Adventures In Design
407 - Sunny Bonnell of Motto

Sunny Bonnell is a multi faceted creative bonded together by her passion for exploration and creativity. When Sunny co-founded Motto it wasn't long until she decided that there was more to branding than a logo and a tagline. From her early days of design eating ketchup sandwiches and missing payroll to her current day success and six digit estimates the through line of Sunny's success is her ability to find what in a brand's story resonates with the world. In the Circle Of Trust Mark distinguishes the difference between an Escape Pod and a Plan B. As you advance your dream career there will be some hardships faced and falling back onto a Plan B will look inviting. Mark walks you through his personal journey and how commit yourself to your goals and dreams.

Talking Points

  • Following your passion wherever it takes you.
  • Egos and Entrepreneurship.
  • Band management is brand management.
  • Southern rules on naming Grandmas.
  • Embracing the emotional roots of our past.
  • Effective storytelling techniques.
  • Loyalty and keeping your first client.
  • The growth of Motto and the changing climate of women as business owners.
  • Getting noticed for your talent and your ability to think.
  • The defining job that represents where Motto is today.
  • Breaking the mold by analyzing what you're trying to communicate.
  • Going past design to define who you are working with and who they actually are.
  • What is the ROI on building confidence?
  • Becoming more than the work you produce.
  • Finding companies that want thinkers and not order takers.
  • Looking for pumpkin colored flags.
  • Understanding what your clients have riding on your work.
  • Reasons to turn down job quarter of a million jobs.
  • Shifting storytelling techniques to engage with Generation Z.
  • Breaking the chains of the ordinary.
  • Can you orchestrate your own success?
  • Stepping outside the lines and breaking the cycle of conformity.
  • Being honest even when its in low demand.
  • Pop music and gauging when you're officially too old.
  • Do you try as hard for your dreams if there is a Plan B?
  • Bracing for rejection is embracing failure before it even happens.
  • Prioritizing your passion and believing in your success.
  • Making excuses for not overcoming the hardships of your dream.
  • The danger in a Plan B that you kind of like doing.
  • Having an answer for problems that arise if its your only plan.
  • Escape Pods and Plan B's.
  • Getting hired based off your style and not your availability.
  • Growing your business through multiple income streams.
Direct download: AID407i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

406 - Sonny Day

Once you get a taste of professional happiness you will want to let the rest of the world in on what seems like a secret. The real leap comes in tapping into your self confidence, determination, and desire to live a life that is uniquely your own. Sonny and Biddy of We Buy Your Kids recently took their own next step by moving to Orange and giving back to their community by running Ludlow Creative Space. After years of traveling the world and using their loud and colorful voice, Sonny tells us about culling all that experience together to educate and inspire the next generation of artists through workshops and art shows running out of Ludlow Creative Space. By focusing on youth based programs Sonny paints a very realistic to these up and comers about sharing their vision through various mediums to leave their own footprint on the earth of their time here. All we can say is... awesome!

Talking Points

  • The effects of encouragement early in life.
  • How a school bully was the first person to assign a value to Mark's artwork.
  • Style vs. perfection and the purpose of a medium.
  • The responsibility in showing the next generation the value in creativity.
  • Putting your fate into someone else's hands.
  • Sharing the joys of self employment with everyone you know.
  • Control and the pursuit of professional happiness.
  • From Sydney to a small town: We Buy Your Kids moves to Orange.
  • Taking an honest look at the earning potential of your profession.
  • Expanding past the traditional gallery format.
  • Inspiring your community.
  • Teaching people to actively contribute to what they are interested in.
  • Shooting for the moon means you'll at least build a skyscraper.
  • The opening of Ludlow Creative Space.
  • Showcasing commercial art as a valid form of expression.
  • Incorporating various styles to show that talent isn't the same as style and artistic success.
  • Exercising restraint to avoid overwhelming a new audience.
  • Running workshops, making zines, and the importance of music.
  • Tablets or traditional media?
  • Making things feel real by putting it in proper context.
  • How does Ludlow Creative Space make money?
  • Shifts in career priorities that come with age.
  • Helping shape young minds.
  • Planning out the first eighteen months of shows at Ludlow.
  • Why art prints inspire people more than movie posters.
  • Understanding your profession from multiple angles.
  • Pears in Orange and putting the art back in art show.
  • Making La Haine as We Buy Your Kids.
  • How world events affect your subject matter decisions.
  • WBYK future work in video and music's role in it.
  • Not letting your geographic location limit your dreams.
Direct download: AID406i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

