I graduated from UW (“Go Huskies”) for design forever ago. I eventually began working as a graphic/production artist for several different promotional companies designing tee shirts, mugs & other knick-knacks. After a while I branched out on my own and started Damongraphics, doing freelance design work for whomever gave me a call. In 2009, my friend and future Funko artist Mike Martin recommended that I contact Sean Wilkinson about the possibility of doing some packaging design work for Funko for a couple of months.
Let me interject for a moment about FLUX. Many years ago, Sean, Rob Schwartz, Mike Martin and a bunch of other like-minded artists banded together to create this group called FLUX Productions to make movies just for the fun of it. During the production of one of these fantastic films, I met Sean and much of the founding of the Funko creative team. If you get a chance, check out the movie “Silent But Deadly” on YouTube. I play Billy the Shoeshine Boy, a comedy classic.
A couple of months have now turned into seven years working at Funko. I consider myself extremely blessed. I work in the most creative environment that anyone could ask for, with awesome friends, designing packaging for fantastic toys.
What are your biggest artistic influences and/or who are your favorite artists?
It is really difficult as a packaging designer for me to point to any certain artist as influence (who designed Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes packaging?). Seriously though, I would probably say Saul Bass. He is the Godfather of modern graphic design. His movie posters are classic and he pretty much designed every logo that you see everyday.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on at Funko?
I always enjoy working on packaging where I have a nothing but a logo and my own design ideas to work with. Recently I would have to say the packaging for Swamp Thing Pop! Also, the Sci-Fi Mystery Minis turned out pretty cool.
What programs and/or tools do you use most often?
Photoshop & Illustrator.
What is your dream project?
James Bond. I know that we would knock 007 out of the ballpark. Several years back we did Yellow Submarine Pop!s. It would be fantastic if we could do the different eras of The Beatles (Fab Four, Sgt. Pepper's & Abbey Road). I think they would make awesome Pop!s.
What do you collect?
I play guitar and love music, so I guess I would say musical instruments. I have about five or six guitars, a ukulele, a mandolin, and I just bought a banjo. Now I just have to learn how to play them all.
What is your favorite medium?
I love drawing. I used to do a lot of life drawing with pencil and charcoal. Unfortunately, I rarely seem to find the time to sit down and draw. I need to make the time.
Any advice for aspiring toy designers?
I spent several years after graduating from school working retail and other odd jobs before I started working as an artist. Keep in mind that it is never too late to follow your dreams.