Graphics Expert Jeff Foster
|For this issue of News from
National, Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P. had a chance to
interview another world expert in the area of
graphics design and IT. As with last week's
interview, whether you are new to the game or an old
pro, you will find useful information in the books
and in the comments from this global authority.
Interview: Jeff Foster – Photoshop Web Magic series
Q: Some in the audience are considering long-term
careers in design, graphics, and computing. What
personally prompted you to enter the field?
A: I was a traditional commercial artist for about 8
years prior to going “digital” in 1990. I
specialized in airbrush photo retouching and
photo-realistic illustration. Since there wasn’t any
training programs for advanced desktop graphics
programs in the early 90’s, I had to get close to
the developers to learn the cutting-edge tools to
continue to be in the lead of the industry. Thanks
to software companies like Adobe, their beta
programs not only allow power users a sneak peek at
the new tools, but they also solicit functionality
requests from those who use their products. The
concepts I use in my writing have been proven in
classroom settings throughout several Southern
California College and University programs.
Q: Where do you see graphic design software
development heading in the next two years?
A: I don’t think there will be any earth-shattering
advancements in the next two years, but I believe
there will be more focus on refining the tools we
have – making them better work in concert with each
other – and continue to be more Web-specific. There
are some companies making development tools
available online – not just to download demo
versions of packaged software, but to actually
function as an online application. Onflow.com is one
of many companies charging-ahead with “instant” Web
graphics and animation on-demand. Higher-speed
access and broader bandwidth to a greater number of
people will definitely increase the demand for this
technology. I believe that people will want to make
their own space more personal – including their work
space. Anyday.com is an example of personal/work
space, communications and active scheduling
on-demand via the Web.
Q: What top ten technologies should graphic design
professionals be watching for in the next two years?
A: Adobe upgrades (Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive
Q: List 10 reasons, why would you recommend your
- Mac OS X (and faster/better hardware)
- More FireWire connectivity with peripherals
Quicktime 5 (More Web-savvy than ever! – Watch
for cubic VRs)
- Better Mini-DV cameras (quality, resolution,
storage & price)
- Better digital cameras (quality, resolution,
storage & price)
- More on-demand development tools, libraries
and plug-ins available online.
- Increased scanning/printing capabilities
- An increase in the number of high-speed,
- More books and articles by Jeff Foster!
A: Here is why:
Q: Can you describe your role with your company and
how you plan to shape the company one year and two
years into the future, and in the long term?
- Great new easy-to-follow format (and a great
new Publisher!), with full-color screenshot
images throughout the book.
- Overview of the new tools and features in
this important upgrade.
- Real-world techniques you won’t find in any
other Photoshop 6 Book.
- Step-by-step “recipes” for creative
components that will not only be useful for Web
design, but they will teach the user new
techniques they can apply to all of their work.
- Concepts in this book have been proven with
- All Project files, sample images, Custom
Libraries and Styles come on the enclosed
- Companion web site that will support the
material in the book with downloadable free
Custom Styles, Shapes and Patterns each week.
- Web site will also include an area to share
your custom libraries with other users for free.
- Written by a real artist/designer – not just
a computer geek!
- Buy 10 and get a free goldfish in the mail!
A: I am currently the Director of R&D and Training
at Narratus, Inc. My role changes daily, as our
requirements are constantly changing and shifting to
meet the demands of our clients. We have a growing
team of artists and technicians that constantly
strive to grow in all of their diverse areas of
expertise. This keeps me on my toes to make sure
they are prepared to handle the challenges that may
come – and be equipped with the hardware, software
and knowledge to use it.
Q: What are your top 10 tips for the professional
from your experience base and your book (“useful”
and reality-based real world checklist) including
which resources (book, utilities, tools) to use and
any advice of where to obtain these tools?
A: My advice:
Q: For those relatively new in the field and for
seasoned veterans, which areas should they target
for future study, what are the high-growth areas?
- Local User Groups & SIGs… Join. Get
- Online discussions and organizations. Get
- Software producer’s discussion groups and
beta programs… Get involved! Tell them what you
- Take time to “joy ride” an application…
don’t just sit down with a think manual and
expect to find where everything is and what it
- Bug people and ask questions… computer
people love to help!
- Check out the web site –
www.photoshopwebmagic.com (starting Dec. 17th)
for more information and resources.
A: Anything visual. We use Photoshop several times a
day – hardly ANY project goes out the door without
some Photoshop work in it… especially Video and Web
work. Learn an HTML program (like GoLive or
DreamWeaver) – even if you aren’t currently building
web pages… you will greatly benefit from not being
left in the dust down the line. Get involved with
local and online User Groups and SIGs. They will be
the lifeblood in your special interest community!
Q: Can you provide five book extracts that best
reflects the tips/pointers in your book and provide
a compelling reason to thoroughly study your work?
A: Check out the samples online at