Adventures In Design
Episode 393 - Shop Talk Friday with OK Pants Aaron Sechrist

The King of Cleveland OK Pants sits down in the James and Billy chair for this week's Shop Talk. Aaron is no stranger to the hard work of creation and he brings us some much needed, applicable rust belt sensibility to our work day. With WMC Fest 7 on the August horizon the boys get into some of the improvements to this year's events and some after party antics already in the works. Mark and Aaron also get into the intellectual differences between mistakes, failures and not giving yourself an out when things get too hard. Aaron is known for his humor but don't mistake him for the future Guy Fieri of design, he puts alot of thought into everything he does form designing award shows to showcasing his hair on social media. Antics ensue.

Talking Points

• The pained past of House Of Pain.
• How the Celtics paved the way for hipsters and DDL.
• Keeping your pride in your back pocket.
• Spoiler Alert decorum and top priority entertainment.
• Figuring out a morning ritual before you get down to work.
• Getting out of your chair to balance pushing pixels.
• The importance of diet, energy, and staying focused.
• Commutes AKA the worst no matter how long it is.
• A case for Cleveland and Rust Belt Renovation.
• AID's return to WMC Fest and the (possibly early) After Party Announcement.
• Improvements to the WMC Fest and making a three dimensional experience.
• Being the first and diversifying from the competition you birthed.
• Making the grade and finding the difference between mistakes and failures.
• What OKPants uses Snapchat for.
• A-log-a-rithim, algorithm, and Al Gore's rhythm.
• Getting sold back the content you created and the injustice in curation.
• Sharing your opinion doesn't do anything!
• Both sides of the coin on Snapchat's lack of metrics.
• The importance of storytelling in social media.
• Design yourself as much as your work.
• Aaron's bravery in letting his hair reflect the overriding themes in Jurassic Park.
• The thin line of being funny and being taken seriously when you incorporate humor into your work.
• Hear Mark cut one live!
• The red tape to jump through pulling off a concept from boardroom to newsstand.
• Working with your brother.
• Trailer Park mentalities in social media.
• Digital Blackface, context, and getting everyone to just calm down for a second.

Direct download: AID393i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 392 - Amko Leenarts head interior designer for Ford Motor Co.

Talking Points

  • Making a tolerable package. 
  • What is the timeline from concept to car lot?
  • Maintaining a flexible design concept.
  • Analyzing mega trends across decades.
  • The milestones in creating a car.
  • Understanding your market to help dictate specialty design elements.
  • Verification milestones that allow cross-department collaboration on usability.
  • Reaching a design freeze.
  • Incorporating hundreds of parts from just as many suppliers.
  • The demands of making a car every 5 seconds.
  • Balancing dreams against your interior check book.
  • Accounting for international cup sizes.
  • Does a feature belong on the steering wheel or the Manhattan Space?
  • Intuitive design that stylishly accommodates multiple functions.
  • How the digital display has changed the delivery process of usable information.
  • Don't overlook touch!
  • Constraints and intricacy of industrial design.
  • Autonomous cars shifting our focus from outside the windshield to inside the car.
  • What would you do if you didn't have to drive your car?
  • The human fascination with the automobile.
  • From cigarette lighters to USB ports in just a decade.
  • Thinking about the backseat.
  • What everyday features are still being overlooked in a car.
  • Working with a design from another era.
  • How many people does Amko need to get design approvals from?
  • Tying in market research to design.
  • Does the CEO really know what he is talking about?
  • Designing for wildly different generations.
  • What tools are used to keep so many projects across so many teams in motion and on time.
  • Solving problems while you sleep.
  • Cooking and the act of creation.
Direct download: AID392i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 390 - Ed Templeton

Ed Templeton has never tried to hide from uncertainty and danger. After establishing himself as a professional skater he pushed onward by founding Toy Machine, teaching himself to paint after a trip to Europe, and becoming a photographer with countless gallery shows. His desire to capture and interpret life as it happens spawns from a ceaseless fascination with every facet of human life. Ed looks unflinchingly at his life and the ones around him to hold back up a mirror for anyone willing enough to look at and learn from his artwork. Through his DIY ethic Ed has learned how to make an impact on his audience with everything from a pair of socks to the cover of his own book staring up at you. Get ready to learn from a living legend how to find inspiration everywhere you look and not be afraid to look right back, or even interact directly with it.

