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Great-Exposures

Great Exposures

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Great ExposuresIn this Crush Review, PageCrush had the wonderful opportunity to bring forward a leading name in design. Great Exposures, an international Design Studio and Brand Agency with offices in North America and Europe. Their works have been recognized by many prestigious design awards and have been featured in People Magazine, MSNBC Live, E NEWS, Access Hollywood, Yahoo, FWA, Tauschen and Shutterbug publications and others.

PageCrush is honored to provide an inside look with this exploding agency and their growing talents worldwide. Please read on as PageCrush would like to learn more about Great Exposures and the functions of an evolving design group.

Q. Where are you located?
North America and Europe

Q. What is your company and its purpose?
Visual design studio for the media.

Q. Does Great Exposures have team members that work in other locations around the world? Or is the company’s production mainly based out of your main location?
Yes, we have team members in Europe and in the US.

Q. What brought together such a pool of talented individuals?
Our founders have searched for the best talent and created an opportunity to excel.

Q. Relating to above question, how was Great Exposures founded as a company and get its start?
Great Exposures was founded in January of 2002 with a goal to create great exposures for the best. ‘Nomen est Omen’ !

Q. What is your biggest project(s) to date?
For a New York Times bestselling author BradThor.com. Offers a double audiovisual experience – a teaser trailer for his latest book ‘The Last Patriot’ and an intro for the website – which lead to a prestegious 5th place on the Amazon.com book sale ranking. According to our knowledge, we created the first book trailer of its kind.

Q. What gives your designers the greatest inspirations towards the projects worked on?
The unknown and overcoming the obsticles. Every project is a new challenge and a learning curve. It is our way of constantly developing and improving our skills.

Q. How often does your staff get to travel and meet with clients and is traveling in itself an inspiration for design and production within your company?
With a few exception, due to an international clientele we learned to work virtually. However, through the working process we have developed friendship with our clients and made a personal effort to meet afterwards.

Q. It appears Great Exposures is very active with the celebrity community. How does this excel Great Exposures reputation in the design industry and for the company?
Our expertise are most valued by Hollywood and our name is being passed around in the industry. The occasional appearance of our work in the media, like Ask-Elizabeth.com on MSNBC Live, Access Hollywood, E-News and People Magazine, excel our company’s reputation.

Q. How does your company obtain these big name clients?
Our first major project JerryAvenaim.com and the above certainly helped spread the word. Also all of the awards and publications contributes to our name recognition in the industry.

Q. On the topic of big name celebrities you have completed work for; Do you work directly with the individual you’re portraying or their agents/production companies?
So far we have been working with individuals directly, but sooner then later our paths will cross and we’ll work agencies as well.

Q. Is your business a majority by word of mouth or is there a marketing strategy in place?
We’ve been fortunate to receive the majority of our business through word of mouth advertising and since our capacity is limited, we’ve never had to do any major marketing campaings.

Q. How does your company deal with demanding and impossible clients? Such as clients who don’t understand that certain projects take time and they want it done now.
It has been a learning curve for all of us. We help clients work along specific rules and guidelines which is appreciated through the learning process. Getting the best often requires waiting in line a couple of months 🙂

Q. Do your team members have schooling for their roles or is it based on pure talent and passion for this field?
Knowledge on our level are not learned in schools, obsolutely through life experience.

Q. With the majority of your projects, do clients allow your company to steer the boat when it comes to design and creativity or are there times when your company has to follow their guidelines, even if it falls out of your design interest or recommendations?
There is an opportunity for every one to steer the boat, however our clients hire us to guide them to a unique and creative world.

Q. Competition is so great now a days, how do you survive?
Luckly not many studios produce the type of audiovisual experience we do.

Q. What is Great Exposures biggest achievements that you are proud to make mentions of?
Ask-Elizabeth.com has been featured in the media the most: MSNBC LIVE, Access Hollywood, E-News, People Magazine and Yahoo.

Q. What does your company hope to achieve in the long run?
Our goal is to produce trailers for major motion pictures and step into other medias such as commercials and film.

Q. What was the toughest challenges?
We strive to work in any styles. However, the biggest challenge was working in the world of Ask-Elizabeth.com, because it came together from many detailed elements (both design and programming).

Q. How do you think digital multimedia will be in the future?
We are working on it 😉 hah-hah

Q. Any advice you’d like to leave inspired artists and designers with?
1) Setting clear goals. 2) See and do about your goals every day. 3) Be trained every day, both mentaly and physicaly. The rest will come, just a matter of time.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share that was not covered above?
Think long term and be disciplined. Associate yourself with people who command these attributes, and your success will come.

PageCrush would like to say:
Great Exposures, keep doing what you’re doing! It was a great pleasure to have a moment with your firm and the discuss the operations of creative minds. PageCrush thanks you for your time and dedication.

