am.

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

My internship at a web agency, Velocity Works, in Savannah, GA put me on a path towards web design that I may not have gone down if I wasn't exposed to Actionscript.  I'm grateful for that.

What software could you not live without?

Photoshop.  Duh.  :-)

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

Because I'm a one-man-show, I try to keep my project count down to 1-2.

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

Adobe Edge has been REALLY impressive.  I'm very excited about its future as a great HTML5 animation and programming tool.  It's still in preview and it already is really powerful and the HTML/Javascript runs smooth as butter on iOS devices.  I see this being the next Flash-type software for Adobe.

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

I'm focusing my attention lately on app design.  In that world, I'm really impressed with the work of Moonbot Studios, Callaway Digital Arts and Rovio.

What area of web design lacks the most?

With the rise of HTML5 I feel like websites have dulled down a lot in the past year.  I expect this to get better as HTML5 progresses.

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

Oh, man...  It was horrendous.  Lots of animated gifs and beveled buttons.

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of an online application I built called ClientAreaPro.com. It's a way for agencies and freelancers to show their work to clients and get feedback in various ways.  I spent hundreds of hours on it and learned a lot in the process. 

There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?

I've seen a drastic decline in Flash.  I haven't been asked to make a Flash website since December 2011.

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

It's totally possible to be a designer without going to design school, but I think going to school opens doors that normally wouldn't be opened for you.  You'll get more opportunities, meet more people and you'll be exposed to things you might not have otherwise known or cared about.  It's a good thing.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Never underestimate the importance of bells and whistles in your projects.  

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

A glass bubble with a hovering seat in the middle.  It flies silently to any location and at any speed you desire.  Zero G.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

I created a lot of templates on Activeden.net and would get inquiries from people there after they used my templates.

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

I'm constantly reading the blogs and following the right people on Twitter.  

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

I'd love to do anything related to a Pixar.  ANYTHING.  

What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?

I'm currently learning Objective-C so I can dive into the app world.

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

Movie tickets.  Those prices are out of control.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

I've learned it's crucial to never rest on your laurels in this industry.  Always keep learning the new technology.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

The privilege is all mine! 



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