.

The Driftlab tie to FWA is huge, prior to joining forces we had each won FWAs on our own.  Visiting FWA in the early days (red background, yellow frame) and seeing each other's projects on there is really how we were introduced.  FWA is our Match.com baby!

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Scott: Scott Robert Vernon Cook. Male. 6'1". Opposable thumbs. Father. Husband. Designer. Coder. Excitable. Generally unshaved. Debatably hygienic. NJ native. GA resident.

Ash: Ashley Corwin Warren. Male (...yes a man named Ashley). 5'8". Detachable thumbs. Father. Husband. Started out as a BFA strapped Designer, however through the years I've been relegated to a Fez pimping code monkey.

What do you do for inspiration?

Scott: Our clients generally don't allow me time for inspiration. But when it happens, I usually mistake it for indigestion and go on my way.


Thinking about it more, I do really like found tactile objects and textures. Especially if they're old. Taking these things and attempting to merge or juxtapose them into the digital space gets me pretty lathered up.

Ash: Our clients don't pay us to be inspired.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Scott:

www.uncommondescent.com

www.apple.com (though I'm ashamed to admit it.)

www.weather.com


Ash:

www.abduzeedo.com

www.super7store.com

www.wired.com (i know... a geek of the worst kind, "common")

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Scott: Offspring without tails. The genes in the pool were better than I'd anticipated. A close second would be keeping a business afloat for 6 years. Although that's certainly not exclusively my doing. I have a great partner.

Great Partner: Man keeping the business going is a big one, I can't believe Scott stole that one, kind of leaves me with nothing ...geez.  I shall now sit and be bitter in the corner.

How many hours do you work each week?

Ash: As old men with kids I think ideally we would work 40 although that never happens. When you run your own business I think your kind of always "on", so how many weeks is the average human awake during a 7 day week?

Scott: We're working on bringing some sanity back to the schedule. I don't have high hopes.

question How do you relax or unwind?

Scott: Running. Skating. Feats of strength. None of which I do frequently enough, but this is going to change. I'm no spring chicken anymore and staring at a giant glowing screen all day doesn't set well with my treacherous nervous system. Consistent exercise is a must. In fact I'm going to purchase new leg warmers now. This time they'll match my unitard.
I try to avoid tranquilizers. They're horribly habit forming.

Ash: 3 words - "Whiskey", "Granny Square Afghan", "Rocking Chair"

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

Scott: Civil war reenactments. Or something in a traditional traveling carnival show.

Ash: Small engine repair, that or bait & tackle shop. Still desperately hoping one of those still works out.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

Ash: Favorite - getting to do what I love and get paid for it.  Hardest - getting clients to pay us for doing what we love. Stuck - apply brute force, sometimes you just have to power through Hulk style.

Scott: A. the smells. B. the smells.

Getting stuck: One of two things: I either repeatedly open and close my macbook lid on my head until something clicks, or I take a walk through the woods which are near the office. There's a creek down there that I like to walk beside. But yeah, usually just getting away from all things digital and/or glowing, gets me "unstuck".

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

Ash: Probably only 24 hours or so, however back when I used to work in the entertainment industry I would usually work nights and sleep days.  Also trying to keep up with clients in multiple timezones can make for some long workdays as well.

Scott: I can't go without a full night's sleep. I get all weepy the next day if I do. So I generally let everyone else stay up and then just deal with bitter clients and coworkers because of it. I won't stay up later than 11ish even if there's a major deadline looming. I'm no use to anyone insane(er).

What software could you not live without?

Scott: That's a close tie between iCal & FDT (with Subclipse!).

Ash: Divvy, FDT, Transmit. My love for these programs knows no bounds.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Scott: I don't think driftlab would exist, at least it would not have seen even close to the level of "success" it has, were it not for the FWA. Our previous wins have garnered us huge exposure. So, we're immensely thankful for the FWA. (check is in the mail)

Ash: The Driftlab tie to FWA is huge, prior to joining forces we had each won FWAs on our own.  Visiting FWA in the early days (red background, yellow frame) and seeing each other's projects on there is really how we were introduced.  FWA is our Match.com baby!

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

Ash: Scott and I have often talked about writing the designer's approach to programming.  Too often the books speak specifically to either the designers (illustrators, graphic artists, etc.) or the hardcore programming types (with a solid technical background). We've yet to find a book which finds a balance and really speaks to the in-between types such as ourselves.

Scott: I'd like to write a Children's book about a little boy (me) entitled "You'll never be like the others and that's bad."

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Ash: Good lord I hope not. It's been great but I don't think I can personally take the beatings anymore. Adobe says this, Apple that, Flash is great, Flash stinks. For those of us out there that just want to create great experiences for our clients it's been brutal.

Scott: I see some sort of freakish 2-headed hybrid of Dreamweaver and Flash emerging at some point. Something which will output to canvas-ready HTML and Javascript. But it's difficult to predict. I do think that a non-plugin open standards driven approach is the future. I don't think this will happen for several years though.

How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?

Ash: Pray that Adobe adds very little to each upcoming release.

Scott: At this point we use Flash as essentially an asset library with clip linkages and we do some timeline animation. So I guess any new capabilities sort of fly above our radar. They don't really impact our (current) workflow.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

Ash: George Jetson's car, it's fast, has plenty of knobs and gauges, and who could ever get sick of that bubbly little sound it makes while flying!?

Scott: I loved in those Star Trek movies when Boba Pimp zoomed around in his Landspeeder. I'd trick that thing out with neon ground effects, fuzzy seat covers, the works and be all up in this.

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

Ash: Coronado Island

Scott: Is that a country?

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

Ash: It can only go up from here, right my man? ... Scott? ...sorry hehe ...he'll be back, he always comes back.

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

Ash: Been super excited obviously about all the headway made in the JSQUERYMOBTML5 sector, it's not a catch all solution for everything, but I'm sure with time we can make it into one.

Scott: I'm standing at the gates of open standards, taunting it, poking at it with a nobby little stick. Lets face it, non-plugin is the future. It's going to be a rough road getting there though.

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

Ash: Toys... toys for my kids, toys for me.  It's a horrible victimless addiction.

Scott: The company bought me a big 24" cinema display. It's glorious, but I've just realized there's a lone dead pixel right in the center. Troubling. Considering my options.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

A wise man once said: Wise man never play leapfrog with unicorn.

Someone else said that you should beware of toxic clients who have no respect for you or your creative process. This is sage advice. Be very very selective in who you allow to be your client.

Ash: Seriously... stay focused, stay true, stay clothed. Everything else just magically falls into place. 

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Ash: No problem, thanks Dan!

Scott: The privilege is all mine, thanks Barry!


hr
Scott Cook
Scott Cook

Ashley Warren
Ashley Warren

2010 driftlab site.
2010 driftlab site.

The VW Compare-O-Tron site.
The VW Compare-O-Tron site.

The Jeep Comfort Module site.
The Jeep Comfort Module site.

The ZooYork Institute catalogue.
The ZooYork Institute catalogue.

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