SimonOxley

Let's get to know you first. Tell us about yourself.

I live in Oxford UK after 14 yrs abroad mostly in Japan, where my wife is from. We have 2 kids who both enjoy drawing and making models so I don't have to look far for inspiration. Recently I have been producing character mascots for web based firms in Japan and the United States - the images I receive most comment about are the original Twitter bird and the Github Octocat (which I named Octopuss before it was purchased). Both of these images were discovered on the well known stock library iStockphoto (now iStock, a Getty owned company) - I was lucky enough to get on iStock before many other vector image makers, in 2004, so my catalogue of images perhaps received more views - now the number of contributors and the outstanding quality of images on offer brings greater competition for views - this platform has allowed me to broadcast to a greater number of people and gain contracts based on clients requiring something similar or in the style of what they have seen in my collection. It is my ambition to make 3D models of the characters I draw and ultimately to write stories in which a cast of characters can play out various scenarios.

Cool, so what's the story behind your website and its design?

I turned to WIX to create my site - a simple to use service which offers templates into which image galleries can be added to and text can be placed very easily - I am no coder or technician so this enabled me to quickly get a site together without any headache. I previously made a Flash site but lost my copy of the application so could no longer update anything - I enjoyed using Flash, making animations but haven't touched it in years - animation is something I would like to art direct though, relying on someone elses skills to make this a reality.

In designing my site I settled on a black and white uncomplicated look partly because of time and also because I admired other designers sites which were focused on the image galleries - this is not to say I do not admire detailed highly embellished designs, only my style is quite flat and uncomplicated so I felt this approach suited.

What part of your website is your favourite, and why?

Not sure I have a favourite part as such - but if I had to point to anything it would be the image gallery animated horizontal scroll which occurs in a time adjusted manner (totally provided for by WIX).

Is there anything you wish you knew when you first started building your website?

Not really - I am keen to one day collaborate with technicians who can make amazing things which could stimulate me to update the site I have right now - saying that, my time is consumed with making graphics for clients so unsure if/when that would be a priority.

Technologies, languages, frameworks, or libraries?

I spent 12 yrs in Japan, so leant to speak quite polite conversation (most of the time) - I use an iMac with 27 inch screen, Adobe Creative Suite 2 (which I will soon upgrade to the Creative Cloud apps) - I love taking photographs and use a Canon 5D Mark II - with a 24mm lens - with this I collected 100s of examples of Japanese textures such as the wood surfaces on their shrines and buildings most of which I edited and placed on the Stock sites for sale. The income I amassed from the sales of these backgrounds paid for the trips themselves - in the old days, sadly the income has greatly reduced from this stream.

Any upcoming changes we should look out for?

My site will perhaps have updated links on the top page - and new images in the gallery - every so often it is refreshing to refresh so I will no doubt change the look and feel before too long.

Interview date: 24 Feb 2014Permalink