18th April 2002 · Last updated: 5th October 2016
Chris: Tell us about your website www.inkworm.co.uk.
Inkworm: It is primarily a showcase for what ever is getting me excited at the time, and in theory an opportunity for potential clients to see what is available to them.
What plans do you have for the future of it?
A complete overhaul as and when time allows, it was my first attempt at a web site and since then my knowledge of web design has advanced greatly as has my knowledge of the software, it is just a matter of finding a suitable style that will support the range of work that I produce. I intend to be developing the cartoon and tribal/Celtic based images further.
Who have been your key inspirations?
Probably my two art teachers, many years ago at school, they recognised skills that I was not aware that I had and helped me to learn how to develop them.
Apart from that it is a strange eclectic mix of Celtic mythology and symbolism that surrounded me in my childhood and the traditional Ukiyo-e art of Japan, the use of colour, depth and distillation of the image into such a pure form always amazes me. Also the work of the Futurists and Vorticists of the early 1900's, again it is the smooth transition of colour and abstract form.
How does your work relate to theirs?
Most of my current work ends up as vector output which in many ways emulates the clean yet simple forms of the styles. In some ways the method of production of my tribal images is very similar to the Japanese woodprints, though the actual production of the image is very tight and controlled (vector in my case and carving wood in the print case) the end image looks flowing, natural and spontaneous.
What do you think is the current state of the design scene on the internet - naive or mature?
Yes, this largely depends on what is being used as the yard stick, the majority of sites on the web are produced by people who are deluded into thinking that just because they have some software and can add a drop shadow or bevel to a shape makes them an artist. There is no thought to layout, functionality etc.
Having said that at the other end of the spectrum there are some very good sites and designers pushing the medium. However the web is still very much in its infancy and currently we as designers are in a state of exploration, rules on good design are starting to form etc.
Which design sites have excited you recently?
http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/ the art work here is just so wonderful and very different from everything else I have seen on the net. The games are to a greater extent all original as well which is a rare thing these days. It was also a finalist in this years Flash Film Festival. I came across this several months ago but it still inspires me.
Apart from that I am rarely impressed by any sites, those who know me know how cynical can be.
With the release of Flash MX and Photoshop 7, do you think software still has a long way to go to become essential tools for design? Or are we at that stage now?
I donít think anything for the designer can be as essential as the pencil and paper but I certainly think that they are very much a part of any digital designer's life.
Do you think current art & design programs are too complex, too offputting for beginners, or not?
Yes but when you take into account who the packages are aimed at and the level of the average user then to an advanced user they are simple. The software does however need to be advanced in what it offers, otherwise it would not be industry standard and for the home user there are a wide range of simpler packages to start on, Paint Shop Pro springs to mind as does Photoshop Elements. In the case of stuff like Flash the built in walk through tutorials meant that I picked up the software and build my first site in under a week and laid a good foundation to build upon. If more software had these walk throughs included then it would help. But ultimately if anyone wants to do well in design they need to work hard.
What is the single most useful piece of advice you could give to someone starting out as a web-based designer or artist?
Look around. Work out why you like or dislike something, study the past and most importantly enjoy yourself.
What do you think will be the major advance in the next few years for the internet?
Faster and reliable connections speeds with cheaper deals being offered by ISP's just because the designers are using broadband or what ever they will still have to remember that joe public has a 56k modem or what ever and it takes time for the advances now to catch up with the public.
When you're not working on new graphics, what do you do to relax?
Spending time with my partner, creating images with more traditional media, primarily gouache and pencil, watching rugby and hopefully my team win the premiership for a fourth consecutive season. Loitering round the odd forum and trying to set up a company www.kyodo.co.uk (shameless plug time). To be honest there is very little time.