January 29, 2011

So A Talented Graphic Artist Walks Into A Bar ...

An Interview with Graphic Artist Steve Dressler

Part 1 of 2 (link to Part 2)
Click on any picture to embiggify to original size

One of my first impressions about
Steve Dressler was simply: ‘wow, this guy is having fun!’ Sure, that leaves a lot open to interpretation about one’s definition of fun, but consider
a) he’s ‘out there’ making a real name
for himself with his quirky yet highly stylized illustrations and other designs;
b) he performs stand-up comedy w
ith, among others, the ultra-hilarious troupe known as ‘The Upright Citizens’ Brigade’ or UCB or UCBW or even just ‘those funny folks down on 26th Street’;
c) and he has an array of talents that he’s only scratched the s
urface of, ranging from photography, sculpture, web design, fine art and more!

Plus, he’s worked with musicians,
writers and other neat folks, plying his trade in two of the world’s most exciting places to be, namely, Green Bay and Pittsburgh. Sorry, what? Oh my bad, that’s the upcoming Super Bowl match-up. I meant to say L.A. and New York!! And if that’s not enough for the cynics out there, he only days ago helped some schlub named Ziggy Nixon ‘tighten up’ his blog header ... and if that’s not a ticket to fame, then I don’t know what is!!

Now before I go any further in scaring you away with my own brand of Grade-Q non-professional humor, let’s dive in and get to know this unique craftsman:


Steve, welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about Steve Dressler please and how he became the interesting man-of-many-trades that he is today?
Its kind of hard to pinpoint exactly how I became this guy, but here goes...

I’ve always loved to draw. My mom was a teacher, so we had plenty of arts and craft supplies in the house. When I was in elementary school, I found that my drawing skills made me special. I sucked at sports, and wasn't super-popular either, so I had to make the most of it. I remember creating lots of drawings as gifts in an effort to make friends. I also put a lot more work into book report covers and dioramas, rather than studying Social Studies or Language Arts.

In addition, my father worked with computers for Bell Labs, so we always had a computer in the house when I was a kid. We never had a Coleco, Nintendo or Sega, we just had a PC. So I played around a lot with layout programs like Print Shop and Print Master. I used whatever the equivalent of Microsoft Paint was on a Commodore 64!

We were even lucky enough to have this Okidata color printer, in an age where that was pretty darn rare. I wish I still had any of those original files or prints, but they're lost to the messiness of adolescence. As I got older, of course, computers got better and so did the programs. I kept playing with those programs like video games. I have vivid memories of spending hours and hours using Photoshop 4.

On top of all that, I collected baseball cards quite seriously. I fell in love with the graphic design (and value) of the vintage cards. I also collected Swatch watches and would spend hours designing my own. Add to that my love of skateboarding culture and all the cool ads in
Thrasher along with some serious graffiti-watching on drives to the Bronx to visit my grandparents. Last, but not least, there was TELEVISION. From Saturday morning cartoons to Saturday Night Live, from Hanna Barbera to SCTV, I have always been in love with most things TV.

I love how many of your pieces are steeped in a retro-/pop-, or as you put it, vintage or old-timey feel! I even found myself thinking ‘hm, so this is the kind of thing Warhol would be doing today if he were still alive’ (oh and loved the
Tale of Two Andy’s pic on your blog [incl. Warhol and Kaufman for those not in the know])! Is this style a target or a particular passion of yours or how has it come about?
It has been both deliberate and subconscious. I remember when I was a kid being aware of Warhol and the Campbell's Soup and Brillo Boxes. I totally "got it" but didn't think it was anything other than a super-interesting guy getting away with appreciating pre-existing things. I truly enjoyed everything he did. His visual language was the same one I could appreciate.

