Netdiver magazine

/ What's new in design
digital culture

Web stars speak

/ Interview with James Widegreen

James Widegreen is the founder and designer of ThreeOh.

James studied Media Communication [Information & Advertising] in Kalmar, Sweden (94-96, 3 years). This early involvement with media excited in him a passion for design, and more specifically design in the online digital arena of the World Wide Web.

After a couple of years working as a freelancer and Art Directing his company, Nisch Interactive, James moved to Razorfish UK and later on to Vir2L Technology in the States and further on to Vir2L Studios Europe Ltd in London. 

James is now working as a freelance designer for various high-profile clients. You review is portfolio on Idiocase.

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/ How were you first introduced to the internet?

When studying Media Communication in Sweden between 96-99.

/ Do you remember your first impression of the internet?

It was exciting.

/ You are an *internet pioneer*, what exactly does it mean?

One who opens up new areas of thought, research, or development on the Internet.

/ Looking at your track record, you have a *multiple path* education. Why?

If I wasn't a full-time graphic designer I would be doing what I do part-time on full-time basis. It wasn't like that before because I was still studying.

/ What was your initial profession?

Student.

/ Describe your present professional activities and why you chose it.

Currently working as a freelance designer for various high-profile clients and running design portal THREE.OH.

I chose this path because it's comfortable and I get joy out of it.

/ Describe the path how you became a professional designer.

Interest > Education > Internships > Own company > Freelance > Professional Experience > More experience...

During this, experimentation was important and so was inspiring people around you. An eager to learn more and simply do great work.

/ What is your favorite designing software. Why?

Adobe Photoshop - because anything is possible, no limits except yourself.

/ What makes a good project?

Great communication, concept, execution and impact.

/ You are a creative head. When did your love of visual art start?

When I was born. It has always been there in one way or another. Anything creative has always made me excited.

/ What do you look for when hiring creative talent?

Value and personality. What this individual can do and what I can turn them into doing, grow.

/ How do you sharpen your talent?

I inspire them and give them honest and constructive criticism.

/ What makes for a good web site?

Communication, information and making use of space.

/ What makes a good team?

Friendship and understanding.

/ What makes a good storyboard?

Good organization, information architecture, clearness etc...

/ Describe what is *inspiration*.

Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.

/ Describe what is a top-notch client.

A client who is well-known, pay good and let you do want you're good at with full trust.

/ How do you protect clients from their own bad taste?

By convincing them.

/ You have been invited to many web related events. Can you tell us why?

I guess it's because they find value in myself.

/ Explain the value of peers recognition.

It's a start for the next one, and so on...

/ Is branding an important issue online?

Any media is just as important.

/ What was the catalytic thought that gave birth to THREEOH?

Having something with value for like-minded people.

/ Describe what the internet means to you?

Without it I wouldn't be where I am today.

/ Describe 3 qualities necessary to succeed online.

In general:

Good communication

Very good communication

And great communication.

/ What is the single achievement that makes you most proud?

That I went to Goodworld in NY that night in December 2000.

/ If there were no budget limitations - which single dream project would you launch?

On the Web:

Submit the name and address of a person that is precious to you and we will send them $1m dollars for free.

/ Explain May 1st Reboot initiative and what are the objectives?

May 1st Reboot is an international relaunch of web sites by authors and creatives working within the field of Web Design. As a collective event it makes a manifest demonstration of the very idea of community. It is, quite simply, an indeterminate group of designers subscribing to one event in order to publicize their work at one specific time across any number of different locations. And it is in that sense that it is most interesting to us, and by extension to those involved in or entering the world of Web Design online.

May 1st Reboot is a worldwide, international, cross-disciplinary event. It is unique and of growing significance to anyone interested in the community of Web Design and the creative industry of those authors who take part. Wholly independent, and not-for-profit, May 1st Reboot is a call-to-arms without an impinging manifesto; an instance of collectivity across global parameters through the digital arena; a celebration of the richness of this community, of its creativity and diversity.

May 1st Reboot offers a chance for convergence within an increasingly fragmented and, of late, segregated medium. It is a public showcase of collectivity and individuality, of cohesion without uniformity, part of an increasingly pressing drive to demonstrate the significance and potential of digital authorship in a medium becoming more and more saturated by bland conformist methodologies and commercialized aesthetics.

And yet May 1st Reboot is not prescriptive in any aesthetic or political sense, it is merely the culmination of creative endeavor undertaken by a number of artistic voices who publish independent of any conventional obligations. It formulates a scope or focus, through which those unfamiliar with the online design circles can come to appreciate the intriguing and bizarre contradictions and collisions of design for the Web - or more specifically, design on the Web that circulates within this community.

/ Give a one line counsel to newbies.

Be humble and make research.

/ What is your opinion of the present situation in the dotcom industry?

It's f...ed.

/ In your view, explain what is convergence?

The act, condition, quality, or fact of converging.Mathematics: The property or manner of approaching a limit, such as a point, line, surface, or value.

The point of converging; a meeting place: a town at the convergence of two rivers.

Physiology: The coordinated turning of the eyes inward to focus on an object at close range.

Biology: The adaptive evolution of superficially similar structures, such as the wings of birds and insects, in unrelated species subjected to similar environments. In this sense, also called convergent evolution.

/ Is the www an international network?

Inter is international.

Net is network.

Take inter+net = Internet.

www = internet.

/ Tell us what the future (net) looks like.

Hopefully smarter.