For more of Great Exposures work and info, please visit: www.greatexposures.com

boys-collection

Melissa Rodwell

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Melissa RodwellPageCrush is once again honored to have the fine opportunity to interview another PageCrush fan and Featured Crush, Melissa Rodwell. Originally from Pasadena California, Melissa now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor David Skyler. David has proudly helped bring Melissa’s online identity to life, featuring an array of her latest exhibit, The Boys Collection. This latest exhibit deriving from the most intimate level of Melissa’s creative soul, is a reflection of her life’s history and profound work. After years of shooting young females in suggestive manners for the fashion industry, she decided to give life to an exhibit titled “BOYS.” Her goal was to turn things around and present the young male body in an erotic manner from a female perspective. Amongst many other ventures in her life, Melissa graduated from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. This kickstarted her journey that has spanned the world in fashion and entertainment photography. Her work has lead to exposure in international advertising campaigns and major publications globally.

The Boys Collection will proudly be on display at the In•dependent Gallery at District Lab within Florida’s Wynwood Art District. Grand Opening will kickoff on February 9th at 7:00 PM. The exhibit will run from February 10th through April 9th, 2008.

We’d love to take the time to present Melissa Rodwell and her life passion for photography. The following is a wonderful combination of talent, hard work and life experiences.

Q. Where are you located?
Los Angeles, CA

Q. Design, photography, modeling, how did you get your start in the world of professional photography and design?
Initially, I wanted to go into fashion design. But at 17, I accidentally wandered into a gallery that was showing Helmut Newton’s photographs and his work completely changed my mind! I became obsessed with photography, specifically, fashion photography.

Q. Is photography your prime specialty and how does one survive in this ever so competitive world?
Photography is my prime specialty. I studied at the Art Center College of Design, graduated with a degree in photography in 1987 and started working as a professional photographer pretty much straight out of school. To survive in the competitive world of photography you have to be tenacious, persistent and develop a thick skin against rejection. I’d say a certain amount of “charm” helps as well, especially in the fashion industry because everyone’s a Diva who’s involved in fashion. But yes, there is a ton of competition and you can’t give up even after repeated rejections. I’ve always been the type of person that will come up twice as strong if I’ve been knocked on my ass. It’s just my personality but I think that has helped me in the past to stick with it and not give up. I love proving people wrong!

Q. Do you have a team that helps bring life in what you do?
It’s always about the team. I need a team to execute my shoots. Make up artists, hair stylists, wardrobe stylists, assistants, gophers, animal trainers, you need it all! My team players have changed over the years and depending on what I’m shooting or where I’m shooting it. I couldn’t drag my favorite team players with me around the world. But I would’ve if I could’ve. I got attached to certain people on my teams. I used to fantasize that we would all stick together and create big amazing things together, traveling together all over the place. It doesn’t usually work that way though. And now with the digital age and all the post production that is needed, the team just got bigger and more involved! Sometimes it’s a pain to have to depend on other people, but that’s the way it is.

Q. Is this something you’ve always wanted to do in life, and what has helped you accomplish obstacles that have seemed impossible along your journey?
Yes, photography is all I have ever wanted to do as far as a career and as an art form. My biggest obstacle in the past was all the traveling I had to do in order to make a living. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and while LA is a great market for photographers, it isn’t a strong fashion market. At all. No matter what anyone tells you. So I had to go to Europe and NYC and even Sydney, Australia in order to work. The problem was that I was attached to my friends and to relationships in Los Angeles, so I always felt a void in my life because I was constantly moving to strange lands and surrounded by strangers. It was lonely, at times. I mean, when I was younger, I liked it more. But as I got older, it was a sacrifice I didn’t want to make any longer. And unfortunately, I never could base myself in places like NYC or Paris where the fashion industry is strong for very long because I was in a relationship with someone back in LA. It was tough.

Q. Your focus exhibit at this time in your career is “The Boys Collection”. How many different themed exhibits to date have you accomplished?
I have had 3 themed exhibits. Monet Mazur, the actress, was my first exhibit. I shot Monet when she was 16 and just starting to model. My second exhibit was on photographs I had shot in and around Sydney’s heroin scene. I wasn’t able to finish that body of work because I moved away from Sydney after 2 years.

Boys Collection

Q. How many showings do you exhibit in a year for a particular theme?
It really depends. Sometimes I’ve only shown an exhibit once, like my Sydney heroin series. Monet showed 3 times, once in LA, twice in Sydney. The Boys Collection has shown 3 times in LA, back to back, then I took a year off. Now it is showing in Miami this month. After Miami, it will go to Orlando. New York is next and then hopefully Europe will follow.

Q. Is “The Boys Collection” your biggest project to date?
Well, the Boys Collection took a lot of time and energy to produce and also to promote. So yes, in that way, it has been my biggest project to date.

