Adventures In Design
440 - CMND / SHIFT 2016 - Nathan Goldman, Tad Carpenter and John Forrest

Mark, Nathan Goldman, and Tad Carpenter hit the stage and record live at Command Shift in Sacramento California to discuss their experiences being a creative professional and working for yourself. Everyone knows that one person that inspired them  to the path of making a living off of their talents. Although it won’t always be glamorous,  there is a moment when you just know it's going to work out. Working towards those high and low moments of a creative career are crucial to its development. The guys explore some of their challenges and triumphs and how they learned and grew from their experiences. John the Wizard Forester, joins the conversation about being that inspiration to get younger students on the path to a fulfilling creative career. Take the perspectives of this great conversation and understand that there is no right way to do this crazy lifestyle. Never command A and select all. You have to copy and paste elements that work for you, your talents, and your goals. 

Talking Points

  • Choosing your path and being selective 
  • Self initiated projects to get the work you want
  • Collaborating to elevate the art within the community  
  • Don’t be afraid to ask other professionals questions 
  • Adjusting the work to match the client budget
  • Be aware of your time and your value
  • Making the most out of each proposal 
  • Getting hired for the work you want to do and how having many different styles or niches can help you but also hurt you.
  • Being able to talk the creative language 
  • Adjusting pricing from past experience  
  • Is hourly rate pricing right for you?
  • Working with a business partners 
  • Being emotionally attached to your work and always criticizing your own work
  • John Forester the Sacramento  wizard joins the conversation
  • Being an inspiration to other students and creatives
  • The moment when its going to work out 
  • What/ Who got you on the path?
  • Creating the path that is right for you
Direct download: AID440.mp3
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

439 - The Print Mafia Intervention

What happens when you bank everything on a dream? Sometimes it works out, sometimes you fall on hard times. Jim from Print Mafia has fallen on said hard times and it’s brought the business to an impasse. In one of the most honest, raw and powerful episodes of AID, Mark “Broprah” Brickey attempts to navigate their situation. This interview is so real, nothing is perfect and even the best in the business sometimes need help figuring things out. This episode brings out the importance of laying out a strong foundation for yourself.

Talking Points Include

- When art direction and the client’s personal taste becomes too much of a burden on your creativity
- The consequence of a professional “meh”
- Frustrations with client communication putting a strain on your working relationships
- What to do in a do-or-die financial situation
- When an artist’s “shimmer” turns to “rust”
- Being optimistic to a fault
- Going back to the day job near the end of the poster boom
- Deciding to leave the day job and go full time, but at what cost?
- Allowing yourself to have a dream over a weekend at Uncle Dream’s cottage
- Establishing and maintaining a financial baseline
- Taking a chance in order to feel like you’re giving 100%
- Coming to terms with feeling like your time in the sun has passed

In The Circle of Trust
- Branching out from your old work in order to play to your strengths and regain your passion
- When Rome is burning, you can’t figure out what you really want to do
- Using a financial baseline to do what you want to be doing instead of what you have to do to survive
- Stopping spinning your wheels to get money in the bank
- Learning to stop thrashing in the water to let the lifeguard bring you back to shore
- Creating a healthier business partnership
- Negotiating with a troublesome client or to just say no
- Determining what makes you different from everyone else
- How kids can impact your self-driven business
- When balancing two jobs can actually improve productivity of one

Today's Notes Thanks To Colin Duerrstein

My name is Colin Duerrstein and I have the unbelievable privilege of writing the show notes on today’s episode. This interview is one of the most important interviews, or should I say interventions you’ll ever hear. I’m young, I work a day job that pays the bills where I run idea after idea through my head over what the next step is towards getting out on my own. If you’re thinking about making that step, there are 100 or more things to learn from listening to today’s episode that will really help to strategize the growth of your aspirational business. To reiterate, from one jerkoff to another, this is the most important interview you’ll hear this year.

And if you hated these notes on the show this week, sincerest apologies and once David is back they’ll be back up to par.

