Adventures In Design

Throw that steaming hot Unicorn Frappuccino right at your boss's head because it's time for Shop Talk with Mark Brickey and Billy Baumann. The boys take a very serious look at the state of the creative industry for independents and entrepreneurs to try and evaluate if it's even worth the attempt anymore. Between plunging price points, ceaselessly increasing competition, and no correlation to career growth what is left to find happiness in design? We also turn to a few reading from the Book Of Baumann for inspiration in these troubled times. Whether you want to consider it bullshit or bull ton, antics ensue and Adventures In Design is there to help you through it with some quality time with The Cobra and your old pal Mark Brickley.

Talking Points

  • One word clues for Mark to guess each subsequent Harry Potter film in order. 
  • New intro talk, Disneyland rumors, and some sad football news. 
  • Zuck snarfs, Snapchat ripoffs, and getting people excited about some not so radical changes. 
  • The tech bubble's first few warning signs.
  • Quality or quantity in the job market?
  • Taxi cabs should've learned a thing or two from the demise of Blockbuster Video. 
  • Readings from the Book Of Baumann on child rearing tactics. 
  • Handling the wildness of youth. 
  • Freaky Friday Soccer Dreams. 
  • Locked down and devalued communicative arts being held back by the gatekeepers that be. 
  • Creating a culture that expects are for free. 
  • Can a freelancer put out work at a reduced cost to land a big job down the road?
  • Finding the happiest people in design. 
  • Advice from bullshit to bull ton. 
  • Finding your voice, hero worship, and fizzling out. 
  • Quick, clean, and a hint of narrative. 
  • Starbucks stunt drinks and low cost investments in advertising that might bite back. 
  • Revisiting the donut debate. 
  • Ruminating on a comic book career that could never be for Billy Baumann.


Direct download: AID567i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

When you're Mikel Cirkus it's nice to never be wrong. From being fired to creating his own space at Firmenich Flavors as Global Director of Conceptual Design Mikel has used his ability to solve problems and bring new ideas to light for as long as he can remember. Unconventional hand models that act as resumes, fictional branding for trending tastes, and trips to Hipsterville USA fill this episode with a life led by a fearless adventurer who collects inspiration from around the world. This all came from learning how to pitch himself and Mikel hasn't looked back ever since and he joins us to share a small piece of that outlook that will keep you from aging out of what is cool. Stay curious.

Talking Points

  • What exactly do you do anyways at an anonymous business to business company?
  • Being an ingredient in a distinct product. 
  • Finding the bigger challenge of design as a concept. 
  • Round out the story to connect the trend to the product. 
  • A visual for a PowerPoint guide for a customer's frame of reference. 
  • The dream autonomous creative position. 
  • Keeping your customers your customers and engaging meetings that deliberately go longer then planned. 
  • Freelancing and at-home overhead that makes you reinvent yourself. 
  • Can idea and execution be two separate jobs?
  • The New York Times has an address for you to send a resume to by that's not what they're really looking for. 
  • Pitch yourself. 
  • Breaking into the world you want to be in. 
  • Email jockeys, designers, and the competitive edge that gets you an incredible gig for eighteen years and counting. 
  • The devil is in the Details of everything you've ever learned. 
  • Finding the job you want to put your name next to. 
  • Opportunistic trend hunting on a global scale eighteen years later and hundreds of years ago. 
  • How to know what the future holds. 
  • Following the trend from the edge to the masses and increasing customer awareness. 
  • Hipsterville USA and a cold brew coffee analogy for exemplifying the path to every level of consumer. 
  • Sell the thinking and get asked for by name. 
  • There's no metric for success when you can't be wrong. 
  • Existing in the preface, building the story, and becoming the authority of that space. 
  • Finding real time, organic innovation. 
  • What does it represent?
  • The real play for Tomorrowland was over at California Adventure. 
  • Never aging out of cool, getting your own tag, and the post design space. 
  • Stay curious to stay inspired and remove coincidence. 
  • Exploitation, gentrification, and the new colonialism that will never end. 
Direct download: AID566i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:13am PDT

Life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect it to. There are times that you are on the fast track to success at your own design firm and out of nowhere you are diagnosed with a fist sized brain tumor that will change everything about your life. Derek Welch was heading up Big Giant after a long run building his name at Nike, when he found himself inexplicably blacking out. Doctors quickly discovered the root of the problem and after a complicated surgery and a few near death visuals, Derek found himself playing by a whole new set of rules for the rest of his life. Ever the creative problem solver, Derek embraced his changes and turned a bump in the road into something that made him stronger. This is a story of acceptance, of change, and the long road to happiness we are all on.