Q. It appears “The Boys Collection” is quite an active piece. How does this excel your reputation in the industry and for your future?
Last year I made the decision to leave behind the commercial fashion world and just “do my art”. I had a real break down last year where I didn’t shoot much and didn’t pursue work and sort of secluded myself in order to find out what I wanted to do next. I have become increasingly unhappy with shooting fashion, per se, and it got to the point that I didn’t even want to shoot anymore. I was really freaked out by that, by the idea that I wasn’t inspired to even shoot anymore. I had to really go inside myself and ask a lot of questions. I realized that I was missing the “old school” days of shooting film and shooting what I love. So I made the big leap off that scary bridge and decided to chuck in the fashion world and focus on doing my art! By doing the Boys Collection and having it show again, it is re-establishing my name as an artist who shows and not a photographer who is hired to shoot someone else’s story boards. Obviously, the Boys Collection is not going to be the last show I do, but it will open doors for the next series of photographs I want to show.

Q. What gives you the greatest inspiration towards your projects, past, and present?
I get inspiration from a lot of things. A great line in a great book. A moment of awe that is unexplainable. Amsterdam at dusk. David Bowie’s music. Meeting someone new that shines above the rest. Tremendous design. Stanley Kubrik. Even triumph, over terrible odds, is inspiring. My greatest inspirations have come when I’ve been totally seduced. When I’m really drawn in by someone or something it is when I feel the most inspired.

Q. How often do you travel for your career and what’s the most unique location you’ve proudly exhibited your work?
As I mentioned before, I used to travel constantly. In my ‘20’s and early ‘30’s, I lived out of a suitcase (or duffel bag). I belonged to the Jack Kerouac school of, “if you own a rug you own too much”. Sydney was fun to exhibit in. And since Miami is new to me, this will be pretty sweet to show here. I think Miami is really rising up in the art world and I’m really excited to be part of it and feel this great rush of activity going on down here. Art/Basel was an amazing time here in Miami this past December. There was so much to see and to take in….it was really incredible.

Q. How much of what you learned in school has taught what you know today?
Well, I learned how to actually expose, develop and print FILM. Hah….what a concept nowadays. I learned a lot in school, and then I learned pretty much nothing. Like I said, I learned how to expose and develop film and I learned how to print film. And seriously, if you can’t go into a darkroom and print a damn good print, you are not really totally able to call yourself a photographer. It is my belief that if you can’t print, you can’t shoot. And if you can’t expose film you aren’t really a photographer either. Also, believe it or not, I learned how to stay in the moment when I was in school. Having 12 hours of darkroom homework a day 4 times a week, you have to stay in that little dark room and work. You can’t run out to address every petty little trite drama that’s going on “outside” that dark world. When you’re agitating canisters of film for 27 minutes and you can’t leave the room or you’ll fuck up your images, you realize that whoever’s pissed off with you and waiting to yell at you outside the door will still be there in 27 minutes when you’re done. What I didn’t learn in school was how to get through the rough times throughout my career. That’s stuff they can’t teach, that can only be learned through experience.

Q. What are your biggest achievements that you are proud to make mentions of?
There are many that I am proud of yet the biggest one I that I am most proud of has nothing to do with my career!

Q. In your career, have you catered your talent to the world of Hollywood and celebrities?
That is the one area I have had a really tough time with. Because I kept re-locating back to Los Angeles, I was coerced to shoot celebrities. I was urged to put my book together to get more celebrity work. I have to say I never had an interest in shooting celebrities. I find it totally boring, for the most part. It’s not the celebrity that’s the drag, it’s their publicist, manager, agent, personal assistant, boyfriend, hanger on, those people are the drag to deal with. And again, I’m not usually shooting that celebrity how I would see him or her. I’m shooting them how the client wants them shot. I can’t tell you how many agents told me to “gear my portfolio” toward getting more celebrity gigs. I hated it! But that’s where the money is in LA.

Q. What was your first published piece or series?
My very first published piece was a 8 page fashion editorial for Sassy Magazine. I was very proud!

Q. What have your toughest challenges been?
I’m not the world’s greatest business woman. It took me forever to learn how to save money in the “feast or famine” hoopla of freelancing. I am a big fan of living life and living it large. When I was younger, it was devastating on the bank account. I’m not a techno geek either. I know it in the back of my head, but while I’m shooting I like to let it go and focus on capturing the moment with my subjects. BUT….I do hire great assistants so they keep track of all that! It’s a must! Another challenge is self-promotion and marketing. That’s where a good agent comes in. And honestly, I’m happy to pay them a commission for doing all the promotional work and negotiating the fees. I’m a real “shooter”. That’s where I get off. After I’m done shooting, I leave it to the assistants to process my film or files, and I move on to the next thing I’m going to shoot. The business side and technical side I like to let people help me who are passionate about those things. Lastly, my toughest challenge has been learning how to balance my personal life with my career. It’s hard to “live on the road”. It’s tough on a marriage. It’s tough on your spirit. It’s hard to stay balanced and centered with no home, so to speak. Or base.