Talking Points

  • What it feels like to be a living legend and being inducted into the Skateboard Hall Of Fame.
  • The trajectory of skate art from precious to personable.
  • Bolstering inspiration from other multi-talented artists.
  • Finding your style before your skill.
  • Innovative art that felt inconsequential when it was made.
  • Removing the barrier between polished art and the people.
  • What to do with an influx of cash that isn't permanent.
  • Being raised by a member of the Greatest Generation.
  • Handling success financially and personally.
  • Living under the fear of returning to poverty.
  • How Ed's first "cigarette" turned off from drugs and alcohol.
  • Moving past terrible traditional role models and not being a victim.
  • Loyalty and Jason Lee.
  • Playing for the long game in life and not burning bridges.
  • Operating with full transparency to keep your friends.
  • How to build an empire that lasts and the benefits of being a dictator.
  • Ed's daily workflow.
  • Realizing you've made a career choice that won't last.
  • Teaching yourself to paint.
  • The slow build to earning your fame.
  • Prepping for potential failure.
  • Teaching yourself photography.
  • Finding value in your unique view of the world.
  • Respecting your subject matter and how to shoot on the move.
  • Night Lurkers, Girls On Skateboards, and making people Others.
  • The fine line of perversion and art.
  • Staying unbiased to your subject matter no matter what.
  • Paris during the terror attacks.
  • Making transcendental photography.
  • How to play to people's ego.
  • What a mohawk means today.
  • Forming yourself and your life with your partner.
  • Being unflinchingly honest in your art and sharing naked photos of your wife with world.
  • Are you cap[turing moments or just bragging?
  • Skateboarding as an adult and managing injuries.
  • Filling the void form your past life and finding what motivates you now.
  • Are you designing for your peers or your customers?
  • Everything after 1963 sucks.
  • How to not taking what you're doing to seriously.
  • Loving design and overturning every detail.
  • Doing everything yourself and keeping things weird.
  • Why you don't need anyone else's opinion about your art.
  • Staying inspired when you stay in the same spot.
  • Finding connections with similar creatives.
  • Trying to make our perfect work look handmade.
  • Skateboardings contribution to the design world over the last 30 years.
  • The benefits of making things with no one to answer to.
  • Showing your process and keeping art human
  • Avoiding fights while you're in line.
Direct download: AID390i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 389 - Shop Talk with Sean Mort

Mark and Sean return for another Monday morning Shop Talk. In this week's installment we get to hear the skeptical side of Sean's recent plunge into the gallery world and why you have to be wary of the hype. As Northern Craft develops we get even more insight from these two poster pushing veterans about what to look for that separates a good event from a bad one and how to look your best when you're there... because you never know who might walk by and see your work. The show ends on a long inspirational note to take heart and keep trying because your ideas are better than a lot of the garbage getting floated out in Hollywood. The power of creation and distribution are yours for the taking! Antics (mainly at David's expense) ensue.

Talking Points

  • Has all the gallery money gone to Sean's head?
  • Realistic views about promises regarding money and fame until they materialize.
  • How being talented is like being beautiful.
  • The greatest gift Mark has ever received.
  • Does David have Asperger's Syndrome or does he have cocaine?
  • Never getting cocky about promotion.
  • The plight of Baby Ruth and Sean's second attempt at a wedding speech.
  • The second greatest gift Mark has ever received.
  • Sean's thick skin and what truly hurts him.
  • Gaining confidence in your work and the positive snowball effect it creates.
  • Unexpected clients that exposure can generate.
  • How narrowing your artistic focus can reduce client revisions.
  • The evolution in Sean's stye and the importance of practice and review.
  • Combining Lil' Fellas.
  • Centralizing the content of your booth to attract new customers.
  • Northern Craft updates and putting Mark on the jury for applicants.
  • Why would Disney's stock drop?
  • How media giants and you are on the same playing field.
  • Empowering listeners to create the next big thing.
  • Trying to predict the next wave in technology.
  • Mark and Sean judge next season's brand new television shows.
  • What to do with all the time on your hands since there wont be any good shows to watch.


Below is David the Producer's original synopsis of this Shop Talk

Two total fucking jerks ceaselessly bash nice people who are trying to make the world a happier, better place for their miserable fat asses to live in. Their feigned attempts at success are marginalized when they point out the inherent success of other creative talents that do better work than them. It should be noted they also smell like a mixture of cottage cheese and dog shit left out in the sun for a few hours and then spritzed with more cologne than a Persian pre-teen going to prom. No one likes the color yellow and no one likes "sense" of humor. Fuck them. Unsubscribe. Antics do not ensue.

Direct download: AID389i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 388 - Shop Talk with Billy Baumann and Mitch Putnam

Bang. The. Drum. Shop Talk is here and we have special guest Mitch Putnam in the James Flames chair doing his best guido accent to keep up appearances. There is a lot of business advice and sales strategies to digest as this Shop Talk spans everything form delegating amongst your team to multi-tiered pricing structures that span multiple audiences. We get  first hand look at the administrative perspective with Billy overseeing so much at Delicious and Mitch as one of the many predominant hydra heads of the media monster that is Mondo. Taking your career to the next level is a lot of persistence, networking, and gut instinct and these three masterminds of strategy have a discussion that continually touches back on how to keep your head up and not get lost in the day to day grind of creation. Antics definitely ensue.

