Tell us about your background! What led to your job at Funko?
I was a designer at a local apparel company and my creative director at the time was my buddy and Funko founder, Mike Becker. I met Mike, Sean Wilkinson, and Rob Schwartz back in 2002 when Funko had two artists and their warehouse was the size of a three-car garage. When the apparel company moved operations to San Diego, I found out that Funko’s new owner was looking for another artist. A few phone calls, an art test, and an interview later, I began my career with Funko about 6 years ago.
What are your biggest artistic influences and/or who are your favorite artists?
I am a huge fan of 50’s and 60’s mid century design. I also love the WPA poster styles of the 30’s and 40’s along with 2-3 color vintage matchbook art. Some of my favorite artists are Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonetto Cappiello, Jim Flora, Mary Blair, Derek Yaniger, Dave Perillo (Montygog), Rudy Obrero, John Skewes, Rob Schwartz, Anthony Hall, and our very own Ben Butcher.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Funko?
Wow! There are too many to remember but off the top of my head, I will say I really enjoyed working on the following properties the most: NFL, MLB Mascots, Masters of the Universe, Michael Jackson and any classic Disney icons.
What programs and/or tools do you use most often?
I doodle on Post-Its a lot. I also have a small hardbound sketchbook that I doodle in with pencil or felt pen. On the technology side, Illustrator is my number one app and Photoshop is the finisher. I also dabble with acrylics.
What is your dream project?
My dream project is actually coming soon! I have been begging to work on this license for the past 6 years and it is finally going to happen. I’m pretty psyched about it.
What do you collect?
I like the Hulk although I don’t buy everything. I prefer vintage and I really prefer cheap. I am definitely not breaking the bank. At home I have a MOTU Display and a Dallas Cowboys Display.
What is your favorite medium?
Pencil and ink on paper is my favorite way to express myself but as far as making a living, digital illustration with Adobe Illustrator is my go to.
Any advice for aspiring toy designers?
Do it now, do it for free and do it because you HAVE to do it. That pretty much goes for any career path. It has to be your passion and you have to do it because it’s a part of you. You better believe that when we go home at the end of the day, we shop for toys, we hunt for new artists or books or records with beautiful art that tugs at our heart strings. We do it because we love it. I think once you have that mindset, everything else will fall into place. You will meet the right people, you will make the right connections and it will all feel kismet.