Q. What do you hope to achieve in the long run?
Well, for one, stay married this time! But seriously, I would like to continue to keep shooting what I want. I am beginning to shoot a new series that I hope will be exhibited and published.

Q. Here’s a question many modern folks would like to know? Digital or film?
Oh dear….well I think you can guess by now what I’m going to say. Film. Hands down. Honestly I can’t stand digital. I shoot it because I have to shoot it because clients insist on it. But I never liked it. Nothing beats a really great image shot on film. To me, there’s no comparison. But I know there are millions who disagree with me. You go, techies!!

Q. Any advice you’d like to leave inspired photographers and artists with?
As long as you love what you’re doing, you’ll be fine. The minute you wake up and you’re not inspired to shoot, or wake up resenting that you have to go shoot to pay your rent, get out! For one, life’s too short to be miserable. And two, there are too many others out there who are intensely passionate about photography who will gladly snatch up all your gigs!

Q. Do you have any closing comments?
Thank you so much for interviewing me for your Crush Review. It’s been a real pleasure!

Keep up the fantastic work! You are truly an inspiration to many and it has been an honor to feature your Crush Review. PageCrush thanks you for your time and dedication.

For more of Melissa Rodwell’s work, please visit her latest exhibition at: www.melissarodwell.net

zoolook

Zoolook

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ZoolookPageCrush has now added a CrushReviews chapter. Giving some of the top featured designers a place of recognition in today’s developing world of multimedia and design. PageCrush has had the fine opportunity to start this section off by interviewing Nicholas Da Silva, the founder of ZOOLOOK, a San Francisco-based new media company established in 1996 that utilizes Adobe’s creative suite of products as a storytelling medium to produce award-winning entertainment properties that promote a multicultural experience. http://www.zoolook.com

His digital graphic novel series Hitless was recently featured HOT CRUSH on January 16, 2007. An Adobe Solutions Partner, Nicholas is also an award-winning graphic designer, producer and published author. He has been designing with Flash since 1997 and has developed projects for TechTV, Charles Schwab, Divco West, Wyclef Jean, Front 242, to name a few.

Nicholas served as Lead Graphic Designer for Lewis & Partner Advertising in 1994. Two years later, he was promoted to Design Studio Manager where oversaw all creative for clients such as Nestlé, Oregon Chai, Gardenburger, Union Bank of California and Specialty Brands. Nicholas left the agency in 1999 to work full time on his passion, ZOOLOOK Entertainment. In December 2000, Nicholas brainstormed the tagline I Want My FlashTV, and seven months later, FlashTV was born. He is the creator, designer, producer and webmaster behind this award-winning, global community site dedicated to the development and support of Flash-generated film shorts and animations created by independent storytellers from around the world. In 2003, Nicholas launched The Greatest Story Never Told, the biggest Flash storytelling competition ever. The annual event invites independent storytellers from around the world to use Macromedia Flash MX to produce an original stories for the web, dvd, television, film and interactive entertainment.

His interests include snowboarding, traveling, movies, eating, music, writing and dreaming. He is currently working on his third book from his fiction series entitled Dread & Alive. He’s also currently producing a digital graphic novel series entitled Hitless.

Q. Where are you located?
San Francisco, CA (Nob Hill) USA

Q. What is your company?
ZOOLOOK is a new media agency established in 1996. Through ZOOLOOK, I utilize Adobe’s creative suite of products to produce print and online designs for my clients. I also produced original entertainment properties that promote a multicultural experience.

Q. Do you work alone or with a team?
I do both, depending on the project. I find that some of my personal projects attract the attention of other artists eager to be part of a team. I like working as part of a team. I usual provide the concepts and ideas and then work with other artists on the production side. You gotta get your hands dirty to get results.

Q. Did you always have a passion for design when younger? If so, about what age did you know when this is what you wanted to do?
Design was in my blood at birth. I was drawing at the age of 2 and haven’t looked back. In my early years, I enjoyed drawing cars and buildings. Then, characters and logos. At the age of 10, I designed my own sports car and sent it in to Ford Motor company. A month in a half later, I received a letter from Ford which stated that they didn’t accept unsolicited materials but that they were very impressed with my work. They enclosed a check for $1500 for me to pursue a career in car design. My mother still has the letter. The check was cashed. ; )

Q. How did you first get noticed and with what project?
It was back in 2001 with the launch of FlashTV! I wanted to created a community for Flash Animators who were using Flash to create film shorts and animation. I received the FWA and Ultrashock award and it took off from there. The site grew quickly, catching the attention of the folks at Macromedia who gave the site it’s nod for SITE OF THE DAY.

