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Posts Tagged ‘Lightning Round’

Lightning Round with Matt Cipov (aka Matty8080)

April 22nd, 2010

I stumbled upon the art of Matt Cipov a few months ago when looking for Year of the Tiger items… and I ended up getting lost in his world for a long while. It was a mesmerizing, somewhat creepy and thoroughly inspiring while, and with every piece I saw, I knew I wanted to know more about Matt and his work. The ghoulish characters, animal masks and teems of hands, all drawn with amazing linework and detail — I challenge you to visit his shop or website and not get caught up in his work for a spell. More about Matty8080:

1. How and when did you start getting into and making art?
I’ve been drawing since I was a toddler.  It’s always been my favorite activity and since I was a little boy, I knew I was supposed to grow up and be an artist.

2. How did you make the jump to being fully self-employed and selling your work online?
I freelanced for a bit right out of college and then I spent several years working at art desk jobs. When the corporate world got too oppressive, I decided to go self employed.


3. Introvert or extrovert?
When I am focused on art, I am 100% introvert.  When I let myself take a break, I convert to at least 60% extrovert.

4. What are your preferred/trusted art tools/supplies (hands-on and/or digital)?
My only 2 time tested tools of preference are: my Pilot BPS fine ballpoint pen and the Sharpie brand fine point black marker.  Everything else is used on rotation.

5. What was the first concert you ever went to?
It was a combo tour show for the MONKEES and Weird Al Yankovic.  The year was 1987.

6. Something tells me you don’t have a “typical day”… so what is a sample “day in the life” of Matty Cipov?
Wake up, check and respond to emails. Update my sites (Twitter, Etsy, Flickr). Surf the web a bit.  Work on bits and pieces of various projects unless something is crucial, or a due date is close.  Spend some time brainstorming on new ideas.  Prep packages for things ordered from my online store. Then after 5pm I am in full on DAD mode.


7. Why “8080”?
After my father died in late 2003, I needed something to recharge my love of art.  I decided to start blogging and I mysteriously did so under the screen name 808080.  The number 80 has stuck ever since.  Why?  I love numbers (but I am terrible at math).

8. Happiest kid memory?
This is a tough one!!!  It is a toss up between:  the 2 times I went to Florida with my family… various times hanging out on my Grandparents’ farm… or the time when I was a toddler and my dad took me out lilac picking in a field.

9. If you had the time, what’s something you’d work at improving or learning?
I wish I knew coding.  It would be so nice if I could update or rebuild my website without any help.

Photo 410. You live in Milwaukee… How did you end up there and what do you like best about it?
I was born in Milwaukee, WI, grew up in Waukesha, WI and now I am in Milwaukee (probably to stay).  I like Milwaukee because it doesn’t overly strive to be hip.  It is a good place to just be yourself and feel like you have a voice.  I also like the
Milwaukee art scene.  It is very friendly and not at all competitive.

11. What is your kryptonite?
I have a weak spot for food.  I have this weird, almost ancient Roman style need to enjoy food of all kinds as often as possible. The day should have 5 or 6 meal times in it.  That would be awesome.  Maybe it helps that no matter how much I love food, I haven’t put on any weight since college (knock on wood) and that is a nice thing to be able to say at age 33.

12. You make music and used to play in numerous bands — what’s the story about this side of your life?
I’ve always been a keyboard buff.  Eventually I taught myself how to make music.  That led to home solo recordings and eventually I joined various bands.  As of now, music has been put on pause.  It’ll be back soon.

Photo 53

13. You use a lot of vintage stamps in your work; how do you decide which ones to use? (ie. are the dates legit?)
I have collected dozens of stampers over the years and what I use now are the ones that I enjoy filling empty spaces in my art with.  I like how they complete compositions.  And yes, when I date stamp my art, the date is the time of completion of the drawing.  I used to do it much more often.  Now I save it for occasions, or art that happen to feel special to me.

14. When/where/how do you get your best ideas for your art?
It is always so random.  Ideas come to me in little bits and bites.  That is probably why my art tends to be so stark, and small format.  If I don’t commit them to paper quickly, the ideas often get lost in my head.

15. Most often visited website(s)?

16. Worst job you ever had?
My art desk job from that lasted from the early to mid 2000’s.

17. I’m intrigued by the fact that you plan to release a comedy album… Who makes you laugh?
Todd Barry… Bill Hicks… Lenny Bruce… Patton Oswalt… Tim and Eric… The Frogs… David Cross… Zach Galifianakis… Longmont Potion Castle… Richard Pryor… the list is huge, as is my comedy album collection.

