I know it has been awhile since we have given you a new interview, but today we have another great interview to share with you all, as part of our interview series here at Admix Web. Remember, on our interview series, we are publishing interviews of fellow web designers, web developers and graphic designers, so we can get to know the people behind the blog or behind the web work. We are continuing with the interview series and are still looking for new designers and developers to introduce to our reading community! You can still contact me at hlamarche[at]admixweb[dot]com if you would like to be interviewed, or if you know someone who would like to be interviewed. This week we have a fellow web and graphic designer named Javier Cantero, who runs Designer Freelance.net and is another fellow Latino, which makes Teylor and I very happy!! This week, get to know the face behind Designer Freelance! I hope you like the interview! Enjoy!
Thank you so much for doing this interview for Admix Web. Can you give us a brief background on yourself?
My name is Javier Cantero, I own a Design and Marketing Agency (Trazo Publicidad http://www.trazopublicidad.net/ ) and I am the founder of Designer Freelance. I’m 39, married for 16 years and loving it with two great kids. In 2004, I won the best international best drama short in the New York Independent Film and Video festival. Recently I’ve had some tutorials published in a Photoshop Magazine. I love reading; exercise, wine and I really, really need a clone.
List three things people might not know about you
I love martial arts, I studied Okinawa Karate for 7 seven years and I have been studying Nippon Kempo (is like MMA but older) for 5 years now, I love cooking and a good cup of wine (for me rioja) and I love coffee, the first thing I do when I wake up is an espresso. It is also the last thing I do.
Why Design/Development as a career? What were your inspirations for that profession?
I think it is in my blood; I always loved creating and designing. Anytime I find a Childhood friend they always tell me the same thing; that they always remember me drawing.
Do you do more front end or back end web development?
Both, but I focus more on the front end, user experience.
Are you self-taught or did you study design/development?
I have a degree in Design of the Graphic Communication. I studied from 1991 to 1995 and different courses in Photoshop and illustrator. My design foundations are from a career, but all and I mean ALL my knowledge in web development is self-taught. I mean, the Internet was in diapers when I studied. The reality is that I think every Designer is learning new things on daily basis.
How many years have you been in the field, and how has the field changed during that time?
WOW, I’ve being doing Design since before I studied, my first freelance work was in 1991 and it was a silkscreen Business Card.
I think the design as a discipline is the same, the same basics, the same concepts. What have changed are the tools and the media. When I studied we did everything by hand, typographic calculations, and paint with airbrush.
Now we have computers, but the principles are the same if you don’t have talent….you don’t have it. It doesn’t matter what tool you are using. You need to know how to sketch and to make a grid.
Can you describe a day in the life of you?
I make breakfast at 6:30 and my first espresso, get the children to school and open the office at 8pm, second espresso. During the day I do admistrative tasks, blog, design meetings, work progress, etc 4th espresso. At some point I try to read some new technique or design trends. At 3pm I return home for a quick meal with my family 5th coffee, return to my office at 4:30. The rest of the afternoon I personally review all our clients projects for fine adjustments. At 7:00 I leave for my dojo until 9:30.
What does your workspace look like?
Would you define yourself as introverted or extroverted? Describe your personality?
Maybe because I’m Gemini……when I’m in confidence or with friends I’m very extroverted, when I’m in a situation where I don’t know very well the people I’m more reserved.
What makes you unique?
I love working under pressure…REALLY!!! I am particularly good solving problems of any kind, and I studied 2 years of accounting so I’m pretty good with math (and that’s really strange for a designer)
What is your favorite color? Does it infiltrate your designs?
Sometimes Blue, sometimes Red, but I really try not to infiltrate them in my work. I concentrate in the communication needs.
What was your first design you actually marketed? How do you feel about it now?
It was a cover for an automotive mechanics magazine. When I first saw my work printed it was a great feeling.
What is your favorite type of design work? And, what has been your favorite project?
Magazine Covers, I love photo retouching.
My favorite project….that´s a hard one. I am fond of a poster I did for my short, it is not the best I have design but it has great memories.
Explain the significance of your company name.
Trazo Publicidad (Stroke advertising) I founded it in 2004. It refers to the basics of design and typography, paint a line, every design starts with a stroke.
Designer Freelance; well, it speaks for itself.
Are you a Mac or a PC?
What? Does people still use PC?
What design tools do you use? Which tools would you suggest to fellow designers/developers?
My first tool is a block of white sheets and a pencil holder. Then Photoshop, Illustrator, Coda, Indesign, Dreamweaver. In that order.
Do you work better under pressure or do you need time to cultivate your ideas?
It depends, I like to work under pressure and some projects have a certain magic working this way, but some projects you really need the time to make it grow. I think the project is who dictate the pace.
Tell me about you blog or business: What made you start it and why do you write?
I love it; it has been a great first year. I started blogging because I read a lot of blogs for CSS and wordpress and I felt so grateful that one day I decided to write of what I could teach, and that is Photoshop and freelancing.
What is your favorite blog article you have ever written? Why?
The Design Process is not a very popular article in my blog, but I like it a lot. It is a small article, but I tried to establish the Design basics: “The idea is clear: without a reason or a purpose, there is no design.”
What is your view of Vlogging?
I like it; it depends really on the theme. For a tutorial I still prefer to read.
What are some of the design and development blogs you read on a regular basis, why?
CSS Tricks, Build Internet, Freelance Folder, Nenuno are the principals.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Teaching Martial Arts, I started helping my Sensei this year and I really love it. Finishing at least 2 Design books.
Where do you see design, the web, and development in 10 years?
It will depend on the interfaces, I really believe we will be using more interactive and virtual touch screen, (kind of minority report) so design will have to follow this trends.
What are your thoughts on the opinion that mobile technology will replace the desktop computer?
I’m not so sure, people still need desktop computers, and the same we still need printed books. It really will depend on the user preferences, we certainly need both.
Please share some pearls of wisdom for up and coming designers in the field.
Keep studying all the time. Try to take Photoshop or illustrator courses, Printing and prepress techniques. Find inspiration everywhere, in a book in a movie in a song.
Remember the Graphic Design basics.
Study the great painting Artists and always remember that computers are just tools, the same that a pen or white sheet.
The design starts in your imagination, you just need your mind and your hands to design, nothing else.
What do you like to do to relax in your free time?
Play Rock Band with my children, Read a good book with a good drink (wow that’s a cliché) and going to the movies.
How can people get in contact with you?
The easiest way by twitter: @designerfree or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on my blog contact page: Designer Freelance
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Holly Lamarche is a writer and attorney from New Orleans, Louisiana. Holly lived in Santo Domingo for two years, where she taught at a local private High School, and she currently writes and edits part-time for AdmixWeb and lives in Lafayette, Louisiana.
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