Me? I stared at gas station logos. I looked at the way the printers didn't line up the yellow plate on the box of cereal. I would stare at posters in the butcher window and geek out on the typography and color of ink. And as I got older, I studied the 60's pop movement quite heavily and fell in love with
Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. I really dug Lichtenstein for his skill in actually painting the panels, as opposed to silk-screen, and his sense of humor in choice of imagery stuck with me. Rauschenberg blew my mind with his choices in what defined art. I wouldn't explore that on my own until senior year in college, but I had that idea in my head when I was a teenager.
You’ve referred to your illustration as ‘(creating) images that hold vintage elements while exploring forward thinking design.’ How do you maintain this attitude in your work?
The vintage elements are built into my visual vocabulary. I've always had an affinity for antiques and ephemera. I can walk down a city street, see some old tattered box in a dumpster, and happily walk away with a piece of the paper label. Later I'll translate what I get from that scrap, using color and typography to help tell a story.

The "forward thinking" part comes from my desire to infuse a bit of wit and pathos into whatever the end product's ultimate message is.

Can you describe how pop culture, current events or even other cultural icons influence not only your art but your daily ‘philosophy’ about life and, um, stuff?
I celebrate pop culture for all it’s bubble-gum aspects. I love that we are a visual culture. I love that we are voyeurs and narcissists.

The problem is that I see pop culture as recent as 15 years ago as a whole lot more charming and steeped in subcultures and phenomena. Musicians could still be somewhat ugly. Paparazzi photos were limited to the supermarket checkout counter. Looking at the world today, it just seems like a big commercial for about 5 or 6 corporations at times. It’s a lot different. That may be why the culture of today looks backwards so quickly. Things are getting confusing. 24 hour news cycles leave no time for posterity.

Somewhat tangential, yet an interesting perspective on pop culture: my brother went to Brown University in the early 90's. I would visit him and see Providence, Rhode Island all covered in ‘Andre The Giant’ stickers. I collected all the logo parodies I could peel off lamp-posts and phone-booths. In fact, in 1998 I did my term paper on Shepard Fairey for a Public Art class at Parsons. Through a chain of a few people I was able to trade a couple of phone calls and care packages with Shepard.

The gist of my paper had a lot to do with his creation of a recognizable mascot that held no real meaning. By this time, Shepard had started the Obey branding and was starting to pull jobs from much bigger clients. Fast forward to the present: Shepard is one of the most notable artists of the 21st century. He's great. He literally branded Obama. The similarities in what he did for OBEY and HOPE are exactly what pop culture is about.

How's that for philosophy? Meh.

Comedy obviously plays an important role in your life. How has performing live on stage or even in front of the camera affected your art approach? How about that in reverse (let’s try this: how has your art affected your comedy? Hang on... yeah, that looks right)?
That's two different questions. Let's see...

1) Performing comedy has affected my art by instilling in me a freedom to explore whatever I enjoy. With improv comedy, you trust you and your partner's choices and work towards finding resolution. I guess that philosophy has carried over into my art.

The difference between a blank page and an empty stage is the audience. Most times its easier to approach an empty stage!

2) My art has affected my "comedy" in a couple of ways. I have done a number of bits based around my parody Photoshop work. For example, in one bit I did a monthly talk show loosely centered around hipsters, where I stood onstage and took the role of a court sketch artist during the performances. I doodled the topics of conversation and punch-lines of the guest stand-ups. That was probably the closest marriage of the two.

I also did a speed-painting sketch one time that started as a portrait of Ray Charles but resulted in a portrait of Hitler.

The use of parody is obviously important to both your comedic and your design endeavours. However, is there in your mind a limit for how far particularly an illustrator should go with parody before it becomes something done in bad taste?
Bad taste is a question to be answered by the audience. I've never felt weird about doing taboo topics, but I use my own moral compass to navigate the touchy stuff.

I guess my most controversial image so far has been my Stephen Hawkman photo mash-up. I got some mixed feedback, but I don't think it was in poor taste. It doesn't comment on his handicap, other than recognizes that he has one. It’s a visual pun, but some people think it was a far darker commentary on something important. It’s not. His name is Hawking. I made him Hawkman.

Just curious, but what is the funniest thing you think you’ve ever seen or heard and why? (btw: I really hope it’s not that
cyclist up on the roof of the news car... how did you wind up with that project anyway?)
I wouldn't even know how to start picking the funniest thing. I can say that I have laughed to the point of tears more times at the UCB than I ever thought possible. The caliber of talent that I have seen on that stage boggles the mind. Now a lot of those people are starting to be on TV and in the movies. I feel lucky to have seen them in such a raw environment. That being said, you can never go wrong with a chimp dressed up in costume. And then the chimp farts. Comedy gold.

