Today we proud again to continue on with our interview series, and this time we turn our leaf of design over to a page I don’t believe we have covered before. As today we are interviewing Website Developer, Mandy Carey. We talk to Mandy about all things social media, bad web design, how she got into the industry and her work with madyfloss and mfcreative.
Love the interview? Think you want to be our next interviewee? Or maybe you can recommend to us our next creative mind who we should get in touch with? Let us know in the comments!
Hi Mandy, its a pleasure to introduce another hard working creative mind to our Design Juices readers. For those who may not have seen or heard your work before. Please introduce yourself into how you fit into the creative industries.
Well hello there, I’m Mandy Carey, I’m 23 years old from Essex, UK and I work as a full time website developer. I’ve been designing for over 3 years now and I’ve taught myself everything I know about designing and coding with a lot of help from the internet. My personal portfolio is: www.mandyfloss.co.uk which includes my logo, website and graphic design work.
When I’m not working I’m designing free resources for Photoshop and Apophysis that I share with the world. I’ve always loved providing people with freebies and my first freebie was my Valentine brushes for Photoshop which became popular on Deviantart which really made me want to carry on providing free design resources. It’s all the thanks that I receive from people that i love to hear.
www.mfcreative.co.uk is my design resources website which includes Photoshop brushes, tutorials, PSD packs, patterns, resources for Apophysis including tutorials and flames packs as well as wallpapers and textures (list may extend in future!)
Being a Website Developer, many people outside of that side of the design industry may misunderstand your role as a web designer. How would you explain the role you are working under? And what kinds of software do you work with on a daily basis?
As a website developer I design the websites and then code them myself in HTML & CSS. The programs I use are Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I do like to use the old fashion Notepad too from time to time too!
With the big wide world of web design, bloggers, writers, creatives and even your average joe blogg getting on the web to have their own website. People get on the web for various reasons, which pieces of web design software such as blogger (blogspot) and WordPress would you recommend to a more novice user and why?
I would recommend WordPress, whether you want a basic blog that is easy to customize and edit or you want to design your portfolio using WordPress, it’s all possible. WordPress has many plugins that are aimed at improving your website and so many amazing free themes for people to choose from. I love that WordPress is totally customizable and how easy it is to update any post.
If you could re-design any companies website? Which would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to re-design a big website like Ebay. I love the site as it is but it would be an amazing challange for myself to be able to create a master piece for such a big popular website.
I can imagine the web design world has seen some terrible web designs both new and old can you remember any dreadful website designs you’d wish had never seen the light of day?
Apart from the websites that I used to upload on Deviantart many years ago which were pretty bad as I only just started in designing, there have been a few sites which I have put together and thought no!
Being a web designer are you a person who likes to get the details down the very last pixel? As designers are we all very picky and people?
I’m always looking at the detail in all my work from a website logo to a button on my site, I love making it stand out that little more with the most smallest of details at times too. I’m someone who is always picking holes in my websites thinking “oh I can do better!”.
Tell us more about mfcreative, what drives you to keep the site going, and is the site all run and owned by yourself?
Mfcreative is run and owned by myself and what drives me are the responses I get from people who have found my resources useful. I love seeing what people have done with my resources and it feels good to know that people are learning for it all too. The more I design, the more ideas I get for resources which I know will help people.
How much of a factor was your education route to where you are today? and What route did you end up taking?
When I went to college I did a BTEC and BND ICT course and web design was one of my classes and I remember using Dreamweaver and Photoshop for the first time and thinking what do I have to do, but I rather enjoyed the challenge. From then I started to learn about Photoshop and using the internet I learnt the very basics of HTML and CSS. While I was at college I learnt a lot by using tutorials online and now I help the community with my tutorials and resources.
When I left college I had a range of jobs from working in a restaurant to retail but I knew that I wanted something more creative so I decided to apply for design jobs. In between working I was always learning more about the web design side of the internet and getting better at Photoshop so I added my skills to my CV. I got a graphic design job and while being there I learnt about websites which really made me want to pursue this career. I now work for a company as their website developer which I love.
Social media and networking are such big factors in many areas of business and design in today’s world. What elements of the new social networking sites do you enjoy the most? and which provide you with the biggest benefits?
I’ve always loved using Facebook, Flickr and Twitter to share my resources and designs. On Facebook I have a fan page for mfcreative and I’ve always found it really useful when sharing the news of a new upload or gaining feedback from people who like mfcreative. Another website that I use for networking would be Flickr, which I use to upload my photography and other design work including websites. The most helpful website to be would have to be Twitter as it’s great for feedback and so easy to share links with other people. I follow a number of great designers and people on there and I find it a great place to get inspiration from.
Which members of your social media circle would you recommend our readers to follow?
There are a number of people that I would recommend people to follow:
@StephenGacheru – I meet Stephen through Twitter a while ago and ever since we keep in contact via Facebook and Twitter. I love looking at his design work and thanks to social networking; we can share our work with each other and provide feedback.
@Inspirationf– He always shares great design resources and interesting tweets.
@DesignNewz – Another blogging site that shares great links.
@JenSuperhug – I love following Jenny as she is such a friendly person and also shares the greatest resources from the website Superhug.
There are many other fantastic people that I follow but I would be here all day!
What working environment inspires you the most? home? office? cubicle?
I always find inspiration for my design work either at work or at home. When I’m designing something like a website I’m always thinking about what can I add to it to make it better and stand out more and then I get ideas for my resources. For example, having a button that is already made will save you time creating it yourself.
It’s the end of a long week or day of working, what do you do to switch your mind into relax mode?
To unwind after work if I’m not out with my boyfriend or friends I enjoy watching movies, playing the Xbox, doing exercise like football and swimming or just sitting back and relaxing while surfing the internet and listening to my music collection!
At weekends I love to shop, spend time with friends and family and going out for long walks with my camera.