Direct download: AID439i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

438 - Shop Talk With Sean Mort

It’s another episode of Shop Talk for the rich and famous!  Hollywood Mark Brickey and The People’s Champ Sean Mort are back to set things straight.  The dynamic duo delves into why success doesn’t necessarily mean fortune.  Meanwhile the conversation shifts to recent events that have transpired involving the discussion of the API.  Concerns are brought up on both sides, which leads to Mark having his final say on the matter.  Talk then turns to Brickey’s travels; being the jet setter that he is, Mark has come home with plenty of stories, like how he almost signed his own death warrant.  The guys then discuss the potential for a COT UK meet up in October at a pub (not bar).  Sean spills the beans on his upcoming shows and gives tips on how even YOU can win a free iPad!  And of course it wouldn’t be a Shop Talk without discussing movies.  Why are current westerns so bad at branding?  What does Mark think of Suicide Squad?  How does Sean really feel about the DC Cinematic Universe?  All of these burning questions and more answered in this week’s episode of Shop Talk!

Talking Points

  • Still catching our breath from all the Print Mafia real talk.
  • If you can afford Netflix you’re a jerk off.
  • Audience mentality and AID “selling out”.
  • Picking interviews and pleasing everyone.
  • The “F Word” is going in the Disney vault.
  • American Poster Institute versus the American Rock Poster Institute.
  • Standing up for what you believe in and being called a bully.
  • Mark lets bygones be bygones.
  • The 2nd Annual Winner Picks Dinner Putt Putt Tournament, or as I like to call it “now I really want White Castle”.
  • The joy of central air conditioning.
  • The real Mark Brickey is organized.
  • Mark Burglar.
  • Finding time for work and family while traveling.
  • Getting the junk food monkey off your back.
  • Mark is literally marrying everybody.
  • COT “BRENTRANCE” meetup?
  • Sean is doing an Etsy show; Mark gives him some booth pointers to let the little fellers shine.
  • RSS Radio, learn it, know it, live it.
  • Sean’s big Renegade Chicago news and the free iPad (that he hopefully gets to keep and is an iPad Pro).
  • Squarespace carnival barkers.
  • Recent Western film branding that has to have a number in the title.
  • Pratt, so hot right now. Pratt.
  • The top of the hour Rogue One alarm.
  • Suicide Squad, and why the DC Extended Universe sucks.
  • Being true to yourself.

Today's Show Notes Provided By Guest Contributor Tony Mendez

Hello COT!  This is Tony Mendez, the Stan Lee cameo of AID!  I’m a long time listener and COT member that’s had the honor and privilege of being on the show several times, as well as having my name randomly brought up mid conversation.  Born and raised in Chicago, my dream was to become a comic book artist.  I pursued art through to junior college until I eventually dropped out and stopped art altogether.  It would only be a few years later in 2008 when I would discover a little upstart called Mondo Tees that would rekindle my interest in art and turn me into an avid poster collector.  Due in great part to AID, I’ve recently decided to get serious about working on my art again in the hopes that I can one day design the screen printed posters that I love so much.

Direct download: AID438i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

437 - Shop Talk with Billy Baumann and James Flames

Bang the drum and travel through time with us in your favorite phone booth or Delorean because Shop Talk is here. Billy, James, and Mark close out the week just the way you want covering everything from the pressure in process videos to why wearing glasses will get you the career bump you've been waiting for. The Dream Team also gets philosophical this week when they explore the pervasive intellectualism in design culture and it's necessity. Are we talking up what we do to justify the prices we charge to follow our passion or do our design shape culture to the degree we think it does? Actionable advice and even a little backstory on the boys before they launched their current career's round out a Shop Talk that reflects on the past and looks at how to shape the future to what we want.

Talking Points

  • Current news on the Olympics.
  • Phone Booths or Deloreans?
  • The birth of Instagram Stories.
  • The Real Mark Brickey endorses Nate Duval.
  • Settling into a new spot and finding a new spot for the sponge.
  • Delicious Phish glitches and overselling your product.
  • The doom and gloom of merch companies taking over gig posters.
  • Art directing what no one asked your opinion on.
  • A classier take on improving AID.
  • Faux Intellectualism in the world of design.
  • Designing yourself and feeling like an outsider.
  • Is design as precious as we make it out to be?
  • The practical, blue collar advice form AID with real nuts and bolts.
  • Does the New York Philharmonic like The Ramones?
  • A toast to everyone who hasn't made it yet (clink).
  • Curing cancer and working yourself out of a job.
  • Integrity and the nuances in reaching the end goal.
  • The "A Ha" moment on opening doors in your career.
  • Backstory on the boys before their success.
  • Left turns in life.
  • Dreams, aspirations, and why Billy is always hungry.
  • What do you do when you catch what you've been chasing?
  • The pressure of a process video.
  • Howard Stern, Netflix, and a unique look at merchandising.
  • The 30 For 30 on USFL and a peak at Donald Trump before the election.
Direct download: AID437i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:07am PDT

