Gravitywho? #10 Simon
In this series I interview the award-winning team of creative geeks, thinkers and grafters, one by one.
Hi Simon, what a pleasure. Where are you from and when did you found Gravitywell?
I was born in York but I lived in lots of places when I was growing up, including Bogotá and exotic Ipswich. I founded Gravitywell in 2001, working from a bedroom in a Bath flat. I moved to Bristol shortly afterwards and although Bath is lovely place to visit, Bristol suits me much better. In 2014 Jack and I partnered, creating Gravitywell version 2.0.
Colombia is beautiful, but I found it lacks the cosmopolitan vibrancy of Ipswich. What's great about working here?
I get to work with very smart, creative and supportive people every day. It's highly motivating and I'm incredibly proud of our output. I particularly enjoy the early conceptual stages of a project where we're figuring out how we're going to solve a problem or create a brand new experience for users.
Jamie Oliver aside, who would be your dream client and what would you like to work on for them?
I love being involved in 'new' things so ideal clients are startups with a great original idea and a collaborative attitude. But producing something for Warp Records, perhaps interactive with audio and visual aspects would also be very cool.
Speaking of, let's do a time warp — where did it all begin?
I actually started out by producing 3D graphics and animation for a CD-ROM company, with clients like Cisco and BT. As the industry was moving towards the internet I taught myself HTML & Flash. Then I started getting freelance work as both animation and websites were in great demand. I started out on my own, partnering with traditional design agencies.
What’s your advice for someone wanting to get into a Princess Leia costu- the Digital industry?
Just get stuck in. Create your own work, produce example projects and show them to others online. Your portfolio and enthusiasm will go a long way.
Nice. So what’s the worst thing about your role?
Nobody starts a business because they enjoy paperwork and admin!
That is very true. What’s your favourite piece of tech and why?
For the 18th year running, it's still my Wacom tablet. Better than a mouse and no RSI. I've had a couple over the years but the underlying technology has stayed the same as it's both accurate and reliable. I expect I'll be using one until the neural links are ready to ship.
Your Hackathon dream destination would be..? (We'll rule out Ipswich.)
I would prefer it to be fairly remote (free from distractions), in the countryside (for decent walking), with plenty of sunshine. Somewhere on the Med would be ideal.
I'll tell Luke to cancel his Vegas flights. Finally, what’s the best kept secret in Bristol?
I've been here so long I'm not sure what can be classified as a 'secret' anymore. However, I still enjoy a cocktail at The Milk Thistle occasionally.