As for the
Gawker image, I started a relationship with them in 2008 after answering a request for a New York Post mock-up. Since then, I have had an on-going relationship with Gawker and its sister sites. It’s a great challenge to do work for them. The turnaround is usually really quick and their readership is very receptive to good graphics.

Continued in Part 2

So A Talented Graphic Artist Walks Into A Bar ...

An Interview with Graphic Artist Steve Dressler
Part 2 of 2 (link to Part 1)
Click on any picture to embiggify to original size

Steve, you mention on your ‘home’ web-page that you’ve ‘worked for several digital media companies, creating print collateral for independent musicians and corporate entities alike. (You’ve) also pursued a freelance career developing on-going relationships with the New York and Los Angeles comedy communities at large (and) have worked with several online media outlets.’ Where are you now? Are you working free-lance or is it more of a mix of all of the above?
I used to have a 9-to-5 job working for a CD/DVD manufacturer. I'd handle my freelance gigs whenever I could, sometimes even during my lunch break. After the recent financial collapse, I was relieved of my duties and have had to figure out the full-time freelance market.

A lot of things have changed since graduating in 2000. A lot of the old methods for nabbing jobs have disappeared and I'm still learning how to tackle the market. A lot of it has to do with the Internet. Getting images to go viral seems like the name of the game. Twitter is huge. I've had some recent success, but I'm still navigating. There are a ton of illustrators on the web and obviously a lot of them are good. I'm just trying to stand out in the crowd.

I find that your collection of illustrations runs the full gamut of everything that’s right, wrong or just plain bizarre in the world. I thoroughly enjoy the balance of often quite deep messages with ‘simple’ design approaches. However, how do you keep a piece ‘un-engineered’ enough to give it that unique ‘Steve Dressler’ flair without losing the message?
Its very hard to know when to stop working. Usually I have a vague image in my mind that comes in a flash, and then I spend hours trying to figure out exactly what just flashed through my brain. Mostly, I tend to trust my instincts.

I find it interesting you see my work as un-engineered. I always create my work keeping color, composition, harmony and balance heavily in mind. An ex-girlfriend said it was because I was a Libra: "Its all about balance." I can't disagree with the sentiment, but at times it just seems that I have just kind of figured out when to walk away before a piece gets too full.

The same can be said of your logo collection: you’ve created a collection of very straightforward but iconic imagery, well done (for example, the ‘subtlety’ of the ‘D’ in the Steve Dressler ‘logo’ is awesome)! What is it like for you though having to interact with the customers involved on this kind of design (vs. just jamming out a piece on your own)?
Thanks! I've always had a fascination with logos. When doing design work for a client, the key is to ask a lot of the questions in the beginning. Finding out the types of stuff they hate, or think is trite. That's way more informative than asking them what they like.

From there, I usually present them with a pre-determined number of basic designs to use as a point of departure. Through those designs we can discuss further what works/doesn’t work. After that, its usually just a question of finding a solution that answers the design question in the fewest possible steps. In the end, it’s a customer service. I've known designers that let their ego get in the way of pleasing the customer. It’s commercial art. Keep your feelings for yourself.

That being said, there are plenty of "hell clients." The trick is to sniff them out early and move on. Some clients are never satisfied. They enjoy running you through the paces. If you sense they don't value your time or skill level, you'll rarely end up with an amicable resolution.

While we’re on this topic, I’d be remiss for not mentioning what I think is just absolute genius in terms of your recent ‘Hello Coco’ piece (or even now one of my new faves, the ‘White Stripes’ goes manga!), that has enjoyed a lot of recent Internet ‘air time’. Has this been your biggest ‘hit’ so far in terms of mass exposure?
You're very kind. Hello Coco has been a huge surprise for me. That was a purely personal piece. I whipped it up within hours of watching the premiere of
Conan O’Brien’s new show. I posted it on my blog that night.