436 - Jen Bartel

Take a look before the finish line of Jen Bartel's explosive success and you'll find layers upon layers of hard work and focus. After being everything form a Genius to a designer Jen took a year off with the humble goal of one illustration every two weeks and focused on showing the world what her next steps would be and it worked. After a few months and a quicker pace than even she expected Jen left her day job to follow her career down the path she had chosen and is now balancing licensed work and developing her own storylines. Sacrifice, responsibility, and some life experience has taken Jen past her competition to be the illustrative powerhouse we see today and she is here to tell us exactly how she did it. From space cats to strong women, Jen forged her own path and developed her own style to find inspiration in each new day as opportunities await her in greater quantities and wider scope. 

Talking Points

  • Where do baby deer come from?
  • The best part in a career that people don't see.
  • Mental health and life experience can set you apart.
  • Responsibility trumps talent.
  • Softer styles and navigating through client requests.
  • How do you add new entrees to your menu?
  • Using technology to level the playing field.
  • Graduating at the worst possible time for job prospects.
  • Fighting for a job you want versus one that is handed to you.
  • Staying motivated, getting comfortable, and getting hired to be you.
  • One year to invest in yourself and show the world what you want to do.
  • The torture of working as a Genius.
  • Finding the opportunities in whatever you do.
  • Art school confidential and waking up from being a jerk off.
  • Being aware of waster time and learning to focus.
  • Feeling unworthy of the work you want.
  • From two drawings a month to finding your identity.
  • Making your way out of the lost years into a career.
  • Is drawing men a waste of time?
  • Finding the agency in your illustration.
  • The ongoing conversation of women in the creative space.
  • Properly protecting your self form Space Invaders.
  • Moving past licensed work and opening lanes.
  • Making your own merch or printing on demand.
  • One offs and product lines in the comic industry.
  • The sacrifice for success.
  • The company you keep and your own personal come to Jesus moment.
  • Saying yes to the right thing and leveraging your opportunities.
Direct download: AID436i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

435 - Eric Tan

Eric Tan has spent over fifteen years working at Disney on everything from Buzz and Woody to Kilo Ren and Finn. This interview gives an inside look at one of the coolest day jobs in design on the planet at Disney Consumer Products where Eric has built his career and grown as a designer, illustrator, and anything else they throw at him. Working with Disney has not only provided him with some serious perks, but also pushed him as an artists by being surrounded by so many other talents whose art he works with while developing products for multiple Disney IPs. Eric doesn't stop at Disney though, at home he pushes himself creatively with other projects and an occasional gallery show to keep himself on his toes and trying new things. Eric Tan has the dream day job and he got it by walking up and knocking on Disney's door!

Talking Points

  • And the Coolest Day Job Award goes to...
  • The allure of what could be and the reality of it.
  • An MC Escher Chewbacca moment.
  • The Boys Team and how Disney divides up its graphic forces.
  • A day at Disney Consumer Products.
  • Where Eric sits in the grand timeline of a film's release and when he gets to work on it.
  • Why can't the final art match the development art?
  • Trying to go in fresh when you've been working on a need to know basis.
  • Knocking on Disney's door.
  • The chain of command at DCP.
  • Working on a new project with a new team and winning them over.
  • Why Kilo Ren is anchoring all the backing cards.
  • The timeline from sketch to send off. 
  • Why does Eric freelance?
  • The rules of working outside of Disney.
  • Opposite Day at Gallery 1988 and working on pedestrian concepts when you work at the biggest IP on the planet.
  • Growing up in the heart of skateboarding and collecting decks as an adult.
  • The art school of skateboarding.
  • The romanticism of being stuck in time.
  • Eric's real feelings about Disneyland and California Adventure.
  • The official rebrand of the Tower Of Terror and matching environmental design.
  • Layering elements and getting lost in the magic.
  • The passion of fans versus the passion for profit.
  • Eric's dream at Disney and some real deal perks of working for them.
  • Did Mark make a soon to be vintage Disney print?
Direct download: AID435i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

433 - Shop Talk with Sean Mort

The People's Champ and your favorite Podcaster cross mics on the eve of some much needed vacationing to talk some shop. But (said with a hard english accent) trouble is brewing just outside Sean and Mark's respective doors with political turmoil haunting them more than the latest Ghostbuster's film whose review could potentially split apart this International Bromance. Behind the paid wall Sean and Mark look at the state of merchandise in the world of music and the financial role of the artist and if thats a sustainable amount of money. Theres a little bit of everything in this episode because nobody likes to start the week talking about work more than a hit single from Rihanna. Antics ensue.