Talking Points

  • The music that is an unforgettable part of you and the search for heavier and harder stuff. 
  • Creativity that pays. 
  • Staying plugged into youth culture when you're geographically nowhere near it. 
  • Hitting the ground running after college at a design firm. 
  • Passing on Nike's first offer, image design, and finding the right path to where you want to be. 
  • The longer you stay around the less you end up designing. 
  • Starting your own thing and seeing all the right signs to build a rocket ship in eight months. 
  • Blackouts in the bathroom, fist sized brain tumors, and starting to cope with Suicidal Tendencies. 
  • Visions from the edge of life. 
  • Are you prepared for an uncertain financial future?
  • Three surgeries, a kick ass scar, and life after brain surgery. 
  • Acceptance, work, and the basic requirements to function. 
  • Creativity on a whole new schedule. 
  • Metalheads till death and making music all on your own. 
  • Post-Client Screenprinting and getting your work to good enough. 
  • Dealing with mortality like the rest of us. 
  • The simple stuff that will blow your mind when you slow down to enjoy it. 
  • Routines, plans, and retirement life from a coffee shop. 
  • Aging out of the demographic you wish you were in. 
  • Love and people.
  • Will you start making lame art when you're older?
  • The best thing that ever happened to Derek. 
Direct download: AID565i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

When you're the Global Creative Director of a brand pushing out twenty thousand products in a year odds are you have your head screwed on pretty straight. Paul Gaudio heads up this role at Adidas and he lets Mark into the Mothership for a look around at what it takes to stay at the forefront of popular culture for decades. From the infamous Shell Toes that started it all to the block spanning lines that form for a brand new pair of Yeezys, there is design, strategy, and unpredictability at every step of the process. Adidas sits at the delicately balanced crossroads of performance, fashion, and price point and it is Paul's job to oversee the brand's vision of why brought to life. The tie cutting, question asking corporate culture inside Adidas will surprise you with its "stay in beta" mentality that keeps them at the forefront of whats next as they poise to take over the largest sportswear market on the planet with Paul at the forefront of it all.

Talking Points

  • Second hand shell toe and proper athletic shoes as an entry point. 
  • The importance of influencers to bring the product out into the light. 
  • Are the kids influencing one another or still listening to high level celebrities?
  • Becoming a student of students. 
  • Vampiric youth and holding onto to not growing up. 
  • Cutting your tie so the boardroom reflects the cultural identity your company defines. 
  • Tangibility in fashion and the "Shoes / Face / Shoes" filtration system. 
  • Credibility, hype, and the risk of pushing things out of the nest. 
  • Be where the consumer is. 
  • The 360 degree, end to end statement as a brand and the team it takes to make that. 
  • Modern advertising that still speaks to consumers and where they live. 
  • Post Super Bowl Ad communication strategies that engage at a deeper level. 
  • Keeping things consumable that hits you right between the eyes and the metrics behind it. 
  • Behind "The Creator Brand."
  • Is your brand asking questions or answering them?
  • Stay in beta and start with why. 
  • Helping people make the difference to stay relative. 
  • The overlap of product design and fashion in athletic footwear. 
  • Get off the shelf, align the approach, and don't close the box for your consumer. 
  • Budgets and structure for over twenty thousand products built to a specific price point. 
  • Embedding designers into the business to impact decisions early on in the process. 
  • Where does the buck start and stop at Adidas?
  • The creation process that mixes some new school and some old school production tactic. 
  • Recommitting to the biggest market in footwear for the biggest return. 
  • But what is digital sports?
  • Leaving Adidas and coming back to it. 
  • Start ups, a motorcycle mechanic, and following your passion. 
  • The opportunity to change or fade away again. 
  • A script for success that starts with culture and behavior. 
  • Making a leap of faith back into what had defined you and constructing the right team that never felt too big. 
  • Pivots, self awareness, and seeing the opportunity. 
  • Do you even understand industrial design?
  • Designing profitability into your product and banking on sheer volume. 
Direct download: AID562i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Our great friends Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman of DKNG Studios return to let us inside their creative process from front to back and everything in between. The DKNG Show truly illustrates what it takes to stay at the top of your game in the creative world. How do various price points in your booth affect sales? Does giving away the secrets of your secret sauce make you a disposable commodity? Where do you start on a SpiderMan frame that can work for his countless permutations? Mark, Dan, and Nathan analyze every job that went out the door from DKNG over the last two months and share their thought process, what worked well for them, and what they learned for their next attempts bound to take them to even higher heights. Whether you're a seasoned pro or still wet behind the ears, The DKNG Show is filled to the brim with applicable knowledge to enhance your own creative career.

