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Flash Goddess
April, 2007
Sze Sze Ong

Sze Sze Ong

Sze Sze Ong

Sze Sze Ong graduated with honors in Multimedia Design from the University 
of Huddersfield. She has been involved with web design and development 
for over 3 years. Sze Sze specializes in Flash design and is honored to be 
the very first winner of the annual Flash Goddess Award.

Congratulations on being the first ever winner of the 2007 Flash Goddess award! When you entered the contest did you think you might win? Did you prepare any projects specifically for the contest?

Thank you! It's really an honour to be the first winner of the first Flash
Goddess award. FIRST EVER~! OMG!!

When my friend informed me about the call for entry, I wasn't even sure that
I wanted to join. It was a global call for entry and I thought it would be difficult to even get among the runner up. I was planning a revamp for my portfolio site as I was graduating from my degree course in March so I thought I might as well work harder on it and submit for the award.

Do you have any advice for women who might enter the contest in the

JUST DO IT?!  Try your best and submit works that you are proud of. You'll never know what's going to happen!

Are you a freelance Flash designer or do you work for a larger company?

I was a web designer at a relatively big company for a couple years (that was my training ground).  I am currently a freelance designer since I've just completed my degree studies. Hopefully I'll find a place in a fun and exciting company soon : )

As a freelance designer, how do you find the job market? Is work relatively easy for you to come by or is it a challenge?

It's fairly easy to find freelance opportunities but very difficult to find one that you might enjoy a lot or have ultimate control over and pay well :D

How involved with coding Actionscript are you? How do you manage to study and continue to improve at coding?

Sadly speaking, I am a still beginner at actionscripts. While I was still fumbling at basic actionscripts, it progressed to AS2 & 3~! I only improved from not knowing any scripts to typing a few simple lines and editing the variables that other people coded. That's about it. Most of the time, I have to rely on online resources to help execute my ideas. Sometimes I work backwards by looking for open sources and see how I can apply the codes in my works. I try to follow online tutorials as well but that's quite longwinded sometimes :D

Please tell us about some of your favorite Flash sites.

thefwa.com  It has a huge collection of cool sites where I go weekly/monthly  to drool over the latest flash sites. I especially like the way the filter on the site works; very user friendly. My current favourite sites have to include www.havaianas.com and www.momu.co.kr. The layout, illustration and animation are cleverly planned and look absolutely stunning! I like the flash works that www.zincroe.com has been doing over the years as well.

Do you find it challenging to be a woman in a male dominated industry?

Hmmm I don't find gender an issue. It's a challenge just working in this industry!

Many women I've interviewed feel it's a challenge to connect with other female Flash designers for support and community. Is this your experience?

I haven't tried to consciously connect with any female flash designers outside of the work place, so it's hard to comment. If it was at work, it's quite interesting to see that usually it's the guys that are more into exploring new animation techniques, cool effects and stuff like that.

Do you feel there is an intrinsic difference between male and female Flash creations?

Not really. I think design itself is very androgynous.

Your current website is totally creative and inspiring. How did you come up with the concept for the design?

Wahhhh thanks for the compliment!!!

I felt that it was just another cute and playful site - nothing much. The current online trend is into cool or funky design that often involves breathtaking motion graphics and fancy effects. I was quite disappointed that I only make things look cute most of the time.

I was trying to design a sleek and cool kind of portfolio site but it just didn't work out. So after 2 days of futile efforts, one night about 3am, I laid in bed with my torchlight and started to sketch (in semi-darkness) cute dreamy things. So being half awake and thinking a little too dreamily, maybe nonsensically, the design hatched.

You have several projects in your portfolio that are called Pet Project? Did you create these projects in order to demonstrate a certain Flash skill?
Those were projects I did for fun to explore different illustration styles, animation techniques and keep myself connected with actionscript. It's like my hobby :D When I was working for companies I often handled more serious projects and quite cut off from scripting. On top of that we're usually very directed by clients or our supervisors. So these pet projects kind of feed the need to have control over my works.

What's your favorite project of yours and why?
It has to the Nokia - Making Entertainment mobile site, which I teamed with some of the best designers and coder back in 2004. That was a killer project- but also one that push my skills to the next level. We had to setup our own green screen and we were running around a lot for outdoor shoots, making and sourcing for props. Handling people, attending meetings and weeks of late hours. It was more than just sitting in front of the computer and making a flash website. It was a very wholesome kind of work that trained me a lot and I really appreciate that now. I think I found it such a torture back then whahahaha.

If you could work on your most perfect project? What would it be and why?
I am not very sure, although I certainly would enjoy projects that make me learn new skills and up my level of design. Maybe for now, something that will involve cool motion graphics incorporated with flash.

Do you have any advice for women Flashers that want to focus on writing Actionscript code but aren't sure how to go about it?
Wah.. I am not sure how to answer that since I am not a hardcore fanatic for Actionscript. As a general advice though, just keep trying and stay passionate about what you want to do. You can be learning from books or online sources or observing how other people work. If that doesn't help much, find someone who is nice enough to guide you along once in a while but remember it's really a self-discipline to improve yourself and keep yourself motivated. No one is indebted to helping us progress so we have to be independent and especially grateful to those people who are willing to help :).

Interviewed by Camille Pietralunga

Camille Pietralunga (www.camillepietralunga.com) has over eight years experience as an Interactive Designer and writer. Camille is fascinated with Flash and its amazing capabilities. She is excited and honored to be able to speak with so many talented female Flash designers and developers.

To contact Camille, email Camille@camillepietralunga.com.