Talking Points

  • Creating a four foot wide lion's head.
  • Collecting power tools.
  • Knowing your team to know what to delegate and to whom.
  • Mitch's move to Minneapolis.
  • Updates on DDL's Threadless Shop.
  • How safety has changed across the decades and design's influence on it.
  • The three tiers in the Star Wars universe and how C3P0 did on Mondo's timed edition release.
  • Expanding into alternate forms of merchandise.
  • Cinema sticking to its guns and the future in TV.
  • Mitch hates Howard Stern.
  • Compartmentalizing the departments of Mondo for better work.
  • Missing Anne and the timesuck of kids.
  • Efficiency in time management on a project.
  • Critiquing the history of logos for DC Comics.
  • Potential Tony Mendez Whalenamel.
  • Getting the best work out of people when you're not paying the best price.
  • Creating value in posters to a whole new audience.
  • The passing of Darwin Cook and his imprint on the comic world.
  • Actual Proof that Billy regularly listens to the show!
  • Mitch's opinion on Aaron Horkey's next career moves.
  • Leveraging your talent across multiple markets to make property dependent work that sells.
  • Who are we making art for?
  • Pricing tier models that straddle the fine art and poster worlds.
  • Growing as an artists and becoming a commodity.
  • Breaking down Variety's Top 10 Cartoon Characters list.
  • Is Adventure Time influentially the next Simpsons?
  • Winnie The Pooh as The Sandlot or Queer As Folk.
  • Will Hollywood look the other way at your sordid past?
  • Snoopy, Joe Cool, and Mark Brickey.
  • Parenting advice on showing your kids classic cartoons and managing your own connections to them.
  • Mitch's public defamation and the potential legal case of a social media share.
  • Overcoming Instagram envy.
  • Do you want to be remembered for your work or do you want to be remembered by your kids.
Direct download: AID388i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 387 - Khoi Vinh Adobe Director of Mobile Product Design

We sit at the cusp of the next wave in how productivity is measured within the world of art. Adobe products are integral tools in our daily abilities to make a living and they are tackling the budding world of mobile apps. Khoi Vinh is at the heart of these developments. As the Adobe Director of Mobile Product Design, Khoi is addressing how we interact with these everyday tools and even more importantly where we interact these tools. It's almost insulting to call the device in our pockets a phone when we look at their capabilities and Adobe is giving us all the leverage to use that through their host of apps that relate directly to what artist's need while they are away form their traditional workstations. One thing is definite, how we approach design problems is about to change drastically and Khoi gives us a behind the scenes look at where things are headed.

Talking Points

  • Switching jobs between large and small companies and the start-up vibe at Adobe.
  • Fragmenting a larger company into smaller, more agile departments.
  • Adobe's switch form selling perpetual licenses to subscriptions.
  • Moving your workstation from your office to your phone.
  • The pains of pleasing veterans on a new platform.
  • Breaking up design tasks to where they make sense to accomplish them.
  • The fragility of precision on touch devices and how Adobe handles that.
  • Adobe Comp CC and it's future at Adobe.
  • The core customer for Adobe and their focus on simplicity.
  • The current divide between workstations and tablets for professionals.
  • The curve in the adaptation of technology for users.
  • Rethinking traditional methods to utilize new tools.
  • The value in mobile apps for Adobe.
  • Turning your product's name into a verb.
  • The importance in understanding your customer and how to make better products for them.
  • How to keep employees engaged.
  • Choosing your career path to focus on what you want in life.
  • Learning about creativity from youth.
  • Seeing how the next generation interacts with touch software.
  • Understanding how various age groups perceive leaps in technology.
  • The current trend of minimalism in UI and how it mimics the evolution of painting.
  • Will general design knowledge knowledge become an assumed skill?
  • Does being featured as a Top 50 Designer change your world?
  • Design = Love and why sitting on a chair is better than sitting on a log.
  • Learning from other people's mistakes.
  • How the subscription model allows for more updates and a quicker schedule.
Direct download: AID387i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 385 - David Smith

Graphic designer / illustrator David Smith aka THE BLKSMITH has moved back to LA after a 3 year run in San Francisco. We catch up with David find out what caused this move and what he learned while away in the bay working for Benny Gold and Dropbox. 

Direct download: AID385i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 384 - Shop Talk With Sean Mort

Sean and Mark reach an impasse that could forever change their relationship in this critical Shop Talk. Will The People's Champ transition over to the high priced gallery world and surpass Mark in success and savings? Will the Little Fellers become Smaller Stature Gentlemen? Or is this the most elaborate prank Mark has ever pulled in the history of AID? A very unique opportunity has come Sean's way and he analyzes every angle with Mark at his side to guide him across some of the potential pitfalls. 

