“My name is Anke Mackenthun and I am a web/print designer from Germany.
I moved to Los Angeles about 7 years ago where I live and work. About 4 years ago a good friend and I started our own company Spongeworks LLC, a full service design studio.
Even though I was always interested in design I got a late start in this direction. Spending my early twenties traveling and exploring, it wasn't until my late twenties that I enrolled in a design school in Hamburg . After receiving my degree I spent the next couple of years freelancing for agencies in the Hamburg area before I decided to pack my bags and move to Los Angeles.”
Anke Mackenthun balances the needs of her clients with her creative vision and her goals as a business owner every day. Her inspiring and innovative work span the range from the fun but informative, Spongeworks.com site, to the intriguing and three dimensional zone of Mylifewithcountdracula.com. 100% self-taught, Anke brings her can-do attitude, visual acumen, and business know-how to every project and her life as an artist and business owner. For a dose of clean, fun Flash inspiration, check out Anke's site for actor Mark Cirillo, www.markcirillo.com or get drawn into the world of Count Dracula www.mylifewithcountdracula.com – even in the heart of winter.
Please tell me about how you got started with Flash.
One day while working for my former job a client came in requesting a Flash site, we didn't have any Flash designers working with us at that time, so I just taught myself. The project was a great learning experience that really helped spark my interest in learning as much as I could about Flash.
How did you teach yourself?
I taught myself using Flash books and websites when Flash 4 was the latest and greatest.
Do you consider yourself a Flash designer or an actionscripter or both?
I would consider myself a Flash designer with experience in action scripting.
What is your typical day like?
A typical day for me involves a lot of coffee which is the first priority of the day. I'm the co-owner of Spongeworks LLC so my days involve everything from Flash design, graphic and print design, website design, art direction amongst other less exciting duties that are required when you own your own business.
Do you like using Flash? Are there any drawbacks to using it? Advantages?
Yes I love using Flash! I find Flash to be a great tool in accenting websites however when developing sites all in Flash SEO is definitely hindered.
Which projects do you tend to use Flash in the most?
We usually use Flash to set accents…e.g. integrate Flash headers into sites, use it for galleries and such and of course Flash ads.
Are there other software/tools that you use frequently?
Because of my varied duties at Spongeworks I use Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator daily.
What are your non-Flash creative interests and projects?
I recently picked up oil painting. What a challenge! Painting is a great way to get away from the computer and relax. I also love to grab my digital camera, go out on a walk and take photographs of my surroundings.
What inspires you?
People, animals, buildings, everything, I find inspiration in everyday life.
What is your favorite type of project?
Any project where the client gives you creative freedom is always exciting. My Life with Count Dracula is a good example of such a project.
Which Flash project are you most proud of? And why?
I'm quite proud of the portfolio site I built for actor Mark Cirillo because of its clean and fun design and straight forward functionality. Mark needed a web presence to display his acting reel, resume, and headshots and the solution we came up with really worked out great for him.
Who are your favorite Flash designers? Other favorite artists?
Martin Hughes & Jordon Stone of WeFail are my favorites, but I also really love the work of odopod and brand new school.
If you could do anything you want what would you do?
Retire, buy a nice little house at the Cote d'Azur, and travel the world.
Do have advice for other Flash Goddesses?
Believe in yourself and your abilities is the first piece of advice and second would be to take risks.
|Curator: Janice Lodato
|Janice Lodato is Director of Search Data for Jupiterimages. She has a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Philosophy and a Master's in Applied Philosophy. She has worked for over 10 years in advertising, interactive design, and image creation. Prior to joining JI, Janice was the Project Manager for NSDL's GROW project which won the 2003 Macromedia MAX award in the Educational Experiences category.