|Jenny Mottar’s experience
ranges from designing and programming websites
to creating multi page print publications to oil
painting, illustration and photography. Her portfolio
was the 2004
SXSW Interactive Award winner in the personal
site category. Jenny has also been featured on
as a powagirrrl.
was the inspiration behind JennysRealm?
|JennysRealm was an opportunity for
me to create something fun, educational and functional.
With no deadlines or customers to please, I took
my time, enjoyed myself and learned Actionscript
in the process. I’ve always loved fine art—painting
and drawing—and pull that into my design
as much as possible.
did you get started in design in the first place?
|I have loved drawing and painting
since I can remember, but never thought I would
be able to support myself in that profession.
I actually started college as a Classical Guitar
Major (another lucrative field…), but took
one amazing class in Adobe Illustrator and discovered
a whole new medium of expression for my creativity—computer-aided
graphic design. My senior year I took a class
in web that briefly touched on Flash, and I then
decided that was what I wanted to do.
Flash skills were self-taught. Did you find this
|Very! But I have a stubborn nature,
and I continued to apply myself until finally
discovering an illuminating book on ActionScript
the Definitive Guide) that enabled the breakthrough
that fuelled JennysRealm.
was it about Flash that appealed to you? What
was it that first caught your attention in a serious
way to bring you to Flash?
|To me it seemed that the level of
creativity just gained a new dimension with the
addition of motion. The whole idea that my drawings
could come to life and have an interactive relationship
with the viewer inspired me.
uses of Flash are inspiring to you?
|All of them! I am continually amazed
by what people come up with. It seems the applications
of Flash are constantly being expanded and improved
are presently working in the Earth Science Enterprise
at NASA Headquarters as a multimedia specialist.
Any interesting projects that you could tell us
|I am still working at NASA headquarters,
but now under the newly transformed Sun-Earth
Systems division of the Science Mission Directorate.
I have recently completed a touch screen interface
and exhibit design focused on the newly launched
Aura satellite. The touch screen theme is built
around an illustration of the view from a conceptual
spacecraft cockpit and consul looking down on
Earth. Selecting from a variety of topics on the
navigation lets you zoom into the consul to read
up on related information while launching a projection
of 3D visualizations of the Earth inside of a
large sphere. The interface also allows you to
control both animation and rotation speed of the
modeling data. The exhibit has been featured at
events at the Smithsonian National Air and Space
Museum and will tour the NASA visitor centers.
has been your artistic inspiration in your professional
|No one in particular, but I love
to surf the web and see what others have come
up with, and I’m inspired by new people
all the time.
you find that you have enough time as you would
like for your fine art and classical guitar?
|There never seems like enough time
for everything. But I spend at least one evening
a week oil painting with a friend, and, with an
upcoming wedding to perform at, I aim to put in
an hour of guitar practice 5 out of 7 days a week.
Also, volleyball season starts up in the fall,
and I’ll be doing my best to fit it in as
hardware and software do you use?
|I have a G4 that needs upgrading
and a flat screen Sony monitor. I use Adobe illustrator,
Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver to create interactive
you have any advice or tips you could give to
those starting to learn Flash?
|Definitely read forums. When you
hit a snag, you’ll almost always be able
to find other people who have encountered and
overcome the same problems and setbacks. Also,
buy a good book on ActionScript; it will really
expand the interactivity and depth of your animations.
next for Jenny?
|In the months to come, I’ll
be designing and building a new touch screen for
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Apart
from that, I expect my usual variety of design
you have any final thoughts and what would you
like people to take away from this interview?
|I feel that Flash not only enables
the creation of functional products in a wide
variety of applications—pleasing customers—but
fulfills that creative itch unlike any other application
Thank you, Ann-Marie, for the opportunity to
share my thoughts.
thank you, Jenny! We're looking forward to seeing
more fabulous work from you in the future.