Interviewed on SWD
This past week I was interviewed by the good folks over at Spicy Web Designers. Luc Arnold and the rest of the SWD crew run a fun little site where they interview designers from around the globe. SWD features some of the hottest web design talent around the world and strives to showcase them and inspire others with what is possible in the world of web design. I thank them for the opportunity. I posted a transcript after the jump, but be sure to check them out at spicywebdesigners.com
1. How did you first get started in web design?
I’ve always been interested in art. My parents were both heavily involved in art while I was growing up. My mother worked in photography and my father worked as a designer at Wang Laboratories. He would also do these huge murals in his spare time. Being constantly surrounded by creative people, I started drawing before I could walk. I took art classes through school and had some big aspirations of becoming a comic book artist. Sometime in 1997, I began experimenting with web design. Back then, I began playing around with basic HTML code along with creating and designing what would look like archaic images, now.
2. When did you design your first website? Was it for a client or a personal project?
1997. It was a self-promotional website where I’d scan in pictures from my life and write about them. I guess it was my first exploration into blogging. [Laughs] I wish I still had some of those old files to look back on. It’s been 12 years since then? Man, I’m getting old.
3. What do you think is important to becoming a great web designer?
It’s a constant evolution. Just keep in mind that your design style evolves in the same way that you do as a person. So, take from your experiences in life, learn who you are as a human being and also as a designer.
4. Where did you go to school? Did your education help you land a job in the web design field?
I graduated from UMass in 2006, but I also attended the Art Institute of California for a year. Education definitely helps you smooth out some of your rough edges. It also teaches you the correct way to use these programs. But you have to love what you do. That’s most important. For every hour I spent in a design class, I spent 5-10 at home playing with different techniques. I’ve been out of school for a few years now, and I still learn new techniques almost every day.
5. What is your favorite web technology (PHP, CSS, XHTML, etc.)? And, why is it your favorite?
I love CSS. It’s just so powerful. The options it affords you visually are almost limitless.
6. What is the biggest challenge that you face as a web designer?
Designers are obviously creative individuals; sometimes we take on projects that, at first seem to limit our creativity. You have to teach yourself not too look at them that way. In some way, learn to love each project, make it important to you. Push down the barriers and let your creativity, and love for design shine through. It will show in the final product. Aside from that, never stop learning.
7. Would you consider yourself more of a front-end coder or a graphic designer when it comes to web design?
First and foremost I’ll always be a designer. Front-end coding has just become so important in what we do, as web designers; you’d have to go out of your way not to learn it. In today’s game they really go hand-in-hand. Each of them working together to enrich the end-users experience.