Long Road Towards Enlightenment
In 1990 I came to Canada for a visit and decided
to stay for a while. I came here alone, without
knowing anyone or speaking any French or English.
Since I lived in Montreal, I started learning
English and French at the same time which was
quite a task for me. Most people say my move
to Canada was brave. I know it was, yet sometimes
when I think about it I am not sure if it was
braveness or just not anticipating the initial
shock, the contrasts of the cultures and the
difficulties in trying to fit in.
In Canada, I have spent over 7 years obtaining
formal education in design and art. This learning
process will continue informally, most likely,
for the rest of my life. I continually take
part in design seminars and workshops, read
about current design related issues and try
to keep in the loop as much as I can.
I started my design education at Concordia University
in Montreal. After a year and a half of studying,
I received a Certificate in Graphic Design.
This was a great introduction for me to design;
however, I realized that as much as I love paper,
writing, and books, graphic design might not
fully satisfy my hunger.
I went on, applied and got accepted to the Undergraduate
program at Concordia. There, I studied Fine
Art for three years, majoring in Design Art.
This was a very experimental program that allowed
me to have a taste of all aspects of design.
From industrial and fashion as well as graphic
and digital. I even got some experience welding
and torching, working with wood and plexiglass.
I experimented with claymation on film, black
and white photography, developed
shelter for the body, and even dropped raw eggs
from a third floor window of Cafe-X to test
my packaging design skills.
While at Concordia, I became very interested
in digital design by using HyperCard for a school
project. From then on I knew interactivity was
the way to go for me. At that point I was accepted
into the Electronic Communication Design program
at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in
Vancouver. Once again, I moved, this time to
the Canadian West Coast where I am currently
Studying at ECIAD provided me with yet another
kind of experience. As for practicalities, I
learned hard work and perseverance, project
and time management. These skills were extremely
important for me to develop because of my situation.
I had to take as many credits as I could as
well as keep part time jobs, more than one at
a time. Sometimes, it was unbelievably difficult
to manage it all. As for developing design skills,
the education I have received at ECIAD was oriented
towards applied design, filled with lots of
theory. After three years of studying design
we finished with a graduation project, an invaluable
and in the same time, nerve-wracking experience.
I graduated with a Degree in Design, Major in
Communication Design in 1999.
Formal design and art education was important
to me because it allowed me to test myself and
discover what I am truly passionate about. It
deepened my understanding of art and design
theory and history and their relevance in contemporary
society. It also opened my eyes to important
ethical issues revolving around art and design.
Most importantly, I have had the opportunity
to explore the design process through exciting
projects and to gain a thorough understanding
of the crucial role of design in communications.
Keep on Going
I have worked on various freelance design projects
since 1997. After graduation, I started out
by working professionally for a software developer,
where I worked for over 3 years on multimedia
communications and interface design. Currently,
I work independently as the Principal and Creative
Director of my studio, Double
Acute Communication Design. My present contract
work is working with a great team for a large
Communication firm as a designer on the interactive
development of a Science and Technology Center
that will be opened in Saudi Arabia.
I started using flash in 1998 for a school project
very briefly. In 1999 I got a job at a large
software developer and immediately started using
flash in a professional setting. I am mostly
self-taught when it comes to applications. In
most Art and Design schools the focus is never
on the applications but on the theory. Looking
at a design work the question is not so much
"how did they do it?" but more it
is "why did they do it?” I apply
this approach when I start on any project.
I am not a programming genius when it comes
to action scripting in Flash; however, I understand
the basics and that helps me to be able to figure
out most things on my own. Online resources,
like the Flashgoddess forums are absolutely
invaluable during my researches.
I do a lot of work in Flash. However, most of
the work I have been creating is not on the
web. It is usually part of larger projects.
They are used mostly as interactive presentations,
educational aides, digital kiosks, or part of
desktop applications. Currently I am developing
my own site, however it is difficult to find
enough time with my contract work.
In professional, as well as personal works,
I am an advocate of Flash. Flash provides me
with the ability to integrate motion and typography,
adding sound and interactivity, being able to
produce completely interactive audio-visual
experiences. Another appealing aspect of Flash
is that when creating for the web, it allows
more control over the design without having
to deal with most of the browser or cross platform
I am glad to see that the initial issues around
Flash and Flash design are being eliminated.
One of these issues was the difficulty in using
regular fonts with small type sizes because
they become illegible in flash movies. Since
the appearance of pixel fonts, these problems
have been reduced. Recently, I have written
a research article about the use of pixel fonts
and this article is published on afterchaos.
I personally love working with Flash. I think
it is an excellent tool and it can be and will
be developed even further.
