Developer/Illustrator at Garden Estúdio
Flores da Cunha - Brazil
Intro / Career
I've been curious to know how things work for as long as I can remember. As a kid I disassembled most of my toys and read my dad's old college textbooks (or rather, tried to read them). My interest in programming followed from that, then as soon as I got curious about how video games work it became a rabbit hole that I've never been out of.
After a couple of years working at an advertising agency, I and a couple of friends founded Garden Estúdio, a web studio that does work mostly for local clients here in southern Brazil. I work as a developer and illustrator and from time to time also make CSS and JS demos & experiments, and write articles/tutorials (Creative Gooey Effects, Motion Blur Effect with SVG, The Gooey Effect).
My workflow is constantly changing. Working with a designer who knows how to code, or at least the basics of HTML and CSS (and does great work, of course) makes things a breeze. He knows when to avoid things that would be needlessly complex to code and is mindful of performance and loading times. This allows me to give better input during the design process. Since we work together for the layout, I already know all about the project when I start coding, so it makes things much more straightforward and clear.
Tips / Tricks / Tools
I'm still trying out new tools with each project and seeing what I can do with them. For projects started from scratch, one thing I always go back to is the Laravel framework. It's clean and well organized, setup is very easy, and though PHP can be kind of a pain, most of our projects don't rely too heavily on the back-end side of things. This means I barely have to touch complex PHP code, so for me it works great.
I use either SASS or Stylus for CSS preprocessing, Grunt for task automation, and though I played around with them, I rarely use front-end frameworks. Bootstrap is my go-to framework in case I need one, because it's good on its own but mostly because of the wider user base, making it easier to find solutions to problems.
However, I try to not get too hung up on tools. Often times the cost of adopting or switching to a new tool outweighs the benefits it may have, if any.
I know I'm much more productive when I force myself to work with things that are already proven to work, than I am on personal projects where I'm always experimenting. It's great to keep up with what's new though, so there's a balance to strike.