Talking Points

  • A Tale of Two Trips.
  • Adding some positivity into Rogue One's life.
  • Can Tan favors take you to Star Wars?
  • The Ghostbusters review that could end AID.
  • Staying true to your self when your big break comes.
  • The pain of striking out as a creative... and trust us, you will strike out.
  • Finding female empowerment in films.
  • Who cares about kids. The future is here now!
  • The importance of picking one name for your product.
  • The unpredictability of life and holding onto whats worth sticking around for.
  • Internal American problems and our surplus.
  • Billionaire relatability issues.
  • The importance of this election and the art of the apology.
  • Having a fast and loose POTUS on the button.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Sean spoils the shit out of Stranger Things at 52:30.
  • The through line of John-Ralphio and Buffalo Bill.
  • Humanoids: Deliberately done or creatively lazy.
  • Phones Off and bad moms at Bad Moms.
  • The problem with people who are assholes.
  • Fleeting pop culture moments and finding what sticks around.
  • Middle men making merchandise.
  • Who can do the most for the least amount of money and the decline of the gig poster.
  • Outgrowing the financial ceiling of band merchandise.
  • Spotting Steely in the wild.
Direct download: AID433i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

434 - Live from WMC Fest 7 with Jeral Tidwell, Aaron Sechrist, and Jayworking

Adventures In Design comes to you live from Weapons Of Mass Creation Fest 7 in Cleveland Ohio. Mark is joined by Aaron Sechrist, Jamal Collins, and Jeral Tidwell on the Main Stage of the Ohio Theatre by three of the hardest working weapons at this weekend's fest. Each artist on stage covers a different aspect of a creative career that is grounded in both a responsibility to yourself and to the community around you. Our path through life isn't a solitary one and every great risk we take to do something bigger than ourselves is the summation of an entire community coming together to believe in and support us. Mark uses his moment on stage to remind us that we need to give back to the community that helped build us up with the mentors, friends, and family that sculpted us into the person we are today. After a weekend of rebuilding ourselves at WMC Fest 7, lets all take some time to improve the blocks we live on and walk down everyday. Good day and good design.

Talking Points

  • Showing other people the greatness in following your passion.
  • The importance of meeting like minded people.
  • It takes a village to build a foundation.
  • Mark pops the big question... to Aaron Sechrist.
  • How has the year gone for OK Pants since he hosted WMC Fest last?
  • Using basic bitch apps.
  • Why is our fear rooted in asking for more money?
  • Why do clients walk away?
  • Building your armor and the ins and outs of life making money.
  • Wealth never spun so fast.
  • A cocky and confident business card.
  • Giving back through design and making a change locally.
  • Making art into a lifestyle kids can understand.
  • Reprogramming kids to believe in themselves.
  • not holding back when you talk to kids.
  • Acknowledging your responsibility to the community around you.
  • Dialing back on exploiting your kids.
  • Risking everything to build something bigger than yourself.
  • Going into a community that isn't used to receiving help.
  • When success is a necessity.
  • Get it done or die trying.
  • Why you have to keep moving to stay alive.
  • The responsibility of a creative to their community.
  • Proving that art is a viable career.
  • The rule for Metallica records.
  • Are you inspiring people or just fighting for attention?
Direct download: AID434.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

432 - Shop Talk with Aaron Sechrist and Heather Sakai

WMC Fest starts today so we have this year's emcee, Aaron Sechrist, and Chief Inspirational Officer, Heather Sakai, join us for a  special Shop Talk for a behind the scenes look at the weekend you can't afford to miss. WMC Fest has revamped their entire festival and taken a gamble by focusing on building their attendees skills with workshops instead of solely leaning on the big names of the design world to give talks hour after hour. While the friendships you forge in Cleveland are the most important part of this event... is that what people want? Will WMC Fest attendees see the value in these classes and interactions or do they still want to hear from their heroes in the design world? It's only though trial and error that we uncover our template for success and with friends like Mark, Aaron, and Heather as our Fest Sherpas, WMC Fest will become an invaluable tool in doing just that. We'll see you in Cleveland!

