Tell us about your background! What led to your job at Funko?
I went to school in my home state of Wisconsin for graphic design, but after school I ended up following my wife to Pennsylvania for her continued education. While living there, I worked the night-shift at Target and happened upon a Bumble Pop! while stocking the Christmas section. I immediately fell in love with the style and went home to research more of the figures. I eventually created a Tumblr page to show off designs and customs of other characters I would like to see made. The site got great feedback and this led me to apply to Funko directly. Funko flew me out for an interview and within a day, I was hired and the rest is history.
What are your biggest artistic influences and/or who are your favorite artists?
I’d say any and all visual things. I’ve never been one to have a set style per se. I like to take inspiration from a variety of sources and then incorporate that into my own work. I’m definitely drawn to nature and organic forms, which is what inspired the tree Batman and Robin custom figures that I made.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Funko?
Working for Funko has facilitated a bunch of dream projects: I’m a big Disney fan so I’m always really excited when I get to work on anything Disney related. Carl and Russell from Up were really fun to capture in the Pop! style and I even took Russell with me on a trip to Disneyland.
Also, working on the DIY Pop! figures was exciting for me. Given my background and how I got involved with Funko, I’m a big supporter of custom work and building something that you want to see made. Being able to work on the DIY figures and help facilitate that DIY passion in others was really cool.
Lastly, but certainly not least, working with Wizards of the Coast on the Magic the Gathering figures was extremely fulfilling. Growing up reading the lore of Magic and playing the game, it’s sort of a dream come true to say that I’ve made art for Magic in one way or another.
What programs and/or tools do you use most often?
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are what I use every day.
What is your dream project?
I work on a lot of the video game related characters so I have a list of titles I’d love to see made. The real dream is Pokemon. Pokemon has such a strong hold on my childhood that I may squeal like a little girl if we ever get the license.
What do you collect?
I collect some random things. I have a pressed penny collection, shot glass collection of places I’ve been in the world, and of course a Disney Pop! collection.
What is your favorite medium?
As far as medium, I don’t have a personal favorite. I think if I were honest, anything physical is my favorite medium. Sculpting something or building something and having a tangible representation of your work is one of the most rewarding experiences for me. It doesn’t have to be a figure, even building Ikea furniture or something like that is really rewarding for me.
Any advice for aspiring toy designers?
Get your work out there. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t dream about it, Do it. No matter how little time you can put into your art, any little thing you do will make you better for the next thing.