After waking up, for a long time the first thing I did was starting my computer and watch the newest daily monster from Stefan G. Bucher. So this time it's even more a pleasure for me to do a great interview with the inventor himself.
1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?
I’m a graphic designer / illustrator / writer. You might have seen some of my Monsters at DailyMonster.com, or some of my design work for Tarsem, David Hockney, Sting, and others at 344Design.com
I’ve also written two books:
All Access – The Making of 30 Extraordinary Graphic Designers and this year’s 100 Days of Monsters
I’ve drawn ever since I can remember. I had my first drawing published at 12, sold my first ad design at 15, and graduated from Art Center College of Design at 23. Since then I’ve worked for ad agencies, record labels, art galleries, scientists, thinkers, and tinkerers, all in the name of expanding the glory of the 344 Empire.
2. I love your "Daily Monsters" and it was a ritual for me watching them every morning. How did you get the idea?
The first Monster appeared to me as I was driving on the freeway. It just sat there, coiled around my left arm. I figured I should draw it, and had so much fun with it that I made a few hundred more.
3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a monster? How do you get the inspiration for the monster?
With each Monster I put a few drops of black sumi ink on a piece of regular office paper — either with an eye dropper or with a toothbrush. Then I blow air on the in with a straw, which make the ink spread out in crazy and wonderful tendril shapes. This is where each Monster emerges. I turn the paper until I see a creature in my mind’s eye. At that point, all I have to do is put lines where I see the Monster. None of the creatures are pre-planned. They all come entirely out of the moment. I’ve tried planning them out, and they get very cranky about that. They just won’t cooperate.
4. What are your tools of the trade? Do you also use software to finish the artworks?
The Daily Monster clips are heavily time-lapsed, which I do with an incredibly rinky-dink method in Quicktime Pro.
Many of the Monsters come to life at the end of their drawing sequence. That part I do in “Anime Studio 5,”
Otherwise it’s all pen and paper. I use Faber-Castell PITT artist pens, Staedtler pigment liners, Tombow ABT pens, Sharpies (fine point and wedge tip), and Yasutomo Sumi ink on regular old uncoated bond paper.
If the Monsters are destined to be printed, I’ll scan them, and then apply background colors in Photoshop.
5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer?
The pros far outweigh the cons. I get to choose my clients from some of the brightest, loveliest people in the world, and get paid to help them on their projects. What’s not to love? I get to poke my nose in all kinds of fun situations, and learn about new culture and new science. On top of that I built my business in a way that allows me to produce my own projects on top of everything else.
Cons? I work all day every day. (Which isn’t REALLY a con, either.)
6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?
Yes, I do — for better or for worse. Unless I force myself to relax my eye, I do notice every little thing, often from a distance. That can be tough on relationships. Nobody likes being marked up with an imaginary wax pencil every time I look at them or their work. There is definitely a tendency to see everything around me as raw material for improvement. “Those pictures could be arranged differently, that wall would look great in green, and have you thought of wearing that jacket unbuttoned, layered over something slinky?” It gets a bit much, even if all of that just happens in my head. But I’m getting better at drawing a line between what’s for me to control and what I should just appreciate for what it is. In fact, the more my actual work occupies me, the easier it is to leave everything else alone and be perfectly happy about it.
On the plus side, I do see beauty everywhere.
7. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why?
Beyond DailyMonster.com , 344Design.com , NeoLogist.org , and the new Monster Facebook app Facebook.com/dailymonster you mean?
Do I really have favorite, favorite sites? Sites that I go to all the time just because I love them? Yeah, but they’re not that exciting. NYTimes and Facebook, mostly. Most everything else I absorb, and then move on. Here are a few sites I visit frequently, though:
1. Russel Davies Typepad Smart thoughts on design and communication from a very smart person
2. Hulu.com Great for catching up on TV shows in otherwise lonely hotel rooms
when I’m on the road.
3. Ted.com An amazing archive of TED talks past. Everybody loves the TED site.
4. HopStop.com Like Google Maps, but complete with the correct subway stops. Genius!
5. Hoops & Yoyo Homepage I don’t know why Hoops & Yoyo crack me up, but they do! A great example of a big corporation doing something very fun very right.
6. FWIS I’m always happy to see what my friends at FWIS are up to.
8. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
Two easy steps to success in life, love, and graphic design:
2. Don’t Be Boring
You’ll never be hungry or alone.
9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for asking interesting questions.