Talking Points

  • Tour writers for you and your whole entourage.
  • How do Aaron and Mark prep for speaking at WMC Fest?
  • Kicking It with Kenny to kick off the weekend.
  • Heather wants to hear Mark's opinion.
  • Switching things up to stay at the front of the park.
  • Learning from your gamble to improve your product.
  • Giving the community what they want as opposed to what you want.
  • Being around like minded people outside the vacuum of the internet.
  • If Mark was single on Mousemingle.com
  • Getting the most out of Vector Summer Camp.
  • Overcoming the loneliness of design with a clubhouse.
  • Learning form success and learning even more from design.
  • The odd summer in Cleveland.
  • Misjudging kisses and landing the hug.
  • Everyone's goals for WMC Fest.
  • Keeping creativity profitable even if it takes a few years.
  • The perfect triangle in creating great AID content.
  • Staying polished to get that payday.
  • Entering debate club at the Social Media Theatre and learning to listen in 2016.
  • What you can't afford to miss... literally and figuratively.
  • Taking professional gambles to get off the sidelines of life.
  • Refining your template for success.
  • Aaron branches out into new lines of merchandise.
  • Will OK Pants pull a Leaping Lanny Paffo at WMC Fest this year?
  • When is it time to use a third party for fulfillment?
  • Giving up money for more time and evaluating if that extra time is making you more money.
  • Using and abusing third world designers wearing onesies.
  • The multitude of factors that cut into your profit margins.
  • A saucy Red Coat interaction.
  • The intimate moments for AID at each WMC Fest.
  • Getting that one success amidst all the failures.
  • Taking a swing at life to find your best in a messy, chaotic life.
Direct download: AID432i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

431 - Adam Luedicke of The Poster List

No one likes getting beaten at their own game. You feel like your opponent figured out some secret that was always right under your nose and you never saw it. Adam Luedicke of The Poster List stepped into the craft fair circuit with digital prints for ten dollars and upset the whole game everyone was playing. While he received some flack from a few over pricing, including your favorite podcaster, he had a completely different product to sell. Mark decided that learning what Adam was doing right was better than pointing out what he thought he was doing wrong because no matter how much other vendors didn't like it, the buying public did. The Poster List has now grown into a wholesale giant with too many SKUs to count and their finger on the pulse of California while other poster artists are struggling to compete with each other. Join Mark as he sits down with Adam to hear about his success, his hard learned lessons, and his future.

Talking Points

  • Mark publicly apologizes.
  • Understanding your market and responding to it.
  • Being Mr. California when you're actually from Canada.
  • Becoming a student of what you don;t understand instead of hating it.
  • Does the buying public see the difference in effort in your artwork.
  • Time invested versus money made.
  • Do you want a tent or a sunburn and heaps of cash?
  • Being successful while breaking all of the cardinal rules of booth salesmanship.
  • The Poster List is huge in Japan.
  • A packed schedule or a happy home life?
  • The saturation point of craft fairs and the dog eat dog mentality in pricing.
  • Making wholesale an integral part of your business.
  • Pool in Vegas and earning eight weekends of work in one order.
  • Freaking out over $20,000 and how wholesale works.
  • Various options to float payments over ninety days.
  • Doing the math on a trade show.
  • Managing your cashflow for wholesale accounts and the reality of spent money.
  • The current dream for The Poster List.
  • Making your company look like a solid investment.
  • How does licensing affect your brand?
  • Developing product data from shows and gaining the confidence to take your brand to the next level.
  • The risk of taking your business to the next level.
  • Building buyer confidence and surpassing the objectivity in art.
  • The nightmare of a return.
  • They get you with the consumables in printing.
  • Making 60 - 80 designing in a week one week before you have to show them.
  • Designing in the moment for the freshest fruit possible.
  • Observing people respond to your designs in real time.
  • The infamous dinner that was the best episode of AID never recorded.
  • Keeping an open mind to learn from other people's point of view.
  • Will Mark become a surfer?
  • How Adam played an integral part to creating Unique LA.
  • Vendor saturation and buyer fatigue.
  • Making the initial show as big as possible to instill trust in your consumers.
  • What is next for trade shows in Southern California.
  • The difference between White Buffalo Parties and White Beach Parties.
Direct download: AID431i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

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