1. So Dante, what's your role at Mediacurrent, both internally and client-related?
Creative Director: I work with the front-end team to ensure that work delivered to our clients follows best practices and the highest standards. I help my team and clients solve problems creatively.
2. We're so glad to have you! Give us an idea of what professional path brought you here.
I have been in the creative space for about 12 years. My first job was working for a creative advertising agency in Columbia, SC called MediaPro. I got a special pass from my high school to attend school for half the day and work the other half at the agency. One interesting note about them was they produced one of South Carolina’s first African American business magazines. I was in charge of advertising design and photo processing. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, I worked for myself and a few other company’s moving into web design and development.
3. How did you first get involved with Drupal?
I worked for a company that specialized in large scale publishing websites. Essentially, it supported its newspaper and magazine products. My role at the company was as front end designer and theming specialist. I later developed a custom theming platform that would be used to support 20 plus newspaper properties.
4. Is there a go-to Drupal module that you like to incorporate whenever possible?
I prefer to develop websites using panels with the Omega theme layer. I find this to be a very powerful and handy combination for developing responsive websites.
5. Do you have any recommended reading or books that you would suggest to others?
Yes, I think everyone should read smashing magazine’s Navigation & Interaction ebook. It really explains and explores the science of developing solid user experiences and understanding common design patterns on the web. Ref: http://goo.gl/LMJ0Za
6. Any mobile apps that you use regularly?
I hope this does not come as a big surprise, but I really don’t have a favorite app I use regularly, although paradoxically I am a student of User Interface and User Experience. This may sound strange, but I get my inspiration not from excessively downloading apps but from excessively thinking about what makes people do the things they do. In art school, I learned that the true masters really did not pay much attention to what everyone else did when it came to expressing their craft. They were aware but not overly influenced, which in turn allowed them to create new forms of expressions and art that influenced and changed the world.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
This may sound like a cliché, but I like to simply hang out with my family. I love watching movies with my wife and watching my children form their own opinions about the world around them. At least once a week I ask everyone what they want to be when they grow up, and I really try to make an effort to listen in detail and form a plan around their dreams. My oldest, Imsety, wants to be a game developer, so we talk all the time about building his portfolio and his business. In the end, it gives me a chance to teach life lessons using their interests.
8. What do you like about Mediacurrent?
The most outstanding attribute that Mediacurrent has is that they make an attempt to understand where the client is coming from. One thing I have noticed through the years is that the management truly wants to understand their client needs. Mediacurrent has changed so much since the day I started because I think what drives the company is to stay current and, most importantly, consistent.