I publish many interviews on WPCrown Magazine, some of the interviews are made for you, the readers, but there is another type of posts, the ones which I do for myself, the ones which I read five times and from which I learn more than you do. This is the one of them. Today I am honored to publish this interview with Jesús, also known across Envato as pezflash. He is a Spanish web developer, freelancer and author at Envato. Don’t forget to check out his website, and to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy the reading!
1. First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time for this interview Jesús. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi Alex. First of all, thanks for the opportunity to be present on your web magazine, and also big sorry with the delay in asking you this questions, you know fishes are lazy, much more if they are spanish. ;)
I’m a graphic designer based in Madrid. I’ve been freelancing for almost 10 years (f*, i’m getting old!), after a couple of intense experiences on two companies here in Spain, one big web company, called Teknoland, and other small production studio, with many extra hours, enough to made me think about going the free way. My skills are more strong on Corporate Identity and Editorial Design, although web design and development is what have been paying the important bills on the past years. I’m not really a coder, but years ago i decided to try to develop my own projects, mostly in flash. Right now, after the flash disaster with mobile market, i’m slowly moving to other technologies like JS, and trying to return to art direction on some personal projects, which is wonderful after many years debugging and testing plain code.
2. When and how did your interest in web design start?
Well, i started in a big web company, as mentioned above, so almost my first touch with the “real world” was linked with the web, which was on those years (around begining of this century, go figure!) fantastic, new and extremely exciting. I entered with a kind of internal training, and after i had my first paper contract (and almost the last, in fact), as a junior designer. But when i really went into the web design was when i decided to go by myself and started to suffer client requeriments, project short deadlines and delayed payments. Then i learnt an important thing: not all the projects could be displayed on your portfolio, but all of them pays your way of life. This sounds simple, but was quite difficult to internalize on my begining.
3. You started being a Flash developer, and now you are expanding your portfolio due to obvious reasons. How did Flash’s fall affect you?
If you check my personal site (bit forgotten, my bad, so be compassionate with it) you will see that my main roles are not related with development. But since i joined Envato, as a buyer, in fact, more than 2 years ago, i decided to re-use some components i had done for other projects, and slowly ActiveDen became an important part of my global earnings. My flash skills were not awesome at all, but i managed to do anything i needed for my own clients, and i followed the same rule on AD, trying to make useful things that could fit many people needs. Now that, as you pointed out, flash is almost dead (rest in peace, beloved technology), i’ve moved differently on my two works: personally, i’m moving, or returning, i would say, to a more strong designer position, leaving the development side for other great devs, but at the same time, inside Envato, i’m moving to other marketplaces like Themeforest and Codecanyon. Although my portfolios are still tiny, i’m quite happy with the first touch, as I was really pesimist on how things were going to be there for this small shy fish.
4. You have a rich portfolio, but what is the file of which you feel most proud?
I would like to point out here to my more successful file on ActiveDen, a small shop for Facebook pages (Facebook Paypal Shop Template), as it represents more or less my style on Envato, simple but useful components, well designed and flexible enough to reach many client types. But honestly, AD is almost dropping to zero in term of sales, so i would like to showcase here my first html/jquery template, which has been a great surprise for me, being my first item inside the crowded marketplace that Themeforest is, i’m quite happy with the overall sales, even far away from TF great numbers. The file is this one: Creative Single Page Portfolio
5. Could you describe your typical ‘start to finish’ work-flow when working on a project and what programs do you use the most?
Well, if you mean my projects for Envato, i would say that i normally work on a first sketch of the idea, on paper, then move it to photoshop, and once i have a full graphic design of the site, i start coding it using Notepad++, debugging with Firefox (still my main browser) and Chrome. Regarding my old flash projects, i still use CS3, which was pretty stable for me. Apart from web projects, Illustrator and inDesign are almost full day open on my machines. Around 50% of my current personal projects are still based on paper.
6. The workplace is important for designer, how is yours?
I work both on my studio on the Madrid center, and since i was father more than 2 years ago, i work a lot at home, mostly at night when everything is calmed down and i can concentrate on the workflow. Here is an image of my studio, a shared studio with other proffesionals, full of books and things, it looks more like a crowded book store than a design minimalist environment, but i’ve always feel comfortable surrounded by my personal things, even when they are maybe too many…
7. Where do you get inspired from? What are your influences?
Years ago i spent a lot on design books and magazines. Right now almost all my references comes from web navigation. QBN has been my default browser site for years, but i also visit some design blogs like Creative Review or the different blogs (great all of them) managed by Under Consideration. Regarding my influences, month ago i decided to start a Pinterest board to mix up all my “likes” in terms of aesthetics. I guess it will speak by itself about my design preferences better than other words here: http://pinterest.com/pezflash/likes/
8. How do you enjoy your free time? Have you got any hobbies?
I used to travel a lot (on my personal site i’ve some photographs of those backpack travels around the world), and along with traditional photography (i still own a B&W laboratory on my studio) have been my main hobbies. Now my little child has inevitably took up many of my free time, and i love to spend it with her, each day is a new adventure and somehow one feels like if returned to childhood, which is fantastic and exhausting at the same time. Hopefully i’ll be travelling again soon. Hope so!
9. Once again, thank you for your time, as a final word, what piece of advice could you give to the newbie designers?
Years ago i did a conference in an Art School here in Madrid, and my final advice was something like “try all the things you are interested in, all of them will bring you useful knowledge, and a few or maybe even one of them will determine your future life. And don’t worry about fails, failing is just the funniest and most instructive part of life”. Guess it also makes sense here.
Thanks again for this interview Alex. Good luck with your upcoming projects, studies and adventures!