Up until then, I had hardly been on Twitter, but thought I'd take a chance and tweeted @TeamCoco. They didn't post it initially, but eventually put it up on their tumblr. Since then, it has made the rounds and the total number of views on different blogs and aggregators has been amazing. Is it my biggest hit? I don't know.

My Pee-Wee Hermann inspired image of "Francis" (ZN: see first image in Part 1) got a whole lot of exposure after I tweeted him @PeeWeeHerman and
he re-tweeted it. From there, Chris Hardwick picked it up and gave me the most generous write-up of my career so far. That image's popularity even forced me to redesign my blog and open up an online store.

I'm still experiencing the aftershocks of both of those images. Having said that, I’ve noticed that my readership has died down a bit in the last few weeks, so I know its time to create the next one. What it will be? I still don't know.

Creating viral images is still something of a mystery to me. What I do know is that when you try to give the Internet what you think it wants, you usually don't get much air-play. The personal pieces seem to do better. I have tried to create images that speak to the language of the Internet (like ‘
Memeforest’). Those images usually don't go too far.

Its better to just keep creating images that I like and hopefully my finger is somewhere near the pulse of Internet culture. If I do a Star Wars image, that's sure to get air-play. That's not really my passion though, so I have to find subject matter that tickles me and the rest should fall into place.

Tell us a little more about your sculptural work. Were the ‘The Nonuments’ a purely personal project or for wider consumption?
The Nonuments were the focus of my senior thesis in college. I had already amassed a 'proper' portfolio of illustrations my junior year, and didn't feel inspired to create a children's book or graphic novel for a senior project.

You see, I have always been a collector and borderline hoarder. I never had a use for all the 'crap' cluttering my apartment. On the suggestion of a trusted friend, I started creating Combines/Assemblages to de-clutter my life and try to make sense of my obsession with vintage objects and ephemera. Once I had 3 finished pieces, I asked my Professor if it was possible for a series of sculptures to be my senior thesis. A tricky proposition, since I was an illustration major and these were so-called ‘fine art’ pieces. I doubted it would fly ... but it did! I was even a featured artist in the senior show.

After graduation, I watched as my fine art friends attempted the gallery market. It wasn't very reassuring. I backed off of sculptures for a while, focusing on earning a living doing commercial design work. Over the last year or so I have started up again. My pieces have started to have more of a 'message' rather than just an aesthetic pairing of objects. I really take my time with each piece.

Part of the fun of making them is searching for the missing puzzle piece that makes perfect sense only once you find it. It can get trippy at times. The whole act of creating them is very ethereal, and acquiring the ingredients is pure circumstance and chance. I think my work is a lot stronger now than it was 10 years ago. I definitely plan on trying to get a show up in the next year.

Which approach do your prefer more, that is, working more as an independent, solo artist or as part of a team?
I enjoy it both ways. (That's what she said.)

My experience has been solo for the most part, though. For eight years, I was a one-man art department for the two companies I worked for. I haven't had much luck snagging gigs within design teams. If I had done a proper internship in college, that would've been very helpful. I can certainly gel within a group structure, but the opportunities haven't really presented themselves to me so far.

However, again, doing improv is great for learning group dynamics. It’s all about listening and valuing the other person's choices. That sort of play eventually leads to what is called "group mind." Its a very powerful thing when you achieve it. It breeds camaraderie. Having a shared goal can lead to interesting and different ideas, if you're willing to listen. When you're working solo, you've only got your own set of experiences to pull from. That's not a bad thing though, you build a specific voice. Sometimes you want a choir, and sometimes you want a lead singer.

You use a variety of art media, including spray-paint and colored pencil, in addition to digital design programs. We’ve touched on your sculptured pieces and photography, plus there’s your design work on apparel, posters, postcards, logos, layouts, web-site front-end and more, all of which adds up to a very impressive skill-set indeed. My question then is simply if you see working on such a wide palette of skills and offers is an advantage or a disadvantage, for example, in that you may be spread too thin?
Well, to be honest, the only disciplines I really seem to make any money off of are the Graphic Design and Illustration. And those two disciplines blend into one thing more often than not. The rest of the stuff I create as acts of pure self-expression and exercises in aesthetics.

