Where do you find the inspiration for your characters?
The majority of the time I get inspiration just from doing some freehand doodling in my sketchbook; drawing shapes or forms and seeing what comes out of them. It’s kind of like seeing shapes in clouds or ceiling stucco. There’s probably some subconscious things going on too, but I’d be more worried about myself if that’s always the case.
You create both traditionally and digitally: do you like one more than the other?
They both have some pretty big pros and cons. I work much, much faster digitally and it’s really flexible for making adjustments or being able to scale to different output sizes, plus it’s quick and easy to get things posted to the Internet, etc. But, I have to say that for all the strengths of a digital workflow, in the end it just isn’t as satisfying to have that handmade, one-of-a-kind piece of work in your hands. There are plenty of traditional painting techniques and happy accidents of randomness that you’ll never get with software. I’ve also never been able to get really good sketching done unless I’m working with pen and paper. If it were an option of only having one or the other for the rest of my life, then I’d pick traditional over digital. But it’s nice working in both just to keep things fresh; there are many overlapping areas where they help each other out.
Any must see TV?
I don’t really watch much TV, although the last really good tv series I watched was Gavin and Stacey, which really was absolutely brilliant and hilarious.
How did you hook up with Michael Stills (Strange Kiss)?
Michael and I go back quite a few years, I used to freelance with him when I was in college for a few of his projects and he’s also hosted my website as well. As he moved from web-hosting to retailing designer toys to producing his own, I was lucky enough to get picked as the guinea pig for his mad scientist experiments and that’s where my first toy Zog was born from. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up the cooperation for a while to come, it’s been a blast so far.
When would you say you first fell in love with Macs?
I fell in love with Macs when I was growing up, one of my buddies on the street I lived on had one in his house and I think it was just interesting since everyone else I knew was on Commodore’s and 486’s. Then in college I really got to get my hands on them in design classes and then got my very own Mac (a G4 Powerbook) in my sophomore year and never looked back.
Guero or Odelay?
Odelay is one of my most favorite albums, you just can’t beat songs like “Devil’s Haircut” and “Where it’s At”.
Ever taken a road trip? (If so any hi-jinx worth mentioning?)
During college me and my roommates took a trip up to the smoky mountains, we drove straight there from Orlando watching Family Guy for nearly the entire 14 hour trip. But the strangest part was in Georgia, when we came across this gas station that was jammed full of replica weapons, like a gladiator’s refueling station. And they even advertised it on their pumps, it was an instant classic. And of course, I’ve never been able to find this gas station again, so that just adds to the mystery, but I at least have photographic evidence!
Tell us a bit about your new toy (Bill the Yeti)?
Bill the Yeti is my second toy and I got to go a bit more crazy with him and decided to add clothing as an accessory. I love how he came out though and he’s even better when you can hold him and see him in person. There are of course some minor tweaks that I’d make, but you have to consider timing and budgets when you’re working on producing a final product that needs to at least pay for itself. So, hopefully with each toy I get to make they’ll keep getting better and better each time.
One would have to think that The Iconfactory is a pretty cool gig: how did you swing that?
Iconfactory picked me up right after I graduated college. I had previously entered an icon design contest that they held each year called Pixelpalooza, and won first place in one of the categories, so entering the contest really paid off! It’s a great group of guys and we get to work on a wide range of projects, it’s really nice to look forward to going to work in the mornings.
Sandwich or Burrito?
Oh.. hard call! I’d have to go with a sandwich though; a BLT on sourdough is one of my favorite lunches. Unless they made that into a burrito, then all bets are off!