Talking Points

  • The rise of the professional Dr. Kuhlken in proper context.
  • Life partners, destination weddings, and the many levels of Dan.
  • Investing in your passion, finding the profitability, and how DKNG embodies these values.
  • The reward of crushing Creative South with design Bible studies and learning from your experiences.
  • An Austin print in Austin inspired by a San francisco print in a bathroom.
  • The psychology of a five dollar difference in your booth.
  • Price points, post cards, and what’s best for booth sales.
  • Green lighting an idea that can have a secondary life outside it’s original intent in various avenues.
  • Are you authentic?
  • Inside the mind of a consumer.
  • An ambitious topic.
  • Rules, icons, and the fear of giving away too much.
  • Figuring out how to make it all work and expand your reach.
  • Advantages vs. Drawbacks
  • Giving away your secrets makes you develop even better ones.
  • The how is not the why.
  • Good work leads to more good work.
  • Balancing communication, artwork, and past clients.
  • Technicality in art direction.
  • Character Design with or without your thumbprint.
  • Finding the confidence to evolve your skills further.
  • An infographic with plenty of history to piece together, bring form to, and hide behind.
  • Skin tight Spidey-suits that helps fine-tune the set platform.
  • Guaranteeing success by locking in the grid.
  • Can you take a break or do you have to see it all through?
  • The 3-2-1 rhythm to tackle an overwhelming task.
  • Don’t forget the approval process across multiple outlets!
  • Opening the next chapter of your career, the financial rewards you reap, and some “real” exposure.
  • Who is making the money and what are they doing?
  • Transparent gray saves the day.
  • A bulletproof project overview.
  • Online fan reaction trends to taking on a beloved franchise under your creative wing.
  • Some real deal variants from the Spidey-verse.
  • Is there any secondary income spawning from this poster?
  • Creatively working within your new restraints.
  • Upcoming events for DKNG.
Direct download: AID561i.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Mitch Putnam and Rob Jones join Mark for a very special Shop Talk laying out the nuts and bolts of putting together Never Grow Up: A Disney Art Show. With a collection of work at this magnitude there is a lot of back and fourths between Disney, Mondo, and getting the pieces actually printed. Five years of DIY Gallery Experience and one other Disney Show under their belt from last year, Rob and Mitch break down every detail they can currently talk about. How do they select which artists will be in the show? Who gets what Disney property? What aspects of the films need to be overlooked in today's day in age? This Shop Talk is a fascinating look into pulling together a gallery show and the politics behind. The episode opens up with Mark explaining a bit about the future of the AID Network and unveils some of the strategy behind the decisions to syndicate, include, and spin-off.

Talking Points

  • The people who come and go in the podcast world and tearing down the boundary between the internet and AID. 
  • Getting Billy out of the way and rewarding the Circle Of Trust. 
  • Documented Dark Days. 
  • Remembering the realities behind pursuing your dream and motivational monologues. 
  • Success, personal achievements, and the pursuit of happiness. 
  • Apple R-ing your habits. 
  • Wednesday Syndication and the eventual birth of the AID Network. 
  • Drawing out emotions, defining yourself, and a few chuckles all while getting to know somebody. 
  • The lack of career content. 
  • Three new spinoffs Mark is working on. 
  • The second Disney show put on at Mondo's gallery that is a ton of work. 
  • Spilling just a few beans on Never Grow Up. 
  • What does Disney assume about an artist's work ethic?
  • Curating artist's and curating the titles that people truly love. 
  • Top Five lists and balancing what properties do well and which artist's fit it best. 
  • Overlap and strategically getting two different parts of the story instead of obvious cash grabs. 
  • Standardized canvas size strategies and getting people to hang up your work in their homes. 
  • Is it harder to nail a likeness or a cartoon character?
  • Make it more happy. Make it more culty. Can you just make your feedback make sense?
  • Five years of figuring it out. 
  • Edition-ing rules, who can event print for Never Grow Up, and the many layers of a multi billion dollar business. 
  • Bambi's Revisions. 
  • The keeper's of the gate, the current cultural climate, and the tricky business of selling to kids. 
  • Inside the darker aspects of a Disney film and the emotional manipulation within the plot. 
  • What sequels do Rob, Mark, and Mitch really want?
  • Pieces to look out for when Never Grow Up opens to the public. 
  • Planning for drop outs, getting approval, and how to stagger the printing for the final piece. 
  • Looking for a second time around. 
  • The Japanese Disney and properly honoring Frasier. 
  • Planning out The Death Of Rob Jones. 
  • A plastic turkey with a death wish, frisbee golfing head wounds, and discussing potential tombstone artwork.
  • If Charlie Brown had lived. 