Hardware and Other Fetishes
When it comes to computers I am a total Mac
addict. After learning so much about Macs from
a friend of mine, I started using them in school
and I got my first Performa in 1996 and I have
been a devoted Mac fan ever since. Right now
I work with a G4 tower and also dream about
a titanium laptop. I believe the testing is
essential on both platforms, pc and Mac, especially
when it comes to designing for online communication.
However, I feel most comfortable working on
the Mac if it is at all possible.
Other fetishes include nicely shaped, thin,
fine pointed, gel filled pens, brushes, handmade
paper, and books... A perverted amount of books...
Labour of Love
I am the founder, curator and designer of FlowGaleria.org,
a quarterly online showcase for artists and
designers from all across the globe.
FlowGaléria started out of a personal
need in 2001. The name is a fusion of an English
and a Hungarian word. Flow is the state of mind
during the creative process. It is the concentration,
rhythm, and emotional involvement. Galéria
is the word in Hungarian for gallery.
This is a non-commercial project offering a
creative outlet, a forum for people to freely
create, express and share their works online.
The FlowGaléria has been a portal of
expression for many types of artists that want
to share freely with their online communities.
Works can be submitted in any medium, all in
digitized format. The gallery pays homage to
Flash, print, writing, poetry, graphic arts,
paintings, animation, video, sound or any other
form of creative expression. This free online
gallery is about the flow of art, information,
and expanding one's space. It fosters a non-competitive,
creative and supportive environment. The objectives
of the FlowGaléria first and foremost
are to provide creative stimulus and a creative
space for artists/designers, an opportunity
to challenge themselves, encourage experimentation
and showcase the differences in personal explorations
There is a topic assigned for each exhibit and
artists and designers are being asked to create
a work with their own personal interpretation
of the given topic. By selecting the theme,
the gallery provides the challenge, one of the
key elements that are necessary to experience
the state of flow while creating. With the topic
each exhibit showcases individual interpretations,
expressions in a collaborative presentation.
A new exhibit is launched regularly in every
The ways artists and designers can benefit from
submitting their works are:
- the personal challenge and the enjoyment of
the creation of the work,
- the opportunity to get to know others artists
and designers internationally,
- exposure, as their name, contact information,
and work is posted on the FlowGaléria's
Visitors need not pay in order to view the exhibited
works. Moreover, the gallery exhibits works
from all disciplines of art and design, from
emerging artists and designers to already established
artists and designers, from local to international
participants. Artists and designers receive
no payments from the FlowGaléria in return
for submitting their works nor do they need
to pay in order to have their work displayed
on the site. It is a non-profit project and
it runs entirely on volunteer contribution.
The gallery is going to be two years old in
December 2003. This far, there were 6 successful
exhibits. I have been receiving a larger number
of submissions each time a new show is prepared.
The growing interest in the FlowGaléria
requires me to dedicate a substantial amount
of time to update the exhibits, maintain the
site and implement more features on the site
to make it a great resource, an artist community,
as well as a frequently visited showcase. It
is almost getting to be too difficult to handle
it all on my own, but it is lots of fun. The
works are starting to receive more and more
recognition and I am hoping to find enough time
to do more publicity in the future to gain more
exposure for the exhibiting artists.
Currently, I am looking for sponsors and supporters
for the gallery as well as looking for options
for some form of collaboration. There are many
ways to support the FlowGaléria, with
financial contribution, publicity or other means.
However, the best form of support is the contribution
of the art works, as many of the Flashgoddesses
have done so in the past.
Initially, the whole site was created in flash.
However, as the exhibits started to grow and
for better accessibility for a wider audience
the framework now is in html and the exhibits
are always presented in a flash movie. Many
of the submissions are done in flash as well.
At the present time, there are some new features
that I am developing for the site. As an example,
the store section has not yet been fully implemented.
This will be done in the very near future and
hopefully will provide me with the modest opportunity
to generate some funds to cover the monthly
fees associated with the upkeep of the site.
There is a feature on the site "The Best
in Flow" in which visitors can place their
vote for the best work of art presented in any
particular exhibit. The artist of the work that
receives the most votes is featured in a longer
profile on the site.
I am also working on another section for the
site that is going to be called "Flow Process".
This is a section where artists and designers
can document their creative process for some
of their artworks they have submitted to our
exhibits. There will be information about the
artists themselves, about the process of their
artistic works, and about their techniques used.
For the Final Note
In closing, I must say a big thanks to Ann-Marie
for creating such a supportive online community
with the FlashGoddess site and thanks to all
the Flashgoddesses out there who knowingly and
unknowingly give me so much inspiration and
who are so generous in sharing their skills
"And no one will
listen to us until we listen to ourselves.
The Goddess awakens in our hearts before she
in the world."
-from Marianne Williamson