Q. What is your biggest project to date?
That’s a tough question. FlashTV and TGSNT (The Greatest Story Never Told) have been very big projects however, the two current projects are about equal in size. They are the HITLESS digital graphic novel series and the Cave Dudez movie; TGSNT! With HITLESS, I am trying to redefine comics by eliminating the need to go to print and instead embracing the digital age. I’ve develop a unique production technique that allows me to create one comic book yet easily format it for the different handheld devices on the market. Cave Dudez is my attempt to produce a full length animated feature film and distribute it on the web and tv through FlashTV. It’s a fun project and the response from the fans are amazing. I recently announced a first of its kind; an online casting call inviting the public to participate in the movie by being a cave dude or cave betty in the film. My first signup was the famous French Chef, Hubert Keller, who signed on immediately. We have other big name celebs who have signed on which has made this a exciting project.

Q. Do you usually submit your work to producers or potential movie studios or leave it for a chance to get noticed?
Good question. I’ve haven’t in the past. Back in 1997, the producers of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER contacted me inquiring about the rights to my Dread & Alive series, an urban comic book project that originally started with 2 novels. Since then, I’ve elected to take the independent route. HITLESS is a project very dear to me. I would love to have Michael Mann as director because he is my mentor. Next month, I will release issue #2 of HITLESS, which will shed some major light on what the true premise of the story is about. Then I’ll start reaching out to the studios.

Q. Speaking of mentors, what artists you would consider an influence?
Let’s see … David Martin and the guys at Fantasy Interface. They push the boundaries of design and web technology. Rodney Buchemi, the illustrator extraordinaire from Bigjack Studios in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Kol Belov from Russia is one of the most intriguing and amazing Flash Animator on the planet. And I can’t forget the guys from France; Team Chman, including the likes of RUN and Osmoze.

Q. How did you go about your proposal to make your Hitless series fly on PSP?
When the PSP first came out, I fell in love with the device. I did some experiments with images displaying on the screen and was blown away by the beauty of how things looked on the device. It then got me thinking about rethinking comics. I was originally going to produce HITLESS like a regular comic book designed for print. I then sat down and studied the principles behind widescreen and regular tv and then it hit me. I can produce one comic book and format it for the PSP (widescreen) and the iPOD (regular tv). I just have to lay out my pages differently.

Q. It’s been said you’re writing a book. Can you elaborate on that?
I’ve been working on a Flash Filmmaking book for Thomson Course PTR. The books will walk the reader through the process of creating a 1 minute movie in flash. I’m hoping to have this finish by February. I believe the book is due on in March 2007. I’m using 3 of the Cave Dudez characters in a mini story that also teaches the reader about the principles of creating a great story; the three act structure; the Setup, the Conflict and the Resolution.

Q. Did you go to school for what you do?
In my junior high school years, I lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where I really got to show off my art skills. When I attended college at Marshall University (We are Marshall), I was taking pre-engineering. I only last 2 years and decided to GO WEST and pursue my real passion, art and music (and some street-style skateboarding. I’m truly a self-taught artists.

Q. Do you think school can teach talent or is it something that comes with just getting out there and making it happen?
I think that self-taught artists tend to be trendsetters; artists who follow a different beat. I do think schools play an important role because they help teach the principles of art so the one has a better understanding. I liken self-taught artists to the Howard Shultz, the Michael Dell’s, the Bill Gates of the worlds. Individuals with a vision!

Q. What inspires you? Such as, what gives you ideas for your projects or storylines?
I’m inspired by many things … traveling to a place I’ve never been before; an original movie (The Usual Suspects, Manhunter, Smilia’s Sense of Snow; all types of music inspire me, architecture, other artists pushing the limits of their creativity, PageCrush!

Q. Does your location of San Francisco give you inspiration?
It does. The scenery, the Victorian buildings and the people. I’m also inspired by the city’s past which definitely contributes to my storytelling. I like to mesh fact with fiction, giving my stories a sense of realism.

Q. What’s your biggest achievement that you’re very proud of?
My daughter, Mariana Mai Da Silva. She is 3 now and the heir to my dreams. ; ) I’ve done many things … wrote 2 novels, produced 2 albums, developed many websites, won numerous awards, and nothing compares to being with my daughter.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with your work in the long run?
I hope to be able to offer my work directly to my audience and reap the benefits of the work that I’ve put into it. The current distribution models that exist don’t favor the independent artists. That has to change if we are to co-exist with the big boys.

Q. Is your drawing technique in making it digital a secret? Do you draw it out first then trace it in vector?
In creating HITLESS, we first start with a script that is flushed into storyboards. We then take the storyboards and create first pencils to show each panel layout. If the panels are good, we then do final pencils and then go to the inking stage. Once that’s done, we go to color, which is done digitally using Adobe Photoshop. We then have our final panels which are saved in a hires format so that we can cross-purpose the panels for other mediums. Lettering comes next and then the reformatting of the panels for each devices ends the process.

