MEET #4055 SHANE MIELKE
Designer • Orange County, CA
WNW Member #4055 Shane Mielke has designed, developed or animated 6 Adobe sites of the Day, 29 FWA Sites of the Day, 2 FWA Mobile Sites of the day and 2 FWA Sites of the Month. He has also served as a judge for the Adobe® Design Achievement Awards, Flash in the Can Awards, Digital Artist Awards, .net Awards and the prestigious FWA Site of the Year. Shane spoke to WNW about the importance of networking as a freelancer, and his strict "no work in the evenings" policy.
1. How long have you been freelancing?
I left my job and started freelancing in December of 2012. So it’s been a little over a year and a half. For 5 years prior to going freelance I worked fulltime remotely. So there was very little adjustment to my lifestyle, mindset or any of the other things that usually shock people when they change from a fulltime job setting in an office with other people to being at home.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
Surprisingly when I’m NOT in front of the computer. I always get my best ideas or solve any technical problems in my head while working out or doing some sort of mundane task where my mind isn’t focused on whatever is right in front of me. I get this distant stare where I’m playing mental Tetris in my head trying to figure something out. At first my wife would think I was mad or something. But now she knows the look as me just figuring something out.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
I absolutely LOVE what I do as a designer, developer and animator. It’s my hobby, love, passion and job. So when I was younger it was near impossible to turn my mind off and not be working on something. I was probably at like a 70/30 ratio. After I married and then started having kids that became an issue. I’ve now flipped that number and I’m at about a 40/60 ratio or even lower as I’ve become more efficient at what I do. I only work 30-40 hours a week and have a strict no working policy in the evenings. This gives me the time to go on vacations & trips, workout daily, attend all of my kids sporting practices as well as always having time in the evenings to spend with my family.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
Yes. Well kind of. Actually.. no not really. My mother is very computer savvy although she’d tell you that she isn’t. She knows that I design and develop websites and video games. She’s seen my personal website and has seen some of my projects and she’s proud of me. She understands that when she sees something I’ve done that I “made” that website. But that’s about as far as it goes in her understanding of what I really do.
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
It’s impossible for me to pinpoint any single movie moment. I watch (listen to) a LOT of movies during the day while I work as background noise. But I do have several movies close to my heart that can make me laugh at any scene. One of my best friends Elijah Shepard and I will periodically put on the movies This is the End, Superbad, Hot Tub Time Machine or The Hangover. We’ve easily seen (listened to) each movie 100+ times. We always end up trying to work while we message each other back and forth laughing over the same scenes.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
7. What do you do when Not Working?
Be present with my family and their individual lives, CrossFit, read, learn new technologies like WebGL
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I can do 100+ double unders in a row with a jump rope.
9. Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
Clients often find you because of referrals from friends, former co-workers and past clients. Many talented freelance designers struggle to get work simply because they do not have a solid network of relationships set up. As your network grows so does your business as long as you hold yourself to a high standard producing solid work. It helped me to work at an agency for 10 years meeting all sorts of people before breaking out as a freelancer.
10. What's your favorite thing on the internet this week?
The latest version of Three.js (r68) that just came out.