405 - Jordan Buckley of Every Time I Die and

The human hurricane Jordan Buckley, guitarist in Every Time I Die and designer at, returns to Adventures In Design with a slew of exciting announcements. Get a first hand account of the Warped Tour life as a musician, as a booth monkey, or in Jordan's case both. ETID just finished a new record and the interview covers the process of collaborative creation and focusing your creativity towards a specific goal. Last time Jordan was on AID he had just landed a gig branding this summer's Warped Tour. This job pushed his artistic abilities, his time management, and workflow to whole new levels and squashed any amount of imposter's syndrome that might have been lingering in the back of his head. Next level antics ensue.

Talking Points

  • Empathizing with Warped Tour Merch Guys and Booth Placement Strategies.
  • Giving your employee a dog in the fight.
  • How Mark influenced Good Charlotte.
  • Even Tom DeLong wants to listen to more Every Time I Die.
  • Using your downtime to create a stream of passive income.
  • Pythons gossip and the glory of @andycomplains.
  • The trouble with temporary song titles.
  • Changing your style as you mature as an artist.
  • Art that balances longetivity with being in the moment.
  • Outlasting the typical timespan in your career.
  • Creating each element of a piece individually to ensure its quality.
  • How not to talk to a drummer and avoiding riff soup.
  • Deliberately putting yourself in new situations to discover new possibilities.
  • Is it better to creatively collaborate or have work on one person's flexible vision.
  • Writing a solo is easy!
  • Using a fulfillment merch company and their cut of your profits.
  • Learning in the age of YouTube.
  • iPad Pro or Wacom: a story of power.
  • Motivation for validation.
  • Walking through a world you created.
  • Being a workaholic and having a family.
  • Moving on in a project to come back later and improve what you're doing.
  • Stepping out of your comfort zones to grow as an artist and learn about yourself.
  • Relying on friends to delegate what you don't know how to do.
  • Gaining confidence in your abilities and turning weaknesses into strengths.
  • The burgeoning AID scene.
  • Bills or Rams?
Direct download: AID405i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

404 - Shop Talk with Sean Mort and David Defeo

Just like the very real and very responsive democracy we have here in the glorious United States of America, your voices were heard and The State Of The Podcast was listening. Through analyzing the download numbers of each month's episodes, we have made a few adjustments in content and pacing to create an all new format to the SOTP with a but more Shop Talk up front before we dive into ranking the episodes and critiquing ourselves. However, this initial change is enough to show you the importance of analyzing business strategies and adjusting them when necessary. At the top of the show David shares some of his struggles in entering the freelance world and properly promoting himself while Sean and Mark offer sage advice on overcoming these struggles with their collective experience. After that we move into analyzing the episodes from May and what is and isn't working as Adventures In Design continues to march on. 

Talking Points

  • Sprucing up the State Of The Podcast.
  • David's fake freelance career.
  • Is Game Of Thrones getting better or worse?
  • The return of Curb and is Larry David included on Team David?
  • Balancing a job with freelance work.
  • Pushing through to get around the truck.
  • Strategies on generating new work.
  • The history of WizardSex.Org and other URLs David shouldn't own.
  • Using illustration and audience prompts as a creative exercise.
  • What to do when you fall out of love with your job.
  • Mark's fully idealized future for AID and how to do the same with your dreams.
  • Communicating clearly with your portfolio.
  • Mark and Ruth mend social media fences.
  • Capturing Chip's essence and removing tow pieces of him.
  • Population control through selective breeding.
  • Ranking AID episodes from the month of May.
  • The role of Autopia and gauging the amount of work versus the audience's engagement.
  • How sound effects get made on AID.
  • Why The DKNG Show is so damn good. Really good. Go listen to them right now!
  • Growing your audience to a point where your voice gets lost.
  • Adjusting your personality to get the most out of someone.
  • Proving yourself before you ask for something.
  • The infamous Landland interview and their incredible story and mature choices in life.
  • The benefits of bending episodes towards current events.
  • The venn diagram of being a creative talent and being an intriguing storyteller.
  • Is the Bonus Content attracting more Circle Of Trust sign ups?
  • The purpose behind Storyteller.
Direct download: AID404i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