Am I spread thin? Not really. Not now at least. I use the sculpture and photography to step away from the computer screen and into the physical world. I like to bring out the colored pencils and spray paint when I get tired of spending hours just pulling on anchor points in Illustrator. I get much better at drawing and designing once I step away from the computer and deal with the spontaneity of real physical media.

In the end, I just want to create a body of work that is representative of how I see the world. It all feeds into each other on a grander scheme. Sometimes you can create an illusion using a computer. Sometimes you just need the real genuine article.

Do you feel there is one area you’d like to work or focus more on/in or even add to your résumé?
I think adding more to the résumé could be helpful, but I know where my strengths are. For example, I am sometimes asked to do animation’s, but that's not in my wheelhouse. I have done plenty of character design and storyboards, but I don't have the technical skills or the drive and patience to do the animation part.

I think my best bet is to stick to the skills I've honed over the years and push those further. Its taken a while to get comfortable and create a visual style that is recognizable as my own. At the moment, I'm not trying to start over again.

Beyond that, what’s next for Steve Dressler?
Hopefully lots of success!

I feel like I have paid my dues and am starting to see light on the horizon. I'd love to broaden my client base and find new opportunities and applications for my design and illustration. Its been said that creatives are the new driving force in the American marketplace. Let's hope that's true!


Steve Dressler is a native New Yorker who attended public schools all his life, including taking only one ‘formal’ art class before graduating. He earned his BFA in Illustration from
Parsons School of Design in 2000, which to many seems like over a decade ago.

Steve lists his hobbies as performing live comedy, writing, creating fine art, cooking, making music and filling his head with trivial knowledge about just about everything (we did not test him on this because unless it’s written on a napkin and in our pocket at that particular moment, we wouldn’t stand a chance). Oh, and if you GOOGLE Steve Dressler, he is the one from the team
Thunderhead and of course, UCBW, where you can see him in the somewhat disturbing 'Give Me Back My Son' video (disturbing only because everyone is so intent on channelling their inner Mel Gibson).

He has played a Mexican kissing Uncle Sam on ‘The Colbert Report’, received a smashed pack of Twinkies from David Letterman, and unknowingly (read: without payment) designed the original logo for the Sopranos. We got the dirt on both these latter two stories, but with all the graphic violence (pun intended), mayhem and sex involved, we chickened out and omitted the gory details in this interview!!

Check out more by Steve at these links:
Website: http://www.stevendressler.com/
Blog: http://elsloganero.wordpress.com/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevedressler/
Print Store: http://stevedressler.imagekind.com/
Image Repository: http://stevedressler.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/elsloganero
UCB Theatre: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/performers/4419


All pictures, videos and other media are used with written permission of Steve Dressler, including all current or previous business affiliations related to same, or are available in the public domain (noting copyright and other restrictions, accordingly). No further reproduction or duplication is permitted without contacting the artist directly.

Some pictures have been modified slightly or combined only for the purpose of space limitations.

January 15, 2011

And He’s Got Lots of Friends!

An Interview with Video Creator and Entrepreneur David Edwards

Part 1 of 2 (link to
Part 2)
Click on any image to verbiggen

It wasn’t that long ago that talking about a video going ‘viral’ would have earned you some very strange looks. Heck, it wasn’t even that long ago – February 2005 in fact – that the global phenomenon known as YouTube got started.

And although
recent reports indicate that YouTube does not yet rival Television with a capital T, one thing is certain: it’s time will come! It is not a question of ‘if’ but instead when YouTube will be bigger than the networks, allowing GLOBAL viewers the opportunity to create and custom design their own viewing selections. And why shouldn’t it become the leading means by which we soak in our daily dose of entertainment pleasure (+/-)?

current figures are astounding: people are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. Every minute of every day of the week, 24 hours of video is being uploaded to YouTube. And this doesn’t even count the ‘extended’ reach of YouTube as videos become multi-linked across social media, the blogosphere and more. Heck, in the coming weeks and months, you’ll even be able to enjoy in the ‘normal’ comfort of your television viewing area, as the next wave of televisions will also offer at very minimum YouTube if not full Internet access.