It’s a fun process because as you go through it, you start to see the final product evolve which is exciting.

Q. What was the toughest challenge you had with your designs?
My toughest challenge would have to be when I was designing the current FlashTV site. I wanted to use Flash Video (FLV) instead of the standard export format; swfs. Most of the artists appearing on the site knew how to animated in flash but not necessarily how to animate their files (swf’s) so that they could be easily exported to quicktime and flv. I found myself having to help many of the artists achieve this with their movies which didn’t always translate perfectly. For example, movieclips don’t translate well to quicktime. The trick is to convert movieclips into animated symbols instead. Trial and error always prevail.

Q. How do you think digital multimedia will be in the future?
I think digital multimedia will provide more power and control to the independents. You will see more independent content being produce from home studios that rival the big house productions. And with iTV from Apple and JOOST, you will see new channels being developed from independent artists who are tired of waiting for Hollywood to come knocking. I can’t wait!

Q. Any advice you’d like to leave inspired artists and designers with?
Sure! I encourage all artists to open your mind to the world. There’s amazing things out there that can inspire you. And be passionate about your work. Do it first for the love and everything else will follow. I think it’s also important to share and collaborate with other artists. We all learn from each other. Tink diffran mon!

It was a great pleasure to talk with you. You are truly an inspiration. Keep up the fantastic work! PageCrush thanks you for your time and dedication.

For more of Nicholas Da Silva’s work, please visit:

ZOOLOOK Entertainment Sites: http://www.zoolook.com / http://www.iwantmyflashtv.com / http://www.tgsnt.com / http://www.hitless.com
http://www.dreadandalive.com / http://www.cavedudez.com and http://www.reeltv.com

Colin-Anton-Ochel

Colin Anton Ochel

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Colin Anton OchelPageCrush brings forth another fantastic designer, Colin Anton Ochel of Lime Interactive and his history of design and ongoing passion regarding Internet possibilities. Colin is a veteran of Internet design and marketing. Obtaining a B.F.A. in New Media Studies from Syracuse University. Colin took his studies and moved to the corporate world where he discovered his creative abilities were limited. Venturing off onto his own, Colin formed his own company and soon realized he could serve boundless from Creative Director to Information Architect, Account Manager and Sales Force. Skilled with many possibilites and design knowledge, Colin has landed opportunities with Fortune 500 clients; Such as JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, AOL, Financial Times and Sony to name a few. Colin believes solid solutions begin with fresh ideas. With this said, we’d like to encourage you to read on as PageCrush would like to learn more about Colin and his enthusiasm of a creative mind.

Q. Where are you located?
The Jersey Shore, USA.

Q. What is your company and its purpose?
Lime is an interactive design shop. I have always tried to push the limits of the medium which is becoming more and more difficult because you can pretty much do anything your mind can imagine these days.

Q. Colin, do you have team members that work in other locations around the world you collaborate with? Or is your company’s production mainly based out of New Jersey?
I mainly work alone but I do leverage my past employees at times for specific talents that I do not posses. Mostly in the back end department. They are all pretty local. Some of them have moved across the country but that is about as far as they have transplanted.

Q. Is the majority of your work catered to local clients or are you recognized on a national or international level?
I would say international. My focus is helping ad agencies help their clients so my work runs the gamut. I recently finished a site for Toto who is “the Kohler” of Japan. My first real client was a Japanees television company so I guess I have come full circle.

Q. How was Lime Interactive founded as a company?
Funny story (I think) I started out with a business partner. He focused on the 3D broadcast world and I focus on the interactive world. We were basically two guys working out of his shared apartment basement trying to make it on our own. One day we received a lead that a start-up Japanees television company was looking to get four 10 second station ids done for their launch which was in eight weeks. We received notice on a Thursday that we would be meeting with them on Monday so we went down to Soho and found some sublet space that next day. We bought a bunch of IKEA furniture and threw together an office. Sketched out our ideas and landed the job. We discovered later that we were the only ones crazy enough to take on the job. We both worked 16 to 20 hours everyday for eight weeks. I remember running to the airport to hand deliver the beta tape the day before the station was going on air.

Q. Your studies and work started in 1993 before the Internet became a vast craze. How did you get your start in the web and design world?
I went to school at Syracuse University. In 1993 SU was connected to the “World Wide Web” and since my major was New Media Studies, the department decided to create a class teaching you everything about the Web. At the time it was very limiting. You basically could add a picture and align it to the left, right or center. Plus you could add text and change it’s color. WOW. So our assignment was to create a web site on anything we wanted to do. I decided to make a site on Tattoos since I would draw them at the time. ( Very embarrassing but you can see what it looked like in 1994 at; http://web.archive.org/web/19961212124132/http://ziris.syr.edu/dj/dj.tatoos/tatoos.html )

Well around the same time, the founders of Yahoo were putting together their first release of Yahoo.com. Since there really was not much out there at the time, my tattoo site was on Yahoo.com the very first day it launched.

