Twitterview: Local designer & gaming aficionado, Jamel Singleton
Jamel Singleton is a print, web and UX designer for a nimble, rising star in the consumer software industry. He describes himself as a gadget enthusiast who spends most of his free time playing video games, blogging and tweeting about gadgets, tech and entertainment.
Jamel has been a valley resident for over 15 years, this plus his awesome skill set qualifies him to be the very first Twitterview of 2012.
Without further adieu.....
TPE: What do you say was the biggest push into your current field? Did you set off to be a designer?
Jamel: The rise of mobile computing and apps had a big impact on my career. About 2 years ago I became keenly aware that I needed to know more about app design if I was going to continue designing in the digital space. I went to work researching and reading up on UX design and became more involved in user testing and surveys at work. A year later my growing interest in UX lead to my current position at a software consulting firm.
I fell into graphic design randomly, my degree is in computer animation but the field for 3D artists in AZ is limited at best. I’d been working at print shops while applying for 3D jobs and one day by chance, I ran into a friend from school who was working for a small agency. They’d been looking for a production artist and I applied, figuring it could be a temporary upgrade and pay bump from the print shop. As it turned out though, I grew to love design and have never looked back.
TPE: Along with design and UX you were involved with a film production at one point?
Jamel: Yes, I’ve always had an interest in video and film production, in fact for a long while I was leaning toward a career in the film industry instead of design. Several years back I joined a friend in a film production venture called Man on the Run Productions. We shot and produced video for a few small events and most notably I was Director of Photography on the two sequels to a film he’d shot prior to me joining the company. ‘The Road Less Traveled 2: Path not Taken’ and ‘The Road Less Traveled 3: Vanishing point’.
TPE: You seem enthusiastic about your current company and position, what are the ingredients, in your opinion, of a great full-time gig.
Jamel: I think the “ingredients” must very from person to person, but for me it’s the variety in my assignments. My interests are varied and eclectic, so I need a job that will let me put everything I’ve learned in my previous positions, as well as through my extracurricular activities to use. I’m far too "ADD" to work in the same medium day-in and day-out.
TPE: What is your favorite place to eat in the valley?
Jamel: Matt's Big Breakfast, I have breakfast there every Friday, a tradition started nearly 4 years ago.
TPE: Websites you visit daily?
http://www.youtube.com — This site has become my new search engine.
http://www.Amazon.com — Because I like to window shop.
http://www.theverge.com/ — If I won a large sum of money, the tech blog I’d start would look like this.
http://badassdigest.com/ — Devin Faraci provides witty and brutally uncompromising editorial.
http://devour.com/ — My favorite of the “video of the day” sites.
http://www.tested.com/ — Finally bringing some personality to tech reporting.
http://daringfireball.net/ — Jon Gruber is a writer I look up to for his often bite-sized editorial. Simple, concise, effective.
http://9to5mac.com/ — A “less biased” Apple news site.
http://www.cheapassgamer.com/ — A gaming habit like mine gets expensive, CAG helps to ease my financial burden with a variety of smart web-tools and a great community.
TPE: You are known somewhat as a video game expert, I remember you had a blog at azcentral.com about gaming? Where do you see the future of gaming?
Jamel: This won’t be the popular answer among my game playing peers, but I think the long prophesied convergence of gaming, movies and the Internet in the home finally began in earnest this year. By this time next year nearly every TV sold will be Internet capable, allowing people to stream movies and television, browse the web and play a variety of simple, addictive video games, much like the ones you’d play on an smartphone today. Angry Birds, Words With Friends and Mafia Wars are all examples (Are you ready for ‘Mafia Wars’ notifications on your TV?). What this means for the game industry is that there will be more avenues available to evangelize non-gamers and exceed the financial growth the industry experienced in 2011.
TPE: What are your thoughts on the design culture in Phoenix, or lack thereof?
Jamel: I’ve mostly pulled away from the local art and design scene in the past few years so I don’t feel entrenched enough to provide much valuable commentary. From the outside peering in though, the one thing I’ve noticed is a slew of creative design chop-shops springing up and undercutting more experienced design houses.
TPE: Tell me about “Geek When Spoken to”.
Jamel: http://www.geekwhenspokento.com to is a blog where I editorialize on a variety of topics that interest me (gadgets, gaming etc.). The site provides me an opportunity to hone my writing skills and experiment with using social media tools (very helpful in my day job). Recently, I decided to move the blog off of WordPress and test the viability of using Facebook as my primary CMS. After several months of trying, Facebook’s limited tools for blogging and formatting posts are now forcing me to consider other options, which means a relaunch in the near future.
TPE: Your best guess on design trends for 2012?
Jamel: For me and the designers I associate with, the infographic scene was a pretty big deal. Many of the most talented artists I follow seem to pull inspiration from 1930’s art and advertising. Since Art Deco of the 1940’s holds a special place in my heart, I’d love to see things trend in this direction next year.
TPE: Any new big projects on the horizon?
Jamel: The ‘Geek When Spoken to’ update is my highest priority at the moment. I’m hoping to finish it for an early 2012 relaunch before CES (Consumer Electronics Show) starts.
...and there you have it, our first Twitterview of 2012, thanks Jamel, we're very fortunate to have you here.
- The Phoenix Egotist
Any suggestions on who our next Twitterview should be? Hit us up @PhoenixEgotist