These are of course crystal clear facts that are not lost on either advertisers or the coming generation of artists and designers eager to generate content either. It’s this huge potential audience in fact that businessman, as well as character and video creator
David Edwards of ‘A Sitting Duck’ is working to win over.

David’s venture – which features current stars ‘
Candy the Magic Dinosaur’ and his interesting band of cohorts – is gaining momentum every day, with the first 4 short but extremely clever videos – with a full dose of quirky yet subtle humour packed into every one – having already garnered around 300 thousand hits. Not bad at all for a relative newcomer!

In addition, David has set up a growing fan base including Facebook followers and well over 25’000 e-mail subscribers anxious to receive their daily fix of what he and his team have to offer. And there’s even more coming from the team in the coming months, with a little something for every taste on the proverbial plate!

Ziggy Nixon was glad to have recently caught up with David to ask him more about his venture and how he’s reaching out to art-loving, video-savvy and knowledge-hungry audiences everywhere.


Hi David, welcome to the show. Before we dive into either the world of ‘Candy the Magic Dinosaur’, ‘A Sitting Duck’ or the rest of your current endeavours, can you tell us a little bit about David Edwards please and how he became a graphic designer/illustrator/flash animator/man of all trades, etc.? And just curious, having said that, is there a title/description for yourself that you prefer?
Hi Ziggy!

Actually, my background is in sales and marketing. Between the ages of 20 to 25 I worked for a number of companies selling everything from mobile phone contracts to cars. Really, if you can think of it, I've probably sold it!

I still get a buzz from sales but I wanted to start a more creative career. So that's why I launched "A Sitting Duck" in 2008 and from there the whole venture has snow-balled! It’s attracted more creative people that are keen to get involved.

In terms of my own role or title, I'd like others to think of me as an entrepreneur. Still, if I meet new people I usually say I am involved in sales and marketing as its easier.

I’ve got to ask almost right away: why ‘A Sitting Duck’? It makes me think immediately of
Michael Bedard’s iconic ‘Sitting Duck’ pieces (my fave shown here... oh yeah, please buy lots of copies so I don’t get sued!)! I’ve also seen you mention that the title also had to do with the economy when you started; is that still the case?
I kept seeing the phrase ‘A Sitting Duck’ in newspaper headlines. It made me think that if I could buy the domain name then it would have instant traffic as its a popular term!

Also, the motor industry was not the best place to work back in 2008 and I’m not sure what its like now. But I can tell you, lots of the sales guys felt like sitting ducks! I’m hoping though that there will be a day people when people hear the phrase and will just think of an animation company! ;]

I’m impressed with your list of ‘to-do’s’ for 2011 (shown here on the ‘fridge’)! How are you approaching these projects from a balance and manageability (sanity?) stand-point?
Sure, with the 2011 goals there is a lot of work involved! What I've decided to do is launch the e-guide then roll the money made from that into the toy production. After that, we’ll invest the profits from the toys in order to start the video game production.

But I definitely wanted to set big targets so that it will push the team.

Tell us a little bit more if you will about launching the E-guide and as well Candy Skool? I’m curious in part because this seems in a small way like you’ll be inviting even more competition into the fold?
Last year we targeted building an email list that has now reached over 25,000 subscribers! So the product launch will hopefully go well.

My thought is that lots of animators would love to see more finished work on-line. So, in this area, competition is good!

In terms of "Candy Skool", this will be a membership web-site rather than a "one-off" payment. When this is ready there will be some awesome templates and coding set up for that. ;]

Also in terms of competition, do you really get the feeling there’s ‘competition’ per se for your video offers? Or is there such a wide grab-bag of possibilities out there that you just basically have smooth sailing as long as your offers are good and continue to bring in old and new fans alike?
I think we have established a unique character on-line now, so people will Google the name, no problem. I have seen an increase in searches over the last 12 months and it seems to be getting better.

In terms of our different marketing targets: if we price the products fairly and set up a customer services department, I really feel we should be OK.

Continued in Part 2

And He's Got Lots of Friends!