On a side note, I tried to sell t-shirts I made on my tattoo site but my teacher made me remove the content because she said that the internet (World Wide Web at the time) was not created to make money. I wonder if she still thinks that.

Q. What kept you motivated throughout this period of learning and educating yourself on such a new trend at the time?
I needed a job. I must admit, I went to school to become a 3D animator and vowed to my teacher I would never get a job in the “World Wide Web” because it was so limiting. But after I graduated from college, I had the opportunity to move into a rent controlled apartment in New York City so I needed a job quick. Well back in 1995, if you knew HTML, you could get a job.

Q. What is your biggest project(s) to date?
I would say the one that has received the most buzz would be cleanishappy.com . ML Rogers Agency hired me to help them create a web site for their new “smiling butts” campaign. They were great to work with. They gave me great direction, content and let me do my thing.

Q. In the beginning of your career, how did you build your portfolio and start this process from perhaps one or two projects? What gave your portfolio strengths for clients to admire your work?
My first job (the Japan’s TV station) paid me enough money so I could move out of the one room sublet and renovate a 4000 sqft loft right off Union Square Park in NYC. At the time, there was only three of us so we used the six rooms we constructed as bedrooms. My business partner and myself each used one and we rented out the other four to NYU students.

The space was impressive, in fact it was showcased in HOW design magazine, so when a potential client walked through our doors, they assumed we knew our stuff. We also targeted the big interactive agencies of the time like Agency.com, USWeb, Organic, etc. and were given their scraps. I remember having a conversation with an agency that now does not exist and they had so much work, they were turning anything down that was less than $300,000! So I set up a relationship that I would give them a 10% finders fee for any projects they fed us. It worked really well.

Q. How did you make the jump from working in a corporate world to working for yourself and feeling confident you could support yourself financially?
Unfortunately I was heavily focused in the Financial Sector and Start-Ups with seed money when “the Bubble” burst; Which sent the stock marketing crashing. Marketing budgets froze and no one was giving out seed money so I had to down size quickly. I was offered a two plus year opportunity to consult for JPMorgan so I decided to take the job for many professional and personal reasons.

After the two plus years, I found myself with a company of one. So I had to start all over again. I targeted ad agencies once again but this time as an individual. It has worked pretty well but there is so much competition now that it is very hard to get in front of the right people. You really need to know someone.

It is scary to go off on your own without a safety net but it is what I have been doing since I graduated college so I do not know anything else. It always seems to work out.

Q. This is for many aspiring designers wishing to make it big, at present, how do you obtain most of your work or jobs and how do you handle your work load solely on your own?
I use talent agencies to find me the work. It sucks that they get a cut of my rate but I look at them as my sales force.

You need to be willing to work as long as it takes to get it done. If that means working 20 hour days seven days a week, you just do it. I do leverage past employees to help me out on specific talents or when the scope blows up but the deadline does not move.

Q. How often do you really get to travel for your work and is traveling in itself an inspiration for design and production within your company?
I usually work from home so I rarely travel for work but I would say the greatest aspect being a freelancer is that you can work where and when you want. My wife and I love to travel so I travel all over the world with my laptop making a 20 hour flight into two work todays. ( I bring four batteries). I think it is very important to travel. It is definitely insparational but more importantly, it gives you a different perspective.

Q. What are your biggest achievements that you are proud to make mentions of?
Finding someone I can grow old with.

Q. With your work, what do you hope to achieve in the long run?
To be able to pick and choose the jobs I decide to work on.

Q. What was the toughest challenges?
Being able to separate my personal life with my work life. It is very hard to escape your work when you work from home.

Q. How do you think digital multimedia will be in the future?
I will look 10 years ahead because you would think I was a nut if I look any further into the future. It will be very interesting to see how our society will be structured because you will have access to everything anywhere. One medium that is going to change a lot in the next decade is our “TV’s”. It is clear that the internet will be integrated with what we call TV. It will begin by changing the way we think of a commercial. With VOD, commercials will need to be intigrated into the shows and not 30 second linear breaks cutting up the show. It will be more like a product placement. You may see an outfit that your favorate actor is wearing so you could click on the jeans and the show would pause. You would go to something like a web site to learn more about it, one click purchase the item and then return to watching the show. What will be interesting are the shows that will come out because of the technology. “Reality Shows” are going to go to a whole other level.

