Feb 14

Author Interview: ProgressionStudios

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:00 — julie

Moving through the ranks as a developer, starting his own web development company, “test, test, and re-test your files before uploading them”, and playing Frisbee Golf. Today we meet Michael Garcia (ProgressionStudios) from ThemeForest.

If you’re an Envato marketplace author and would like to be interviewed for the blog, head over to this form. We’d love to hear from you.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

My name is Michael Garcia, and I am a 24-year-old full-time web developer from Northern California. Previously I worked as the Lead Developer for a newspaper company until my departure in 2008 when I started the web development company Progression Studios.

Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

The marketplace I spend the most time on is ThemeForest. I currently sell Site Templates and WordPress Themes. This is because web design is what I am most proficient with.

In the future I would like to sell more files like WordPress Plugins on CodeCanyon and various Photoshop Graphics on GraphicRiver.

How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

I haven’t had much formal training in regards to web development or graphic design. I actually graduated with a degree in Business Marketing, which I apply to my business practices but not day-to-day web development.

I started by teaching myself Photoshop for fun via tutorials from around the web. I then moved towards web development after having an internship in high school that led to my first job as a Junior Web Designer. After holding a position as Junior Web Designer, I eventually moved through the ranks to Lead Developer. I consider most of my training as “on-the-job” training.

Describe your home workspace.

I work from my at home office in Northern California. My main workspace consists of a giant mouse pad with a desk hiding underneath it, and then a MacBook Pro connected to a 27-inch Apple Cinema Display. Having a laptop is an ideal work-machine for me as it allows me to take my work while traveling.

Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

I usually start WordPress Themes and Site Templates by choosing what kind of template or theme I will be crafting. The topics for the theme often come from buyer requests or client projects.

At any given time, I have two to three topics already chosen for new themes. After settling on one topic like Photography, I move onto the design in Photoshop. The design step takes the longest, as polishing the theme will ensure increased sales and that the final theme will meet ThemeForest standards. After that, the HTML/CSS Coding the Documentation can be completed.

What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

  • Make sure to support your files and you will gain repeat buyers
  • Test, test, and re-test your files before uploading them as the first comments in the Item Discussion are browser bug reports
  • If you get a marketplace item rejected, don’t get too frustrated as it happens to everybody

What do you do to market your files?

I market my files on DeviantArt, Creattica, and various CSS Galleries. Additionally, buyers often request WordPress versions of my Site Templates. I have an e-mail newsletter that will notify buyers when I release new themes. This helps get repeat buyers that already know our quality of work.

What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

Broadside – Premium WordPress Theme

This is a WordPress theme that was designed by pezflash. I am really happy how it turned out because this is a conversion of a flash item from ActiveDen. It really demonstrates the possibilities of JavaScript and CSS3.

Adora – Premium Business & Portfolio Theme

This is another converted Site Template that was a top seller. I am happy how the theme turned out of the unique layout and full-width slider.

Galleria – Photography and Portfolio WordPress Theme

This is my first WordPress Theme I created with the help of Taha from wizyLabs. I believe the theme turned out well as a minimalist photography theme.

Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

My favorite marketplace author apart from myself is peerapong. The quality and amount of work put out by peerapong is inspiring. Peerapong‘s work includes photography, business, hotel, and magazine themes and that’s just naming a few. Even more amazing, is that Peerapong has published so many quality items in such a short time, member since May 2010.

What do you do in your spare time?

Most of my spare time is actually spent on a computer reading blogs or watching internet shows. This also helps so that I am always available to answer support questions while online.

When I need a break, I usually get on my bicycle and go riding. It’s a great hobby and helps me get out of the at-home office. I also enjoy paint-balling, playing Frisbee Golf and watching Formula 1.

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