I have always struggled to write about myself and to explain exactly what it is that I do. Not because I don’t know, but rather because it’s a complicated answer.
A lot of my time during the average day is spent contemplating other peoples companies, brands, ethos and core values so that I might better understand and in turn represent them (personally or as a company) by creating public facing media such as a website, business card or logo or by helping them to design and implement their 'digital future'.
Applying that skill to my work and myself I find problematic. I never know where to start or which bits are important. But I am reliably informed that the beginning is good. So let’s go with an abridged history of professional me... I'll try and keep it brief.
In the beginning...
I have always been into creating images, from drawing to my first photograph. I specicialised in lens based media at college then went on to study combined fine art and installation media on an Interactive Art degree, during which I discovered 3D computer modeling in its infancy. I was hooked. I also had to create my first website as part of my course work - animated gifs (little sequences of images that gave the illusion of movement) were the height of web graphics. I made mine in 3D Studio. By this point I had combined the early graphical Internet with 3D on the PC along side tools such as Photoshop and offline media including photography, traditional animation, painting and drawing. Whilst I greatly enjoyed this blend of mediums, to be honest, it wasn't really appreciated on my 'fine art' course and I couldn't really see a career path that would utilise this collection of new skills.
Out of University I got a job doing product support for the UK's biggest reseller of 3D Studio software (take that degree tutors) - now with added 'MAX' and on Windows NT4 no less. I quickly became extremely handy with Microsoft desktop and server operating systems, MS networking and dabbled in both on and offline servers running UNIX. I was molding my place as a 'techie' in the creative industry. During this time I was extremely pleased to win an award for outstanding technical support based in no small part on my efforts with a large games company. In fact most of my clients were either postproduction houses working on TV and feature films or games companies working on multiple platforms. I've sprinkled Graham Norton with talcum powder, played basketball with The Reef Girls, Evel Knievel and the Harlem Globetrotters (at the same time) and argued with J.K. Rowling about lightning - but those stories will have to wait.
Exposure to 3D in a real time gaming environment and my personal background work on the web came together when I was head hunted to work in technical pre-sales on a real time web platform delivering 3D product 'tours' over narrow band Internet connections (think dial-up modem). The sales environment experience proved invaluable for my presentation skills, confidence and my ability to understand a clients needs and to see where a technology solution might solve real world commercial issues. Over a few years I moved on to similar technology on early ‘not-so-smart’ mobile phones where I was part of a team in the 'expert group' developing the JSR184 3D mobile standard with Vodafone, ARM, Nokia and Motorola which, for a good few years, ran almost every 3D game on most capable mobile devices.
Once this 3D platform was commercially available I was whisked off to start help building the developer toolset that would enable games companies to make their games for the newly 3D enabled devices. This was the start of my journey to understand how programmers work technically and as part of a creative team and gave me a first real look at how 'cool' the combination of code with an immediate and visual end result can be.
Said tools successfully completed after a huge amount of team hours and effort designing and building them I inevitably ended up becoming the resident (and outsourced) expert in the toolset and what it could do, being calling upon to do tough problem solving tasks during games developments. This gave me the opportunity to get creative again with the likes of Disney, Universal Pictures and other great household names.
At this point in time I had a career that, if far from travelling in a straight line, was going in a good direction. I was able to express my own opinions on a regular basis and people listened, I had a really strong technical knowledge and my creative skillset was ever expanding. I got to talk to CTO's, CEO's and all types of CxO's in between. I was learning a lot.
The next big opportunity presented to me was to move out of my comfort zone and become one of those CTO's at an extremely new startup that, at that point, didn't even have a name. This would give me an opportunity to build my own team and to plan the tech strategy of a software solution that had yet to be designed. It was online, creative, involved multiscreen HD video, 3D and presented a whole host of problems for me to solve. I had to do it. And I did, for nearly six years. The product(s) were built, the camera rigs travelling around the world filming, the creative team buzzing and the overall software solutions future was in the hands of the sales team. Commercials dictated that maintenance was now all that was really called for; the budget was not there for moving forward with version development, creating new and better systems and solutions. My time here was over, to quote BB King - “the thrill has gone”.
So what next? Well, that is why you are (hopefully still) reading this. I've gone all 'indie'.
What's it to you?
History lesson over let’s get back to my initial problem. I have managed to write about myself and hopefully in doing so have given you an insight into some of my skills and an idea of why I find it hard to explain to people what I do… I do rather a lot. It seems that I am a pretty rare beast. A creative at heart who loves to use technology as an enabler and whom enjoys nothing more than when he can help a client to ‘get it’.
Form dictates that, at this point, I include a list of my technical ‘skills’, so here are the highlights:
And a formal definition:
Helping you to understand and define your digital future. From strategic planning, designing and building websites to helping with brand materials, embracing online video campaigns and social media marketing.
Informally, what I strive to do is to help you. To help you get where you want to be with your creative and technical goals, to bring your thoughts and ideas to others in ways that engage and keep them coming back for more whatever the medium. I can bring to the table creative and technical understanding across a vast area, translating complex issues into understandable, viable, solutions whether creative or technical that everybody will 'get'.
Hopefully you'll get in touch. I look forward to working with you.
Ant makes sense of the term "Solutions Architect", drawing on a wealth of integrated skills honed at the coalface of creative digital business.
...an excellent conceptualist, abreast of latest technological developments, a timely deliverer of projects and a strong leader of his team. All the work with which Antony was tasked was delivered to brief, on time and with the bonus of an extra 'wow' factor, whether in design or functionality.
Antony is one of those people you just want to work with... I would welcome the opportunity to work together with him again in the future.
Our specialties include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Graphic Design
- Film and video production technologies
- Technology strategy and implementation
- Creative direction
- Social Media Marketing
- Website design & development
- HTML email design
- Third-party graphic layout to webpage
- Website maintenance, update and promotion
- Logo design (logotype design)
- Hardware and software systems
- Home network and AV
Get in touch with us
One thing you will learn about us very quickly is that we love to talk. After all, we have a lot to say!