403 - Shop Talk with Billy Baumann and James Flames

Shop Talk returns in full force with the dream team reunited and ready to bang the drum. James is back in the James' chair and Billy no longer has to be good now that company isn't around. After the boys get reacquainted we get an update on Delicious Design League and their move to a larger office and some of the difficulties involved with transporting some very heavy and very sensitive equipment. We also get critiques on the attraction posters developed for Shanghai Disney from Mark, Billy, and James as they use their collective experience to pull apart designs that have some tricky international and cross cultural constraints. Antics Ensue.

Talking Points

  • DDL is almost through moving their offices.
  • How to move a semi automatic press.
  • Semi-auto press disaster stories.
  • DDL’s custom booth spray and Billy’s sponge policy.
  • Getting inspiration from other creative’s studios.
  • Anaheim’s twenty year tax incentive and the $68 million dollar bathroom update.
  • Critiquing Shanghai’s Disney attractions posters.
  • Using forced perspective.
  • Using scale as a devices to control the composition.
  • Adjusting Disney's image to fit Shanghai's market.
  • Will queues work?
  • The practicality in consistent branding.
  • Using a poster to capture an emotion or literally capturing an event.
  • Taking a page out of Atari's book.
  • Creating motion in a poster with your subject matter.
  • Mark's first Skillshare class.
  • Embodying cultural norms in art.
  • What do painting looks like on the walls of American diners in foreign countries?
  • James' Euro Trip
  • How a freelancer plans for a vacation.
  • Your persona on and off stage.
  • Seeing your artwork come to life.
  • Taking out what you put in to life.
  • A Southern Gentleman form New york City.
  • Our inability to defy our biology.
  • Why AID pays royalties up front.


Direct download: AID403i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

402 - Klim Kozinevich of Bigshot Toyworks

Klim Kozinevich is the Creative Director at Bigshot Toyworks and has been involved with the designer toy world for the last two decades. From working with leaders in the art toy industry, a slew of past AID guests, all the way up to corporations like Progressive Auto Insurance, Klim uses his vast experience to bring many people's dreams to life. From direct involvement to managing expectations and budgets, Bigshot Toyworks has worked through every imaginable aspect of creating a model. Mark goes through every service that Klim offers and one by one picks them apart to get a full view of what Bigshot Toyworks offers as a creative problem solutions studio. We get into all of it and Mark may have met his match on someone who can actually out talk him. 

Talking Points

  • The invisibility of industrial design.
  • Essential purchases before a flight to China with a screaming child.
  • How much conceptual work from a client is helpful?
  • Exploring inflatable pig shapes and where to blow them up.
  • How the formulas of the entertainment industry are stifling creativity in other markets.
  • Competing with the entire world when no one is taking a chance.
  • Making an "approved" Darth Vader or making the best Darth Vader.
  • Character development and dynamic poses form all angles.
  • Balancing out features for creating a non sexualized girl figurine.
  • Understanding another artist's visual language.
  • Ball joints, balance, and resin.
  • The sometimes wild production process when using organic materials.
  • Making a mascot that will or will not be walking around a trade show.
  • Showing your clients examples that you can't move forward with.
  • The shift from traditional sculpture techniques.
  • Realizing the career you have now might not be the career you always have.
  • Crowbarring the last three months of your life.
  • Old school job hunting and the art of making a spectacle.
  • The greatest desperate move that paid off.
  • Staying employed by not being a dick.
  • The difference between toy design and toy production.
  • Keeping your clients in an affordable working space and managing expectations.
  • Do you design for production or figure out production after the design?
  • Product packaging and idea execution.
  • Managing costs and the role of the 3D printer (currently).
  • Production timelines on a developing a toy form start to finish.
  • Where does the thirst for toys come from?
  • Russian Jews move to a Warriors Style Bronx.
  • The pros and cons of moving to a melting pot.
  • Klim's entry point into the art toy world.
  • Does America have too much freedom?
  • Balancing running a business and being an artist.
  • Romanticizing the toymaker profession.
  • Making the best Iron Giant for Mondo.
  • Useless 3D files from the 90's.
  • Working with artists you admire that also trust you in return.
  • Knowing when to ask other professionals for help.
  • Separating your style from who you work with.


