Interview with Luke McDonald...

Hello readers, As I told you in my post Just Browsing, I have been following a company Press75 for may months.

I have also been reading Luke McDonald's blog because he is the designer of the Debut theme, the one I use for my blog.

After contacting the Press75 customer service email, I got in touch with Luke himself.

So here it is, an interview with, in my opinion, one of the most talented WordPress theme designers in the world.

Q. When did you get involved with making WordPress themes?
 
A. I first got involved with WordPress around 2009/2010. I was just getting into Web Design and Development as I was previously doing Flash applications and animations. In my attempt to learn everything I could web design, I subscribed to the Web Designer magazine. At the time (and maybe it still does), the magazine included a disc with freebies on it. On the first issue I purchased, the disc included had free WordPress themes by Press75. I setup WordPress, installed the Photographic Press75 Theme from the disc, and haven't looked back since.
 
 
Q. Why WordPress?
 
A. Before WordPress, I had played around with Joomla! and Drupal. My initial reaction to each was they seemed a bit complex and overwhelming. Again, I was just learning web development, including "CMS" type capabilities. When I found WordPress and Press75, everything seemed simple, easy, and doable.
 
A bigger reason that has kept me using WordPress is the community. I've "met" some of the coolest, nicest, and creative people thorough the WordPress community. There are a good amount of resources out there to learn from, and some great people that continue to create useful blogs, tutorials, and other avenues to learn WordPress.
 
Q. So far, what is your favorite theme?
 
A. I don't know that I really have a favorite theme. Over the years, I've purchased many, many themes as I attempted to learn WordPress from "reverse engineering" them. These themes were from all different types of theme shops and theme authors. With that said, I still love the simplicity of Jason Schuller's Press75 themes. One theme that I worked with extensively in the past was the Vidley theme. So, if I had to pick one, I guess that would be it.
 
 
Q. About how long does it take to make a theme?
 
A. For me, it tends to take longer than it probably should. However, with each theme I build, I try to do and learn something new. Because of this, often times I find myself spending a good amount of time trying to do/figure out one thing. However, most of the time that one thing is something that I can carry over from theme to theme. So if I spend the time figuring it out, and doing it right, the benefits will pay off in the future. With that said, it usually takes me two months to build a theme. I could simplify my themes and divide that time in half, but I tend to like the challenge of learning and implementing something new.
 
 
Q. Can we expect any new themes soon?
 
A. You bet! I'm always working on something new. Currently, I and three other WordPress developers are building AudioTheme. AudioTheme will be a small marketplace for audio centric WordPress themes. We are building a Framework tailored towards bands, musicians, artists and DJ's. It's going to be cool with some great themes coming. The goal is to launch the website sometime this summer.
 
 
Q. About how long before the Hoon theme will be available for WordPress.com users?
 
A. I don't know the answer to this and it depends upon how things play out. I would expect sometime later this summer. Currently, I've completely rewritten the Soundcheck theme for WP.com and it is almost finished. After that, I believe we have Blocco lined up and then possible Hoon. We'll see how it goes :)
 
 
Q. What type of computer do you use?
 
A. I've only ever used a Mac. I use to work on a 20" iMac but have since bought a 13" MacBook Air and work on that everyday. I've found working on a smaller monitor makes me stay focused more. With larger monitors, I tend to have a lot of windows open, applications running, and things to draw my attention away. That's not to say this doesn't happen with the 13" MacBook, but my decisions on what I do are more thought out due to the lack of screen real-estate. The MacBook Air is a great machine.
 So there you have it. Hopefully I will have many more interviews in the future. I really want to express my gratitude to Luke, he is a great guy for listening to an eighth grader, and treating that eight grader as an equal. Everyone should check out his work, he is really an inspiration to me.
Thanks Luke!,
instantbight