Direct download: AID559i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

The Collection continues to expand with Roy Miles and his whole Hoodfoot Family. With a childhood rooted in broken Millennium Falcons, Hanna Barbera colorways, and the birth of hip hop happening right outside his front door, Miles had a completely unique viewpoint within the designer toy community. However, being ahead of your time has its drawbacks and after difficulty upon difficulty, Roy pivoted over to animation and film to get his ideas out. There is no stopping a passionate creative once they set their mind to it and this part of The Collection truly highlights that fact. Huck has been busy as well with Dapper Little Scoundrels and every other project coming through his Fun Factory which expands his skill set tenfold. 

Talking Points

  • Being around when it all become a genre and finishing before it even caught on. 
  • Analyzing the market to make what doesn't exist but still feels familiar. 
  • Darby The Fixer comes together perfectly. 
  • The evolution from Gold Life to Dapper Little Scoundrels and working from your roots. 
  • A completely different visual aesthetic. 
  • Building three mini-verses, developing multiple styles, and continually learning.  
  • Tapping into the color palette of the Seventies. 
  • Characters that appear out of nowhere, Tumbleweaves, and abandoned baby strollers. 
  • Bringing your characters to life even if you don't know how to do it. 
  • The best bits of a few people you know. 
  • Hallmarks of storytelling and running down new scenarios in your backyard. 
  • But... what cartoon is that from?
  • Designing for kids instead of designers. 
  • Goals. Characters. Turmoil. High stakes. 
  • Making an experience and not a cool guy trophy. 
  • Extreme Ghostbusters and how aggressive clown culture ruined pop culture. 
  • When music was music for life off the radar. 
  • Hiding music from your parents. 
  • Urban vinyl toys and wrapping your head around an all new aesthetic. 
  • Hitting up various 7-11s for Sprite Figures and getting Type 2 Diabetes for the love of collecting. 
  • Forensic research over in China back in the day. 
  • Making the Biddies and who they are modeled after in real life. 
  • Sexy details only you know about. 
  • Making videos for Green Day, Talib Kweli, and getting fired for calling Bobby Brown out on his cocaine usage. 
  • Will anyone sell hip hop toys?
  • The genesis of the toy industry and already being an outsider because of your background and having the scene walk away from you. 
  • From Toy Story to Biddies. 
  • Opportunities, blowing smoke up your ass, and trying to balance your home life. 
  • Working on animation in documentaries with some old guys from Berkeley. 
  • A Hoodfoot adult-sequel Chuck E. Cheese and being for the kids all while keeping it real. 
  • Being lost and finding yourself in the process. 
  •  Getting better at being hands on one added detail at a time. 
  • New tools, new possibilities, with all new perfectly branded ideas. 
  • The tipping point on social media in the designer toy world. 
  • Not a mid life crisis... a life crisis!
  • Huck's DIY Fun Factory that needs a documentary done about it. 
  • Selling directly to the people and cutting out the middle man. 
  • Huck is out of the frying pan, but is he in the fire too?
Direct download: AID558i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Jason Sturgill is an illustrator from Portland who cut his teeth at Dark Horse Comics and Nike before they had even invented SB. With his unique style and a penchant for pursuing the idea, Jason quickly made a name for himself in the creative community when he stepped out on his own. However, there were many years where Jason was on the outside looking in, always doubting his capabilities from a technical standpoint. This interview explores some of those formative years before Jason decided to step out on his own and the mental shift that took place to bring him closer to professional happiness. It's a long road to reach your goals and Jason shares his transformative story for everyone out there looking for their place in the creative community.