An Interview with Video Creator and Entrepreneur David Edwards

Part 2 of 2 (link to Part 1)
Click on any image to verbiggen

David, your focus on toy production also sounds very exciting! How are you approaching the move from 2-D to 3-D realisation? Will this be focused on ‘Candy’ or do you have in mind to introduce previously unseen characters as well?
With the toys, I think its best to start with Candy and see what happens from there. We did do a Megasaur 64 render last year and we had lots of emails asking to buy it!

The renders of both M64 and Candy (both shown here) look so real! It’s really awesome work!

What target audience are you going for with the toys? For example, are you aiming for more eclectic collectibles (high quality, low volume) or should we expect to see your products soon in a Happy Meal near us?
I like to check out the
Kidrobot stuff in London when I get the chance. My target then is to follow them in terms of low volume (Max 1,000), perhaps also producing a smaller version of the same toy at a higher production level.

Getting back to your current bread and butter: Can you tell us please a little bit about how Candy and his (her?) friends came to be?
Growing up, my next door neighbour had 2 dogs named "Griff" and "Candy". So that's where the names are from.

I sketched the original drawings and then emailed an ink version to Luke Hyde. Luke is very creative and he designed Megasaur 64 which looks class! We started with Candy, Neon Boy and Griff and built it up from there.

How long does each Candy episode take to create?
From the first steps in the sketchbook to the actual upload itself, I’d say it takes around 6 months total.

You’ve also mentioned with deserved pride that the number of hits on YouTube as well as the number of subscribers you have continues to rise impressively. What do these factors mean to either you as a ‘design person’ or to your group from a business perspective? Is that even a measure-able factor at this stage in terms of either exposure or eventually business success?
With YouTube being the top site for videos, I think that we could see some great opportunities in the future. Already there are televisions being sold around the world with access to YouTube.

So looking ahead, this could significantly raise the profile for on-line animations and other video producers on the Internet.

I also very much enjoyed reading
‘12 Ways To Get 1,000 YouTube Subscribers & Make Your Videos Go Viral’ where you stated:

“YouTube” is a slow game, lots of channels are portrayed in the media as “overnight” success stories. If you can think of it as a 5 year journey and you enjoy the process of making and promoting videos then you will have a successful channel and the knock on effect is a successful web-site!”

How well do you think you’ve stuck to your own advice in this regard?
I still very much believe that f you produce a quality collection of videos over the space of 5 years, you should have no problem hitting a million views.

I recommend a book by
Gary Vaynerchuk called ‘Crush It!’ for more information! ;]

Looking ahead then even beyond your 2011 list:

Is ‘Candy’ going to be your ‘end-all’ production focus in terms of videos?
The end goal for Candy will be as the star of the Facebook Game mentioned. We are currently working on ideas with
Sean T. Cooper.

Check out his site, I highly recommend the zombie game, ‘

How long of a run do you think we’ll see of Candy then?
It's still the early days, both for the videos themselves and getting started on the video games for Facebook. We'll just have to wait and see...

What about your part in the Webfactore? Where is that side of the business taking you?
www.webfactore.co.uk is a well-established business that has been running for over 5 years.

My department is SEO (search engine optimisation) at the moment. So I'm learning new search engine tips and also working closely with a lot of exciting UK business owners. Its a good place to be!.

Long-range where would you like to see ‘A Sitting Duck’, ‘Candy’ and/or even just li’l old David Edwards?
My plan is to build "Candy Skool" (make sure you’re a subscriber to get the latest news!!) and make that a great resource for animators. I very much enjoy the building stage and seeing ideas work!


David Edwards is a large part of the push behind the ‘Candy the Magic Dinosaur’ video series which is busy going viral on YouTube as we speak! When he’s not busy sketching new ideas and making videos about Candy and his amazing powers or Megasaur 64 and his Terminator-like temper, he’s in charge of the SEO department at the Webfactore.

Again, be sure and sign up for the current newsletter and YouTube feeds, especially in order to be first in line for the pending Candy Skool activities! Link up today and let your silly side out to play!

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All pictures, videos and other media are used with written permission of David Edwards, including all current or previous business affiliations related to same, or are available in the public domain (noting copyright and other restrictions, accordingly). No further reproduction or duplication is permitted without contacting the artist directly.

Some pictures have been modified slightly or combined only for the purpose of space limitations.