Your Name: Roy Reed
Style & type of work you produce?
I' m freelance website designer and have been for 16 years. A long time ago I used to work just as a landscape and architectural photographer and I still do some photography (particularly animated 360° panoramas) for websites that I'm working on. In between working as a photographer and a website designer I had my own audio-visual production company making programmes for museums and exhibitions for which we won several awards.
You like myself are a user of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. What was it that made you discover , and drew you to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite?
I've been using CorelDRAW since version 3. I first started using it to produce graphics for the audio-visual programmes I was making in the early 1990s. At the time it would have been a toss-up between CorelDRAW, Freehand or Illustrator. I saw them all being demonstrated at a trade show and decided that CD looked like the best package - especially as it included PhotoPaint which in those days was as good as Photoshop.
What year was it?
The programs that I use every day are HomeSite for website coding and PhotoPaint for website design and layout. HomeSite's no longer in production since it was killed off when Adobe took over Macromedia, but it's still the best code interface for HTML and CSS.
I also use Lightroom (I shoot all my photos RAW ), and PTGui and Pano2VR for stitching and creating 360° panoramas and then all usual office stuff.
Do you use any analog tools in conjunction with your work?
Not any more, and I haven't for some years. And I don't miss it at all.
Which year was it you started your business, your work?
I started as a photographer in 1976 and my current work as a website designer in 1997
Would you recommend CorelDRAW Graphics Suite?
Yes, but it wouldn't be as warm a recommendation as it would have been a few years ago. The DRAW part of the package is still very good, but it's not something that I use on a daily basis. Unfortunately PhotoPaint has gone from being a serious rival to Photoshop (and a bargain in comparison) to being very much second best.
What, more importantly, made you begin working with the work you do today? After all you could have made a career as a hairdresser or something in that line instead, like any other human being.
Working as a website designer seemed to be a logical step when I decided to stop doing audio-visual production. I'd always been comfortable with technology and this new internet thing seemed very exciting. I'd made my company's website in 1995 and a couple of personal websites in 1996 so it seemed the way to go.
What is that you like with your work?
I like the balance between creative and technical. I also like the fact that with the speed the web moves at you're always learning.
In an interview in the Digital Artist Magazine, who interviewed me a few years back, I was asked what I would like to see in future versions of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Is there anything you would like to see?
As I mentioned before, PhotoPaint needs a lot of love to get it back as a rival to Photoshop. Amongst other things I'd like to see total functionality for all effects on 48 bit images, vector shapes or Smart Objects, a good healing tool, lens correction, HDR tone mapping and a version that takes full advantage of 64 bit operating systems.
In my opinion Corel should stop buying up amateur products, changing their name and bundling them in as part of the Graphics Suite and instead focus on making DRAW and PhotoPaint the serious, professional rivals to Illustrator and Photoshop that they once were. There is room for a rival to Adobe and Corel must step up to the plate.
Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning?
Usually coffee - I make a small cafetière most mornings.
What do you think is important to think about running your own business or in your line of work, to think about. Is it discipline or and something else?
If you're freelance and working from home you do need to be disciplined and treat it as if it was a normal job - no working in a dressing gown and pyjamas. It helps if you have a separate room that is just for work as it's just as important to be able to close the door when you've finished for the day and relax and switch off.
For someone just starting out, what do you think they should think about?
Commitment! They should think long and hard about what they want to do and once they've decided on that, then stick to it. There's so much competition in all the creative businesses that if you're not single minded in your approach to work there will be others who are - and they'll be the ones who get the work.
Is there any big change in how and what you worked with when you first started out. Have the business changed in any way?
Website design has changed a lot since I started. These days everyone thinks they can put a website together - and in some ways they can. But thinking about the website structure is the thing where most non-designers usually slip up. They equate design with how the website looks - not how it works. To make a good website you need both!
Thank you Roy! As always nice to talk with you. See you at the forums!
Stefan Lindblad, January 2012
Copyright Roy Reed & Stefan Lindblad