Talking Points

  • Pocket Wi-Fi on your third trip to Japan and a whole day of "what the fuck is that?"
  • The culture of Kyoto and Japanese work ethic. 
  • A different path through skateboarding and the role of a traditional designer. 
  • Figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B while you're standing on the wrong side of the fence. 
  • Being in a great job ten years too early. 
  • Exploratory surgery, surprise cancer, and starting a whole new life after adversity. 
  • Papas Fritas, Modest Mouse, and starting a record label in college. 
  • Finding the guy to get you on the road. 
  • Designing at Dark Horse Comics. 
  • Bootleg Snoopy patches as a one and done. 
  • Getting emotional with your folk illustration based around ideas over technicality. 
  • Networking with an online art gallery and bringing people together while you're on the other side. 
  • Starting at Nike before SB was even invented. 
  • The eternal search for happiness over responsibility. 
  • The soul crushing dream job and leaping into the uncertain. 
  • Grad school, the role of education, and a deciding that you can be an illustrator. 
  • Shifting towards the abnormal and the gift editorial illustrators nationwide received. 
  • Becoming more than a graphic designer that illustrates. 
  • Prisoner Cats and late night space backpack purchases. 
  • Risographs weird place in the printing world, printing costs, and patience. 
  • Getting into the See Saw Club or evolving past it. 
Direct download: AID557i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Shop Talk goes old school with Mark and Billy on the mics just like the good old days. Fresh off teaching his portion of The Double, Billy gives his perspective on what his students struggled with and how Delicious plans on keeping this two day design course going. Mark recently returned from an unnamed poster show and his take on the Old and New Guard will give you insight to your own creative direction. What's the scariest tool in Illustrator? What is a post-work creative supposed to do with themselves? What are your art action figure attributes? Get ready to dive into the deep end of motivation and direction once this Shop Talk kicks into high gear.

Talking Points

  • The New School becomes The Old Guard and the expanding middle ground. 
  • Cake Donut Conspiracies and Mort's misplaced donut choosing capabilities. 
  • Part One of The Double goes down, gets re-upped with new options, and more donut talk. 
  • A preview of the Dave Shapiro interview with a serious Must Be Nice role reversal for Barely Blue Collar Brickey. 
  • What was the biggest hurdle for students attending The Double?
  • Learning from comparative screenprinting strategies different artists use. 
  • The scariest tool in Illustrator that Billy knows how to use and Mark doesn't need to know about. 
  • Retired dads, shelf money, and the upcoming Wonder Woman film. 
  • DC's misplaced style and lack of direction. 
  • For fashion, not for sport. 
  • When should a baby start watching Star Trek?
  • Environmental concerns being undermined by big business and getting back to where we were in protecting Mother Earth. 
  • Dismantling what makes America truly great and the troubling people currently running that country. 
  • What time is check in for the apocalypse?
  • April's Fools on AID. 
  • Billy's breakdown of his portion teaching The Double and some pizza stories. 
  • Candy built physiques. 
  • Easter is on the horizon and Mark kicks a bunny. 
  • Motivation, testosterone, and the mental shift Billy is dealing with. 
  • Post-work creatives. 
  • Art Action Figure back card attribute levels. 
  • Talking Billy up and an inside look at a talented creative's internal thought process who thinks their faking it until they make it. 
  • Asking a fish to swim instead of climb a tree. 
Direct download: AID555i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Get ready hang because Hammer Time is back! Violent Gentlemen's Mike Hammer and co-host Mark Brickey invite tattoo artist Gustavo Jaimes to the VGHC HQ to swap stories. Tavo works at Torch Tattoo which is the nearest shop to Disneyland and he grew up at the closest residential house to Disneyland... so you know Mark has some mouse related questions for him. Hammer puts it all on the line with everything from limo tints to Beauty And Essex tabs to a person from his Rolodex for every story he has. Shitty jobs, first cars, and stunt food showdowns are all here as these fearless leaders take on everything the world is throwing their way. 

Talking Points

  • Growing up with Disneyland as your next door neighbor. 
  • Will Hammer ever go straight again?
  • The hard working parents that raised Gus and Disneyland perks for getting cracks in your ceiling. 
  • The most requested tattoo at the shop closest to the Magic Kingdom. 
  • Cold climate pin up girls and the big dawg air conditioned lifestyle. 
  • Three Keys Brickey. 
  • Limo tint all the way around, Hammer's Rolodex of Peeps, and choosing to see or squint. 
  • The worst tattoo Tavo ever gave, one upping a pros pro, and a quick story from Brian. 
  • Pineapple cotton candy, a review of Life, and stunt food that lived up to the hype. 
  • Foreign TV shows, out of market snacks, and what restaurant Southern California needs. 
  • Go to's across the board. 
  • BK Lounge party shifts, shitty jobs, and getting fired. 
  • Receipt, receipt, nudie mag pic, receipt, receipt, receipt, receipt, nudie mag pic. 
  • First cars. 
  • Getting your start in Photoshop for slightly misleading paperwork, abandoning ship, and parking under the biggest tree that might break. 
Direct download: AID554i.m4a
Category:Art Design -- posted at: 12:00am PDT