Nathan Smith is Flash Venom, a bleeding-edge marketing and art firm with reach into a pool of Southern California’s most talented artists and programmers. During it’s infancy, I refined and helped teach my techniques in classes at the Laguna College of Art and Design, UCI and UCI Extension, and Cal-poly Pomona. For over 15 years I have been Senior Art and Technical Director of a top 4% website, myhero.com, which receives over 2 million hits a month. I own and/or am a managing member of several businesses, such as Metro Insurance Services, Memorial Video Tributes and Myfecta. More on that later.
They call us the “Xenials” or the “Oregon Trail Generation” – the last generation born before the internet. It fostered a special love and appreciation for technology, and combining that with business was a passion I discovered early in life. Always with an entrepreneurial spirit, I was known for fixing broken computers and selling tumbled-and-polished rocks to neighborhood kids. Instead of playing GI Joe, I would start businesses like backyard golf courses, newsletters, bootlegging CDs, hacking cable boxes and Playstations and of course lemonade stands in the hot Southern California summer. When I was 12 I won NBC’s Young Entrepreneur Award and was featured on a program called “News For Kids”… My future was paved with 1s and 0s and silicone.
My freelance company, FlashVenom, dates back to 1996 when I became involved with a multimedia group called OCMMUG. There, I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing mentor, Gary Birch, when I was only 14. Before e-mail, Toy Story, and Adobe Flash, his small company, stat media, began creating 3d effects and multimedia websites for Fortune 500 companies using a program called Macromedia Director (Shockwave). Together, we created the first internet-enabled CD-ROM, one of the first “business-card CDs” and a ground breaking world-first interactive music video. After my appearance on TV, I was featured on the front page of the Orange County Register. In my time with stat media, I helped create websites and training CDs for Transamerica, Cerritos Public Library, Toshiba, and Mercury-Oldmobile, just to name a few.
A love for art translates to every facet of life, and I love to “do it all.” Charity work has me helping produce two film festivals each year and helping a children’s home in Uganda. I love to DJ and produce music, and you can usually find me developing a new game idea, or creating art in my garage. My parents started an insurance agency which is another feather in my cap. Thanks to my beautiful wife and two children keeping me on my toes, my work has been recognized with several awards; a W3Award for design, and two Webby Awards to name a few.
A seasoned professional with the Adobe suite of products, I produce all kinds of digital media from print flyers to immersive VR. I have two ASCAP-recognized studio albums under my belt using Apple Logic Pro and Ableton Live and ProTools. I also know my way around 3D modeling and animation software like Blender.
Over the years, I’ve become a highly-sought after consultant for my well-rounded knowledge, professional work ethic, and creative solution-based thinking. Along with acting as webmaster for myhero.com – a site which receives millions of hits a month – I have developed countless data-driven websites for clients of all shapes and sizes. I help run my family’s commercial insurance company, which has me acting as managing owner/officer, lead producer, oh, and IT guy/network administrator. The past five years I have focused on the next-gen-trends of computer programming, with a focus on .NET (dotnetcore) and various other frameworks. For fun, I soldered together and developed an open source pool-automation system powered by a raspberry pi. I’m also humbled that God has given me the talent of producing memorial videos. I just recently hit a milestone at 50 successfully finished projects and have met so many beautiful people doing such work. My true love continues to be the development of one-of-a-kind user interfaces and ground breaking back-end admin tools for my clients.