Talking Points

  • Learning to enjoy the luxuries in life.
  • Remembering to adjust for inflation.
  • Properly analyzing deals.
  • Maintaining multiple income streams and gauging whether they're hot or cold.
  • Raiding your rates and playing chicken with your price points.
  • Sean's biggest sale and initial entry into the high end gallery world.
  • Assigning a lower value to your work than someone another retailer.
  • Sean passing Mark in the rat race of life in one huge leap.
  • Getting paid less than 5.5% of the asking price for your art.
  • Selling your art to the working class or the high class.
  • Customers who buy art for the investment and not the enjoyment.
  • Transitioning from the DIY world into the gallery scene.
  • Sponsorships strategies for the free portion of the show.
  • Generating spin off money with re-occurring guests.
  • Collecting celebrity endorsements for Northern Craft.
  • Finding fake mustaches at a crime scene.
  • Stool Pigeon Slushie Machines.
  • The search for Sean's replacement.

In The Nucleus of Trust

  • A review on Captain America: Civil War.
  • Taking Drugs with Heath Ledger.
  • Missing Mad Men and the genius of Jon Hamm.
  • Mark's dream to have a cancelled show.
  • Loving the After Shows more than the actual shows.
  • Hanging 14 year olds in Castle Times.
  • Sending private browsing links the way Bono always wanted.
  • Writing credible reviews.
Direct download: AID384i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 383 - Shop Talk with Billy Baumann and James Flames

Get ready for an unbelievable Shop Talk with Mark, Billy, and James. Four years ago the owner of our favorite house to hit on Halloween had his first appearance on AID and we get to hear where everyone was in their career's back then and where they are now. Maybe not so surprisingly, these three strong willed entrepreneurs have achieved so many of the goals they were just starting to take on four years ago. From a fresh faced, prosthetic leg making paisano straight out of Brooklyn to a sought after, unique illustrator whose posters sell out in minutes, follow the path of our very own Robin, James Flames.

Talking Points

  • Construction updates from Delicious Design League.
  • Accounting (or not accounting) for hidden costs in your budget.
  • James Flames first Adventures In Design appearance.
  • Choosing a location that will benefit your profession.
  • Leaving the spotlight to allow your talents to mature.
  • The (alleged) wanderlust brewing inside of James.
  • The hardships of facing reality when you can't see the path to success in your chosen career.
  • Why you should respectfully reach out to the heroes for guidance.
  • How Mark used James to improve Billy's on air persona.
  • Finding solutions or making excuses.
  • Early days in the James Flames career.
  • How long you need to wait for your break in the art world.
  • Starting over again after your first success.
  • The exponential growth that can occur in a freelance career.
  • Determining when you should leave your day job.
  • Having the personality to work for yourself or work for someone else.
  • Keeping a perspective on the long timeline for success.
  • Meditation and its effects.
  • $90,000 or $20 Million dollars. Where is the financial sweet spot?
  • Incorporating breaks in a long day of work.
  • Fighting your parents (literally) and eventually becoming them.
  • Where the dream team met their wives.
  • Parting advice for James.
Direct download: AID383i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 382 - April Poster Countdown with Mitch Putnam and Special Guest Jay Shaw

On the second Wednesday of every month AID counts down the Top 10 Posters collected from We study each poster to analyze what made them stand out on a website religiously chalked full of talented artists' work. Jay Shaw, Art Director at Mondo, sits in as our special guest to help review and reflect on these 10 jaw dropping prints that were featured during the month of April. After the countdown wraps up stay tuned for an in depth look at Mondo's business models on Timed Editions and the legwork behind likeness rights. 

Talking Points

  • Associating your illustrative style with your personality.
  • The allure of Open Edition prints and consumer incentives with Limited Edition prints.
  • Crafting a piece where you don't need to see the film to want the poster.
  • Prioritizing elements to improve storytelling.
  • Why Becky Cloonan is so successful so quickly in the poster world.
  • Using negative space properly.
  • Mark hates Purple for a few reasons.
  • Mitch turns 43 (in 9 years).
  • Being too young to die and too late to die young.
  • Intentionally controlling the eye with detail.
  • Illustrative styles that excel in merchandise design and why.
  • Creating work that inspires others to progessively push the medium forward.
  • Sharing your craft with others, even if they don't get it.
  • Fitting your illustrative style to the time period of your piece.

    In The Circle of Trust

  • Where likeness rights stop and start for celebrities.
  • The hurdles of educating your customer and the likelihood they become a returning and engaged fan.
  • Mondo's new ventures in creating a reoccurring series of prints with Star Wars.
  • The collectibility of Timed Editions.
  • Becoming commercially viable or fan focused as an artist.
  • The pros and cons of creating a series.
  • What alternate intellectual properties have yet to be tapped.
  • Mark finds a ninja turtle property he can get behind.
  • The pains of watching movies for a living.
Direct download: AID382i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

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