.

Always be building things. Make your roommates band's website. Prototype that app idea you got in the shower. Side projects can be the most rewarding and they're often the ones you learn the most from. You never know what's gonna stick with people, so you need to just keep throwing things at them.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

By day I'm an interactive developer - I've worked at various ad agencies - Stinkdigital, Domani Studios - and just started a job B-Reel. In my spare time, I like to build personal projects from start to finish ( ideation, design, development ). My recent personal work includes We Are Visual Animals ( an art and design blog featuring emerging visual artists ) and The Colors of Motion ( an interactive data visualization of the color of movies .)

What do you do for inspiration?

I do the usual stuff: checking award sites ( theFWA, Awwwards ), reading up on new products and technologies ( product hunt, techcrunch, mashable ). I also regularly check art and design publications like Juxtapoz, Art Fucks Me, Colossal etc..

How do you relax or unwind?

I try to stay healthy by running and doing yoga. Whenever NYC is starting to bring me down I try to get out of the city for a couple days, just for a change of scenery. 

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

There's a part of me that's always wanted to just drop everything, move to a small town somewhere sunny and open a restaurant. 

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

There are two parts of my job that I absolutely love : the first is the big picture stuff - thinking about a problem on a very high level and trying to figure out the best way to solve it, in a way that is scalable, modular and that avoids redundancy. The second thing I enjoy is much more granular and detailed oriented - playing around with animations, experimenting with a very specific script and trying out all the variations in order to create a beautiful effect. 

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

I've actually never pulled an all nighter. My brain gradually starts to shut down after around 10 hours staring at a screen. I'm a strong believer in the law of diminishing returns, and I think that working excessively long hours is a sign of poor time management somewhere along the line. Better to work in a smart and consistent way than to cram at the last minute.

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

I studied graphic design in college, and was initially unsure what I wanted to specialize in. One day I was working in the computer lab, sitting next to someone who was working on some beautiful hover states in Flash. It was the most simple interaction you can imagine, but I was fascinated. The next day I transferred into a Flash class, and that was my way into the web development world.

What software could you not live without?

Sublime Text 3 is my bread and butter. I love how simple it is and how easy it is to extend and customize.

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?

At work I'm just a developer. There are opportunities to be creative, but to run an ad agency effectively there needs to be some level of division of labor. Outside of work I try to push myself to create side projects from start to finish: come up with an idea, prototype, design and develop.

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

We Are Visual Animals is a sort of blog / anti-blog I built to feature emerging visual artists. I wanted to build a site that would highlight artists' work in a beautiful way without a lot of the distracting stuff you tend to see on art blogs.  It was a huge amount of work to build ( back-end, front-end, design ), and is an ongoing effort as I'm continually reaching out to artists, putting interviews together and promoting them. But it's been really rewarding and I'm very proud of the ever growing collection of artists featured on the site.

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

As I mentioned above, I went to design school ( Parsons ), and really enjoyed it. It provided a great structure within which I was able to experiment and learn. Having said that, I think that someone who is truly motivated and self-disciplined can become a great designer or developer without ever attending an art/design school. Making websites is probably the most documented thing on the web, and as long as you can stay focused and not get overwhelmed you can find everything you need.

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

Always be building things. Make your roommates band's website. Prototype that app idea you got in the shower. Side projects can be the most rewarding and they're often the ones you learn the most from. You never know what's gonna stick with people, so you need to just keep throwing things at them.

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

I've found Twitter to be one of the best ways to stay up to date with web trends. I follow the agencies, designers and developers I admire, and try share cool stuff I see. There's a really active and vibrant community of cool people doing cool things, and they're usually the ones who know what cool things are going on.

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

I've been seeing more and more really exceptional work coming out of France ( and Paris in particular .) You've got this group of incredibly talented, young people graduating from these great design schools, and they're taking risks and they just keep producing really amazing stuff.

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

I'd love to work on an interactive "music video" using webGL and interactive 3D sound, something like Ultranoir's "Over the Tiny Hills" project,  which just totally blew my mind.

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

I'm still pretty young, so I want to keep working in the ad world for a few years, learning from the best and hopefully working on cutting edge projects. In my spare time I want to keep working on personal projects. Down the road I see myself starting something small, maybe with a designer and a project manager and just try to approach things in a new way.

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

I want to spend some time really getting my hands dirty with webGL and THREE.js. I think there's some incredible potential with this technology to creative truly immersive experiences.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Buy domain names! The first thing I do when I start a new personal project is to buy the domain name. It makes the project feel real and makes it way more likely that I'll finish it.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

- Thank you!


Links

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The Colors of Motion
The Colors of Motion

The Colors of Motion
The Colors of Motion

The Colors of Motion
The Colors of Motion

We Are Visual Animals
We Are Visual Animals

We Are Visual Animals
We Are Visual Animals

We Are Visual Animals
We Are Visual Animals

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