Direct download: AID402i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 11:36pm PDT

Episode 400 - Seasons of The Snake No.003 - Summer 2016 with Ben Neuhaus Owner/Proprietor of

Mark makes his way back to Broadway for the Summer edition of Seasons Of The Snake with Men's Fashion Guru and Long Beach Beau, Ben Neuhaus. Normally, Ben wastes no time getting right into showering Mark with advice on what's next from boots to blouses but this episode is a little different. This marks Adventures In Design's 400th Episode. Now tie that in with the recent expansion of Snake Oil Provisions and you got yourself twice as many reasons to celebrate! Mark and Ben discuss the trials of being a business owner, believing in building your own dreams, and ditching the backup plan because with all this common sense knowledge pouring into your earholes you're never going to need one again. Their timelines, their struggles, and their breakthroughs share an uncanny similarity that brings these two Long Beach transplants even closer together... and they look damn good while they do it too.

Talking Points

  • Time traveling to the Pre-California Life with Mark and Ben.
  • The upsides in working retail.
  • Going for it with no back up plan to ensure there's no backing out.
  • Dealing with the broken dreams of the music industry.
  • Recognizing what creates lasting success.
  • The pains of being a normal citizen when you lose what little celebrity clout you had.
  • Shedding your old self to fully embrace what you will become.
  • Creative problem solving and being your own boss.
  • Establishing a network that will speed up your dream's timeline to fruition.
  • Maintaining the motivation and courage to follow your own dream.
  • The lean years are the toughest and working yourself to the bone.
  • Starting a business with someone doesn't necessarily mean you continue it with them.
  • Creating the store you want to shop in.
  • Finding a sustainable business model for long term growth.
  • AID starts the hunt for a new assistant.
  • Being nervous when you start getting too much good stuff.
  • The satisfaction of making your dreams happen.
  • Why did Snake Oil Provisions expand to a bigger spot?
  • Finding the silver lining in a nearby drug bust.
  • Planning for construction and keeping it under 400% over budget.
  • Working in an exclusive release with a party.
  • Mark's least favorite color and Ben's dream Purple Harley.
  • Does more retail space mean more money?
  • Top summer fashions at Snake Oil Provisions.
  • Baby steps to white jeans.
  • (Thin) $1000 Leather Jackets in June
  • The chase of the limited edition.
  • A brief preview of what to expect in Fall 2016.
  • The SOP Signature Boot!
  • Seasons Of The Snake LIVE.
Direct download: AID400i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 399 - Shop Talk with Sean Mort

The People's Champ and Billy's Padawan, Sean Mort, returns for another unbelievable Shop Talk Monday. However, this talk focuses in on the Shop itself, Adventures In Design, as a hub for actionable and honest content for artists. After AIGA released an article on design podcasting Mark squares up to an industry pillar that has been left unchallenged for too long. Together, Sean and Mark break down the shortcomings with AIGA's current method of creating and distributing content to their members and how that compares to the actual world 95% of us will work in. Do you learn more from a kid gloves, surface level look at a select few successful creatives or from a curse filled, no holds barred conversation with creatives form different walks in life? Screw your Buzzfeed list of things you know, AID is here to help you design happiness into your life creatively, financially, and as independently as you want. Team Fugazi!

