We interviewed Rafael Vargas-Machuca, president of CampusMac

Although he is currently President of the Campusmac of Barcelona, Illustrator, Podcaster … Machuca has been moving around the blogosphere and the Mac universe for several years. To tell the truth, looking for information about Apple some years ago on the net (when I was calibrating the change) I ended up on a page with drawings of him.

But a lot has happened since then, and Rafael Vargas-Machuca has not stood still. Although his “real” work is something completely different from the Mac universe (he works in an electrical engineering firm), this does not prevent him from combining his passion for drawing , with teaching comic book drawing at an academy for children. He has also collaborated in several projects such as Freelance in the Razorback cooperative

But let’s focus on his facet as President of the board of the Campusmac association . If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend any of their Partys, you should really consider attending next year’s one. Obviously this has nothing to do with the big events in the state such as the Campus Party or the Euskal Party. But a Maqueros meeting so “in family” is always very interesting, at least I have enjoyed it more.

  • Let’s talk a little bit about how you first met the Macs when you first approached them. Did someone recommend them to you?

The first Mac I touched was a G3 from an acquaintance who had bought it from him and brought it to the office. I was very surprised about the round mouse with one button, the design and the colour of the screen . I had always been fascinated by the brand of the apple when I saw it in American movies when I was young. I thought it was the most modern and unattainable thing to have.

Later I started to draw professionally and when I participated in the first film with Roberto Valtueña and saw that I was drawing with a PC he commented. “Don’t you have a Mac?” I think that was the first moment I really thought about having one. You could say that Roberto was to blame.

* When I was calibrating my jump to Mac, don’t ask me what the Google search was, but I ended up on a page with drawings of you and I loved them. How do you work when drawing? Do you use the Mac as a production or postproduction tool? What is your current configuration?

When I started with a Mac I used it as a post production tool because I don’t like to lose touch with paper and pencil, but since I have a Wacom I realize that I use traditional methods less and less. The production speed that you get with a Mac and a Wacom together is difficult to achieve by traditional methods.

I have an iMac, a Macbook and an Intuos4 that I use with different programs for each part of the process, but I have to confess that I always carry a drawing pad and a pencil in my backpack to make sketches.

  • How was the process, two years ago, when you became part of the group that would be responsible for the CampusMac?

The outgoing board, after participating as a speaker at a workshop, asked me if I would like to join the association and help the incoming board. I became a member that same year so that I could enter the membership meeting and be in the process of change.

The truth is that the change was a very complicated process but it helped to take it more willingly to move forward. I think that the success of this meeting has been the group we have formed, the good atmosphere we have and the dedication of everyone with CampusMac. Once the details of the transition were overcome and with a group of people with the desire and illusion to do new things, everything else was easy.

We have created a company-like way of working and everyone has their responsibilities within the project but nothing is approved without the participation of everyone in the decisions of CampusMac.

  • Tell us a little bit about these two years, have they been worth it? What positive anecdotes have you gained from this experience?

Yeah, it’s worth it. All the members of the board have met many people in these two years, either companies or participants, and the best thing is that all these people want to continue to be linked to the CampusMac project every year.

I think the best part of the experience has been getting to know the members of the Board better and seeing that we can organize an event like CampusMac with 20 workshops, offcampus, 20 partners and 140 event attendees and all doing it in our “free” hours.

As organizers we have participated in events outside CampusMac such as the Experimenta 2009 of the Barcelona City Council and we have made product presentations with Filemaker, Wacom or K-Tuin during these two years.

As a curious anecdote we have when the people in charge of MoviStar or Filemaker participated in the Offcampus of the Karts or the Seways as one more of the assistants. I think this year’s Lipdub with DJ Kun has been a milestone in CM10 and it has been a great success.

  • I would like to know in general terms the organization process of a CampusMac, how long before it starts? I imagine it will have its good and not so good moments, tell me one of each.

The organization of the CampusMac begins when the current year’s ends. From the moment the lights go out, we are already thinking about how to improve what we can for the next year. We start looking for workshops and locations for next year. The truth is that we are working throughout the year. Obviously the busiest months are around CampsuMac week, but it’s really a process that doesn’t stop.

I think the best thing is when we see that some partner calls us to collaborate or when we see how the lists of those registered for the event or the workshops fill up. The worst, without a doubt, are the moments of worry and stress for everything to go well.

  • Are you a staunch supporter of Apple? From what little I know of you, I think you’re a very thoughtful… What do you think of the Apple universe?

The truth is that I love Apple and “evangelize” anyone I can, but I’m not a person who looks down on people who use PCs. I’ve been a PC user and although the blue screens irritated me, I’ve drawn and played a lot with PCs.

Machuca Blog

In the case of disagreeing with Apple, what was the situation you said… What are you thinking, Apple?

I think that Apple’s arrogance is sometimes contagious and you have to try to see things from the outside. Otherwise, I’ve always seen Apple as a company that wants to make money and that’s why I don’t have great disappointments with them and what they do.

  • Do you have an iPad? I think the device can be very interesting for someone with your artistic skills… Do you use it to draw? How?
We interviewed Rafael Vargas-Machuca, president of CampusMac
We interviewed Rafael Vargas-Machuca, president of CampusMac

I just bought one, and the possibilities are endless. The captivating effect it can have on a business meeting or project presentation helps you break the ice. It’s a tool that I haven’t gotten all the juice out of yet .

  • What are the three programs you always run first when you turn on your Mac?

The first thing I do is open Safari, iChat and Twitter . If I have to work safely Painter 11, Flash and Photoshop .

* Do you have an iPhone? If so, what is your “top three” of applications on it?

I do have an iPhone and the applications I use most are Mail, Twitter and lately Gowalla .

  • I’m going to repeat the same question I asked Berto and he cleverly dodged it… But I’m going to reduce your room for evasion… Are you Steve Jobs’ or Steve wozniak’s?

After Pedro Aznar’s wonderful talk at CampusMac I think Steve Jobs is worse than what we all know, but I have always been fascinated by his vision of the future as an entrepreneur and his ability to lead. I think that I, not being a programmer or a computer scientist, Woz has never attracted so much attention, so we could say that I am more of Jobs.

So far today’s interview, I think it is interesting to know first hand the experiences of one of the members of the board of the CampusMac. Remind you that if you have never gone to one and you have the opportunity to do it, do not let it pass, for sure you will have a great week and make great friends… At least that is what happened to me.

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