Q. Any advice you’d like to leave inspired artists and designers with?
Be truthful to your clients and yourself. Your word is all you have, so be honest. Know your limitations and focus on your strengths. Always deliver when you say you will. Go to sites like PageCrush to get inspired but never copy an idea.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share that was not covered above?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my views and for taking the time to read my rambles.

PageCrush would like to say:
Colin, you are a hard worker and dedicated to your field of passion. Designers and artists from all over should take note on success stories such as this and be inspired. It was a great pleasure to talk with you. PageCrush thanks you for your time and dedication.

For more of Colin’s work and designs, please visit: www.colinochel.com

Papangue-Project

Papangue-Project

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Papangue ProjectOnce again PageCrush has had the fine opportunity to interview another PageCrush fan and Crush Respect Partner, Jeff of the Papangue-Project. Jeff has launched a new personal campaign called the Papague-Project and has a great interest in serving the design community. Originally from Paris and now a freelance designer as an artist of print and web, his hobbies of designing and computing have much overcome his abilities to produce creative but yet catchy content. PageCrush personally had the fine opportunity of partaking in a Papague-Project as Jeff had sent a new batch of stickers to us that gave the opportunity to boost the decals tour around the world. Much of these worldly stickers can be found on his web site. www.papangue-project.com

Graduating from the Fashion School of Haute Couture in Paris, Jeff has used his talent to continue what he does best today. With this said, we’d like to encourage you to read on as we had a few questions for Jeff and the Papangue-Project.

Q. Where are you located?
I’m located in Reunion island in the Indian Ocean. It’s a little French island near Madagascar.

Q. What is your company/project and its purpose?
I work as free-lance designer and Papangue Project is a personal project. It’s more an artistic project. The purpose is to show my personal side to people, to have fun and to work on a project that I want to develop like stickers or tee-shirts. It’s also to work with people from different parts of the world.

Q. What does Papangue Project stand for?
Papangue is the name of a bird of prey which live only on Reunion island. I wanted to have a name with the idea of my location and also something that sounds international.

Q. What inspiration brought on your design talent in your early age?
When I was child, Star Wars was my inspiration, all drawings that I had done were about Star Wars. When I become older I wanted to work as fashion designer, so I drew a lot of fashion sketches.

Q. How was Papangue Project founded?
By chance, I was working on the new version of my professional website I was looking for a new design and a new way of navigation, so I created a 3D floating vehicle that I called Papangue. When the website went online, I really enjoyed that name Papangue Project and I wanted to create a personal website with personal designs and decided to call it Papangue Project.

Q. Did you start designing for your work on the Internet or designing offline?
I started designing offline, but I quicky realized that Internet is a very good way to show your work to people. Actually my work is better known in Hong-Kong than in Reunion island.

Q. What is your biggest project(s) to date?
The biggest project is on its way as I plan to do an urban toy. I will go to Hong Kong to meet people from this industry and try to make new contacts to realize this project. I also have this line of tee-shirts as I have launched one already to sell and a second will be available soon.

Q. What is the mission with your stickers? Is this a project aimed towards branding?
The stickers were done first for fun as I sent few to people around the world they kindly took pictures of them and sent me back the pictures.

Q. How often do you get to travel and is traveling in itself an inspiration for design and production within your company?
I used to travel every 2 years, unfortunately the price of the flights is very expensive where I live. Last time my wife and I went to NYC and it was there where I discovered the toys at Kidrobot. This year we will go to Hong-Kong in May and those travels help me to create and open my mind to inspiration.

Q. Do your have any schooling for this or is it based on pure talent and passion for this field?
As long as I remember I would always draw. I have my french bachelors in literature and art and after school I moved to Paris to learn fashion design. I worked for seven or eight years in fashion while at that time I discovered computer Photoshop and Illustrator and were the first sofware programs that I worked on. After that it was like a kind of an addiction.

Q. What is Papangue Project’s biggest achievements that you are proud to make mentions of?
A few designs will be published in a print edition of NewWebPick. It’s the first time that my work is published and it’s an honor for me to be published by them.

Q. What do you hope to achieve in the long run?
I hope that people from around the world will enjoy what I’m doing and to be working with other artists or for interesting projects of big brands.

Q. How do you think digital multimedia will be in the future?
I think it will be everywhere, in everyday life with advertising, videos, internet and also that there will be more and more people who work in that industry.

Q. Any advice you’d like to leave inspired artists and designers with?
My advice is to do what you want, do it with pleasure and keep going. Sometimes it’s hard and difficult, but if you managed to arrive to your goal, you will be satisfed.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share that was not covered above?
I think that’s all I have for now.

It was a great pleasure to talk with you. You’ve shared key points in what you do. Other designers should look up to these success stories and be inspired to help them do what they do best. You are truly an inspiration. Keep up the fantastic work! PageCrush thanks you for your time and dedication.

For more of Jeff’s work at the Papangue-Project, please visit: www.papangue-project.com

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