Talking Points

  • Is Sean Mort slowly morphing into the next Cobra?
  • Mark's official rebuttal for his television pitches.
  • Catching up on the latest in movies and tv.
  • Ruth blackballs Mark on social media.
  • Beth's nutritional journey and taking time to care for yourself.
  • Primavera Sound and Sean's battle against Radiohead.
  • The natural high of selling your artwork and being a part of the consumer's experience.
  • Athletes sacrificing their bodies and artists saving theirs.
  • AIGA writes an article on Design Podcasting. Mark responds. Thoroughly.
  • The differences in how AID covers the world of art and design versus how AIGA does.
  • Why AIGA turns a blind eye to the clientless approach to self employment and design.
  • Exemplifying On-Air honesty and keeping things fair.
  • Creating pertinent, useful, and actionable content for a career in art.
  • Mad Men or Glad Men and the satisfaction from working on your terms.
  • Including the human element in your work.
  • Sean searches for a balance in the applicants for Northern Craft.
  • Learning from other successful people in your industry.
  • The constant fires you put out as the point person.
  • Learning as you go when there is no template to work off of.
  • Will Sean add a squire to his empire?
  • New X-Men Show and Rogue One reshoots.
  • Disneyland speculations.
Direct download: AID399i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Episode 398 - Shop Ten OMG Poster Countdown Talk Crossover with Billy Baumann and Mitch Putnam

The very first crossover episode within the AID Universe is here! With Mitch back in the James Flames seat for today's Shop Talk, Mark sees an opportunity for Billy to be special guest for the Top Ten Poster Countdown in May as well. After the boys analyze hero worship in American culture and Mark gets a little bit of bullying the countdown kicks off. This is a very special combination of people for the poster critiques which offers a three dimensional view of the entire process of from ideation to point of sale. Mark comes from the consumer perspective, Mitch brings in the production aspect of each piece, and Billy brings his acute artistic eye to the analytical side of each poster. Antics ensue.

Talking Points

Billy tries to become Mark's Budget Analyst.
Upholding athletes and actors as important cultural figures.
Remembering Muhammad Ali
How many colors is too many colors on a screenprinted poster?
Matching artists skill set to subject matter.
Do posters need to withstand the test of time or be culturally relevant?
Watching art history in the making.
The importance of critiques and learning through inspection.
Consider the eye path in a poster and how to control it.
The old school and new school on the focal point(s).
Light on metal and appropriately rendering it.
Telling a story within the poster.
Evoking successful period projects through style, execution, and the emulation of the technological constraints of that time.
What do snakes mouth's look like?
Visual tricks that mess with the mind.
Matching your typeface to the poster.
Creating and properly using textures.
Simplifying your poster for clarity and impact.
Why posters don't sell out as frequently overseas.
How to name art.
Selling the emotion and not the marketing points.
The demise of

Direct download: AID398i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Dan Padavic has run Valhalla Studios for over a decade emphasizing the power of craft and creativity. Through accessible design aesthetics and paying attention to consumer needs Dan has diversified his skill set over his own design work, printmaking, letterpress techniques, and running his own brand Tucker & Scout. In developing this brand Dan has found a unique blend in business that involves his entire family and creates a storefront he would purchase things from himself. You will be hard pressed to find a better example of a self made man using his passion to make a living off of. Mix in some applicable printing knowledge, a long term friendship between Dan and Mark, and some Midwest know how and you have an incredible interview with one the best out there.

Talking Points

  • Staying in the design game for over a decade.
  • The divided Kansas City and its resurgence in art.
  • Developing the process of printing and then carving out your niche.
  • Customer retention and its relation to quality control.
  • Pre-press. Pre-press. Pre-press.
  • The stress associated with printing for other people and on the on press decisions that need to get made.
  • Who should separate your artwork?
  • Expanding into the world of letterpress.
  • The impetus of Tucker & Scout.
  • Changing client expectations in design.
  • The pros and cons of our entry point into the world of art.
  • Creating accessible artwork and double dipping with art prints.
  • Booth innovations and curating a customers experience.
  • Diversifying your product line and making the store you want to shop from.
  • Taking risks with your own product line.
  • Blending parenting with creativity.
  • Finding success in designing for the consumer.
  • Building a brand around your actual family.
  • Sexism in customers and why you should always talk to the spouse as well.
  • Working on a team with a non designer.
  • Tips from Dan on starting a new brand.
  • The importance in staging product photos.
  • Planning the Dad Forgot To Pull Out Furniture line.
  • Tad Carpenter's place in Valhalla and how growing up doesn't mean growing apart.
  • Keeping it real as a print shop.
  • The dream of building a Valhalla Building.
  • Dan's tips for developing an efficient print shop.
  • Man to man advice on supporting your spouse and carrying a family.
Direct download: AID397i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 1:24am PDT