Interview with Andy Sørensen of andys.dk

[GfxD] What is your REAL name?
[AS] Andy Sørensen

What is your date of birth (day/month/year)?
17/02/79

Where are you from - tell us a bit about yourself?
Im from Denmark and still living here. Im currently studying to become a Multimedia Integrator at Digital Media Aalborg. I live with my girlfriend in the fourth biggest city in Denmark called Aalborg. My hobbies, well of cause making graphics, designs, flash and so on, but i'm also playing soccer which is great because sitting so much in front of a computer requires that you have something totally different to abstract from. I like to abstract a bit from the computer now. For not such a long time ago i spent all (almost) my time infront of the computer. That's not healthy - I figured.

Describe briefly a typical day that you go through?
A pretty much normal day right now would be something like this: I get up at 7:30 in the morning. Then shower, eat (if time) and go to school at 8.25. Then we might have some education for about 4 hours. Then lunch break. Again 4 hours of education - and im off to get home. Typically im home about 4 o' clock. Talk a bit with my girlfriend. I unpack my laptop and checks my mails and maybe chat a bit with some buddies over MSN. Then i would typically do some work on my site, maybe make some new wallpapers or do some redesign thoughts (I always do). Then either my girlfriend or I make some dinner and then we watch some tv. Maybe i would go back to my office and do some more graphics or some coding. I almost code something everyday...then in to bed around 12 or 1 o' clock.
This is really roughly because not two days are alike in an ordinary week. Some days I barely touch the computer and other days I loose sence of time and just work and work and work... But as said, i'm trying to get away from the computer to spend more time with my girlfriend, family and friends or on something completely different.

What is your nickname/handle and what's the story behind it?
Well, my nickname is Brandy and it was "given" to me when i was at college. It was at the time where everybody watched Beverly Hills 90210. And I believe some of my friends thought my hair looked a bit like Brandons... ....So Brandy it was...boring story.

andys.dk

What is the name and address of your website?
My site is addressed at http://www.andys.dk. Right now it's called Andys.dk - FIRST STEP INTO CREATION. I attend to name my redesigns like episodes or issues.

Is this your first website? And how long have you had it for?
Yes it is. It started in year 2000 to be precisely October 26th 2000. I first used the site as a personal portfolio. But since then the theme has changed a bit and rigth now it's like a web-portal for graphics interested people.

Do you have any other sites that we should know about/be on the look out for in the future?
Nope actually not. I have some domains but they are not active.

Do you design and create all of your art/images/layouts?
Yes I do all the work myself otherwise I think my site would lose it's purpose. Still I would like to do something more interactive with user accounts and stuff - which i already have on andys.dk but it's not in use yet, and it might not ever be. I try to be inspired enough to make something unique which is so hard - but I think i've succeeded a couple of times.

What programs do you use to create your work?
Photoshop is a tool I can't live without. It's the foundry in all my work (except the 3D images). I use Flash a lot and it's actually my favourite piece of software. I use it to push dynamic web-content to it's limit. Furthermore Flash has it's own powerfull script language which im trying to master.
For 3D i use 3D Studio MAX which i find the best and most suitable for me because of the neverending possibilities this program has. I code in Homesite and Dreamweaver. Director is also a tricky bugger - you can't make anything great without understanding Lingo which im getting better at. I also use Premiere for editing.

andys.dk

When designing do you use plug-ins and filters and if so what are they?
Actually I don't have any plug-ins installed at all! And of cause i use filters, but i try to blend them a lot to get a unique result instead of something looking like a 5 sec. drag-and-drop work.

Do you use programming languages on your site such as ASP, PHP, CGI etc.? If so, tell us how you learnt them?
I have read alot to learn PHP by myself. And i believe that i've succeded. PHP is very powerfull when put together with a MySQL database. I try to develop my programming skills all the time. Before learning PHP i did some C+, Basic, VB.

What type of content do you have on your website?
My content is mostly focused on graphics and art. Like wallpapers, photos and such. But I also write an article or a tutorial now and then. I also have a large link archive which only has Graphics, webdesign related links. But there's much more. I have a free download section with scripts and such. And there is much more.

What's your site's traffic levels like? Give us your average hits/visits statistics?
Well since i uploaded my new design I have had about 480 unique visitors per day in average. And the users are form all around the world.

andys.dk

Give a brief description of why we should visit your site? What does it offer?
I think my site offers a lot. There are free scripts, photos, wallpapers and a lot of content! It's not a show off page. I just try to show people what i do and they can comment it if they like. Im always developing new stuff for the site. And sometimes I put up a lot of things other times it might take a week before new stuff arrives. Another thing is that im offering other webmasters to write news about their sites or whats on their mind. Soon they will also be able to write articles as well. Basically i think my site deserves a visit and if the user don't like it it wouldn't make me unhappy. My site is like a hobby to me - and it doesn't have to be a huge visitor magnet but i would of cause like it if it was.

What is your favorite food?
That has to be pasta, it's easy to make and it tastes great. But i basically like almost any kind of food. And we do get very varied food. Im not afraid to taste somthing new.

Favorite desert?
Soft ice with waffles...yummy!

Favorite videogame?
Must be Fifa 2002 - just love it!

Favorite artist/band and music genre?
I have a wide selection of genres i like. But the most i listen to techno and house which kind of makes me work faster.

Favorite color?
Blue like the sky on a sunny day. Well almost any shade of blue, mostly the more smoky blues.

andys.dk

What are your Likes?
Unique design/art/graphics
Gadgets
Microsoft
Trustworthy people

What are your Dislikes?
Rippers!
wanna-bees
high taxes
unstable servers
Netscape
Splash screens

Favorite website(s) you visit besides yours and why?
www.php.net (Can't live without this online manual)
www.k10k.com (it's just great)
www.cwd.dk (inspiration, inspiration...)

Who is your host and why have you chose them?
cliche.dk - i chose them because they are cheap, stable and Danish. Furthermore i wanted some more security.

Do you make any money from your site?
Not a penny! And im happy about that. But i would like to make money on a site someday.

Has your site ever been hacked or stolen? If so tell us more:
Ooooh yes! Been hacked twice, by a friendly hacker that is. Ripped 9 times that i know of which really bugs me. I hate rippers.

How long are you usually online for per day?
Knew that was gonna come...well too long. I think i'm online and sitting infront a computer 6-10 hours a day. Trying to get that number lower. 6-7 hours is in the school/work because thats my working area, the internet. The last couple of hours is at home.

Tell us about some of your online activities that you like to do?
I like to talk with friends using MSN, I rarely play any games online. Then there is simple surfing.

andys.dk

Tell us about some of your offline activities that you like to do?
Just be with my girlfriend. Play soccer. Enjoy life and my sparetime.

What do you think of the Biomutation website?
Uh - i like it. But maybe the Css needs some optimizing - and maybe get rid of the splash screen.

Closing Remark:
Well this has been great! Nice to be asked questions like this. My future plans are like this: im under education, so im attached/working in a company now. I finsih the education in May/June 2003 - then I see myself standing with three options. I can stay at the company im currently working at, I can try to find another job since I now have the "right papers", or I can try to establish my own company. Right now I like the thought of taking a huge leap into running my own small business. But when the time comes i hope i know what to do.