Story Pixel

Independent Interaction of Sam Wilson

  • Dimitri

    Excellent post Sam. It is good and rare to know what you desire to do and do it.

    Mon, September 06, 2010 at 2:07am
    Dimitri's gravatar
  • c.e. stump

    good to hear that you are on track doing what you like. keep it up! are you looking to do creative director type of work in pittsburgh or direct design?

    Tue, September 07, 2010 at 2:47pm
    c.e. stump's gravatar
  • Sam Wilson

    @stump I think it’s too early for me to say definitely but I do like the strategy aspect more and more just because at the end of the day you can accomplish a greater number of wins for a client if you have a team instead of just yourself. It would be tough in other ways. So, I’m not 100% sure yet.

    Tue, September 07, 2010 at 5:22pm
    Sam Wilson's gravatar
  • Stephanie Rice

    Beautiful blog

    Wed, September 08, 2010 at 5:13pm
    Stephanie Rice's gravatar
  • Yuang

    cool blog. good writing

    Tue, September 21, 2010 at 8:44pm
    Yuang's gravatar
  • Rob

    Great site and great blog, Sam! Sometimes the idea of learning something new/taking on a new venture is more exciting then doing the same ol’ thing.

    P.S. It’s great to hear that you are so comfortable with Flash. As a XHTML, CSS, JavaScript designer myself, I never felt like I could get the hang/grasp of Flash Action Scripting…plus, college NEVER prepares you to build the kind of flash sites that major studios are building and wanting from their applicants.

    With HTML 5 on the wing, I don’t think HTML will ever replace Flash, but with so many people wanting video/animation accessibility on cell phone devices, I have a feeling HTML 5 will start gaining a LOT of popularity!

    Thanks for reading,

    Sun, January 09, 2011 at 12:12am
    Rob's gravatar
  • Jack

    That’s very good to hear!

    Best wishes.
    Jack from

    Tue, May 13, 2014 at 12:20pm
    Jack's gravatar

have your say...

Now and later

Professionally, it’s been a unpredictable exciting year; lots of changes bring several opportunities to grow.

No more Flash

A cornerstone to a successful career as a creative is to not confuse your job with your career. Decoded, this means to always be growing something: an idea, a skill, a relationship.

Around Christmas 2009 I began to come to terms with the idea that I was too comfortable with Flash to continue doing it. Though I was working with fantastic, hard-won clients who absolutely appreciated my talents, I had lost my interest in Flash. I made the tough decision to leave a lucrative gig with Estee to learn something new.


Immediately after stopping Flash work, some friends (Todd Willey, Nick Warner, and Steven Hayes) and I started a new company called Fineslacks around March 2010. The first project, Todd proposed, would be a CMS based on one I had been wanting to see: a Ruby-based CMS as awesome as ExpressionEngine (PHP-based). We had estimated it would take less than a month to complete. I joined under the condition I would be Chief Creative Officer (meaning I would make calls regarding product features, UI, and design).

After a few months of growing as a team, we hit a more serious hiccup than growing pains. We met at a coffee shop early in the morning (already not a good sign)... then we got the news: no more salaries. I knew there would be some risk because with any startup, droughts are not unheard of, but this one came unexpectedly early for me. Alarmed with the suddenness and absoluteness of this news, I made the choice to pivot toward paying gigs because I had a young son to support. It was tough because I liked the guys, however looking back it was the right decision. As far as I know, Fineslacks is still planning to release a CMS later this year.

No gig

After our meeting at the coffee shop, a lot of emotions came forth. I felt a little embarrassed as I had hyped up Fineslacks at SXSW and locally. I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to shape the CMS into something I knew people like me wanted to use. Mostly I was scared… I wasn’t going back to Flash. Estee had left it out on the table that I could return and do iPhone apps, but I was sort of needing a more creative role to grow in… to prepare for Pittsburgh.


After only two days of no gig lined up, Randall Stevens offered me a contract to work on his exciting startup idea Punndit. It allowed me to focus on directing the creative; also I’d have my hands in design and still be involved Ruby on Rails! It was my opportunity, in deus-ex-machina fashion, so I accepted.

And that is where I am now. The contract with Story Pixel is continuing. I am not an employee but a contractor (clearing up some rumors I encountered). The new position has allowed me to focus both on design and learn tons of new things. Working in an office everyday is an adjustment but downtown is a welcomed change of scenery. Randall listens to my creative opinions so that was a welcomed change.


I’m right where I want to be in my career: not afraid where my next dollar is coming from and making the best work I can make with the projects I have. Also in my limited spare time I am continuing to develop both Tot Zeens and some iPad project. Happiness is paramount and I am happy as long as I am developing and learning.

I have also been writing more with a few magazines I like: Smashing Magazine and Fuel Your Creativity. More is on the way. Writing helps me grow outside of what projects I’m trusted with.


I am a lucky dude to be working with things I love. Meeting with James Mathias helped me reaffirm that creating websites is like the best job in the world. Duh! While I really look forward to moving to Pittsburgh, I aim to maximize my remaining time in Lexington.

Sure that means do the most epic things I can, but it also means appreciating what I have been blessed with. My son and wife amaze me everyday, life is much fuller with them. I do not want to look over my shoulder in ten years and wonder why I can only remember wireframes, Photoshop, and stylesheets.