#728 The Real HFW Business Examiner Interview - 2006/05/21 09:18 PM
The following is an actual interview with our own The Webmaster™ conducted by The Business Examiner, a local Tacoma business newspaper, for their weekly Monday "Fishbowl" business profile article. All answers to questions are one hundred percent accurate and un-edited in any way. Fishbowl articles appear every Monday in the Business Examiner Daily newsletter. RE-reading it just now it is kind of boring, so you probably shouldn't waste your time (unless you are wasting time out of spite, then by all means continue). God bless.
BE: Describe your enterprise: What's it do? How many people does it employ? Where is it located?
HFW: Artifex is a business identity development company snuggled in the heart of downtown Tacoma. They, being Artifex, program/design robust websites, database applications, identity+branding for important business ventures across the United States. At current standing I believe they employ eight (8) highly skilled people excluding myself.
BE: What is your role and how long have you been involved?
HFW: Since August of 2002 I have been designing (in photoshop) and assembling accessible xhtml/css websites, animating advertisement materials (in 3D and in Flash). The title of my role has recently been refined into "Multi-Medium Designer."
BE: What is a ballpark figure on annual sales and income?
HFW: Let's just say you could buy many many many bacon cheeseburgers from the Hobnob with the greenbacks this author pulls in; and that's after taxes!
BE: How did you get into this business?
HFW: In 1997 I decided I would like to work for George Lucas on the new Star Wars prequels he announced would be coming out. I had no idea about using computers for animation, so four (4) years after high school graduation with a newly minted B.A. degree in Computer Video Imaging (CVI) in my hand and a disillusioned perspective of Hollywood in my mind I retreated into the heart of the Pacific Northwest... Soon after I would discover my true destiny as a webmaster.
BE: How did you prepare for your career? etc. What kind of training did you get?
HFW: After four (4) intensive years training in Sunnyvale California with the Cogswell Polytechnical College I was able to hone my innate creative art talents into a force to be reckoned. By industry standards I was a N00B... a real Sloppy Joe. Yet a fierce fire burned in my heart; a desire for self improvement. The first year post-college education was tough; but like a tenacious insect, I was able to borough into the market and absorb knowledge.
BE: What did you learn during your career that you wish you'd known in the beginning?
HFW: The internet is a wonderful, beautiful thing infested with infinite potential.
BE: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in your career?
HFW: How similar people/products really are under the surface, behind all the hype.
BE: Is this what you dreamed of doing with your life?
HFW: No, I used to dream of being a professional cartoonist for MARVEL® until I found out how depressing that actually is.
BE: How much can someone in your line of work earn?
HFW: An individual like me can earn substantially more than if the same individual were to work for Horizon Air shoving suitcases full of laundry into the bellies of expensive airplanes at SeaTac International. By all accounts the contrast is stark. [editors note: you can make lots more money in Seattle, California, or any other crappy place you don't want to live.]
BE: Do you love your work?
HFW: I love what I do with a storming Passion™.
BE: What kind of community activities are you involved in and why?
HFW: I am a card carrying member of the Cartoonists Northwest Association. We don't rescue children from raging warehouse fires so much as we do gather designated weekends and discuss important happenings related to the field of cartooning. It is important to remember that the things described in the previous sentence have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
BE: What were you doing 10 years ago?
HFW: I would have been awkwardly occupying space within the walls of the Juneau-Douglas High School during my sophomore year of quality Alaskan public education; invisibly ogling my fellow art class students of the female persuasion.
BE: What advice do you have for others contemplating a career in your field?
HFW: Everything there is available to know about web design, web programming, and search engine optimization you can learn from the web. Subscribe to any newsletters or RSS feeds that you think might be worth investigating. Weed out the material that proves to be useless. Remember that inspiration is everywhere, turn of the TeeVee/Xbox/PS2/Porn and turn on your mind.
BE: Who had a significant impact on you - your parents, your teachers, your mentor, another?
HFW: My parents yes. Also a huge influence would have to be my high school art teacher, Tom Manning. He taught me that anything is possible if you're not afraid to make fun of it with art (e.g. Frank Zappa). In the professional realm at Artifex, it would be the Three Jay's i.e. Joel, Jon, and Joe... to me they are the Super Friends of the Justice League.
BE: If you had it to do over, what would you do differently?
HFW: I wouldn't have squashed my little brother's pumpkin in malice that one Halloween.
BE: Who have you modeled yourself after?
HFW: Hillary Clinton
BE: Are you starting to see an improvement in your business as the economy improves?
HFW: In my own career outside of Artifex, yes. People are tracking me down via Holistic Forge Works and asking me to produce cartoon drawings/illustrations for them which comes in pretty handy when you're trying to earn extra capital.
BE: What do you do for fun?
HFW: Everything I do is for fun.
BE: I have two follow-up questions: Why did you model yourself after Hillary Rodham Clinton?
HFW: I've modeled myself after Hillary Clinton primarily because of her courage. She is the perfect example of somebody who counteracts bias and stereotypes. My frustration with counteracting bias is rooted in the adopted vernacular of my kids and their peer groups; for example, I challenge the use of words or terms like "That's so gay!" or "Retarded!" I love books/scenarios that depict people doing things that aren't typical. I think it is important to keep open communication so individuals feel comfortable asking questions that they might have about differences. Hillary is a personification of these ideals (Respect, Rights + Responsibility).
BE: And, is Holistic Forge Works a company you operate in addition to working for Artifex?
HFW: That is correct. Holistic Forge Works [dot] Com is my personal solo project for the "living web" outside of the Artifex sphere of influence. Through my Holistic Forge Works endeavors I am able to provide highly specialized art and experimental media product(s) to my own clients.
IN OTHER NEWS: Artist Lynn Di Nino once whined: "If we didn't have anything nice to contribute to the group; we shouldn't contribute anything at all. Blah Blah Blah." Well dear friends, this advice has weighted heavily on our moral compass for many moonless nights. Yet tonight our moral compass breaks free the chains of servitude and soars on a rainbow of altruism! Holistic Forge Works is proud to introduce: The Tacoma Web Design for America Foundation - A local resource for young artists & web designers who are unafraid to stand up to the faceless void and scream: "WHATEVER GRANDMA!" Thus and so proving once again, Holistic Forge Works puts the F.U. in FUN.
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