SIDESHOW FOLLIES full color print

18. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
I haven’t done Karaoke for a long time, but I used to fall back on a lot of White Stripes, David Bowie, The Cars… lots of stuff.  If I had to do some Karaoke right now, I’d probably choose a Kiss song.  My son Max and I love Kiss!

19. What are you most proud of right now?
I am proud that after almost 4 and a half years of being a self employed artist, things just keep getting better and better and I am having the most fun I’ve had in my entire life.

20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
I am Matty Cipov, I make art.
I am a silly goose.

Well, this is seriously the most talented silly goose I’ve ever met. Thanks so much for playing along and getting my drawing sensibilities all riled up, Matt — you have yourself some mad art skills.

Everyone else… feel free to decorate your head or your desktop with one of Matt’s masks or wallpaper. I’m totally rocking the giraffe face right now.

etsy.com , ,

Lightning Round with Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks

March 29th, 2010

In this age of living on our computers, I still make sure to always have a nice sketchbook on hand. There’s something about putting things down on paper that can’t be replaced by anything electronic… Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks has a special relationship with paper, and her creations are drool-worthy. I’ve bought a couple of her books (one for my sister-in-law, one for me) and was impressed with how well-made and beautiful they were. Take a look for yourself, while we have our little Q&A.

1. How and when did you start bookbinding and paper marbling?
I started bookbinding in 2001; paper marbling didn’t happen until 2008.

2. How did you make the leap to making this your full time gig and selling your work online?
When my son was 2-years-old, I went back to work full-time to an office job. That lasted 5 months. During that time, I discovered Etsy and realized that I could probably manage without the “real job” and I wouldn’t have to miss so much of my son’s childhood!

Brown Suede Leather Diary - Replica Medieval Limp Leather Book Structure

3. Introvert or extrovert?
Depends on the situation, but mostly extrovert.

4. Ideal lazy Sunday?
Hanging out with my family.

5. You used to be a librarian; what’s your favourite book?
There’s no single favorite. But a few that always come to mind when I get this question: Frankenstein by Shelley, A Fine Balance by Mistry, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Hardy, Catch 22 by Heller.

6. What is your kryptonite?
Ice cream.

7. Where do you get the supplies you use to make your books?
I try to shop locally as much as possible but there are some things that just aren’t available here so I have to shop online too.

Lime Suede Mini Journal

8. You live in lovely Halifax… How did you land there and what’s your favourite thing about it?
After a few years of commuting to work, driving for over and hour to Halifax every morning and another hour back home every night, I moved to Halifax to eliminate that commute. Walking to work was so much nicer! My favorite thing about Halifax is our proximity to the ocean, seeing sailboats and gigantic cruise ships and Theodore Tugboat whenever we want to.

9. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Kim Mitchell

10. Happiest kid memory?
I grew up on a dairy farm and the best memories are hot summer afternoons that smelled like fresh cut hay and the hay elevator clanging in the background.

11. What’s the last movie you saw in a theatre, and did you like it?
Avatar…it was better than I expected.

12. Worst job you ever had?
Waitress at a Pizza House, as the new hire, I always had the late shift with all the crazies looking for food after the bars closed. I didn’t stay there very long.

13. What’s your most popular item?
Lately, my Bookbinding Kit has been very popular.

14. Any suggestions or words of advice to other Mom’s who wish they could turn their hobby into a business?
Take it seriously; get the support of the people around you; dedicate time to your business so that you have official working hours.

15. If you had the time, what’s something you’d work at improving or learning?
I would continue to study book arts. It would be a dream to go to Eurpoe to study bookbinding.

16. Dream vacation spot (barring logistical / budget limitations! ;)?
Various locations in Europe where I could visit libraries and see books significant to the history of bookbinding.

Oak Wood Journal

17. What’s your go-to dish to bring to a potluck?
Spinach Salad with my own homemade dressing. MMMM.

18. What do you like best and least about being your own boss?
Best – I don’t have some boss telling me what to do. Least – Nobody sends me a bi-weekly paycheque!

19. What are you most proud of right now?
My kid. And the new kid that is due in June. Making books is easy in comparison to this parenthood stuff.

20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
I am so glad that Spring is here.

Primordial Wave - hand marbled paper

Find out more about Rhonda and her handiwork:

Thanks for playing along, Rhonda — and a big woohoo to you as you count down to bambino #2!

etsy.com , , , ,

Lightning Round with my big sis Serena (who draws :)

March 4th, 2010

When we were kids, I took for granted how much my sister Serena would play with me and all the things she did — like creating an entire make-believe game that revolved around me having 100 horses, or spending hours drawing multi-page murals of animals and people on that folding computer paper from the 80’s. I was one lucky kid, and still know that I have the world’s rockingest big sister. Before I get any mooshier, I’ll just move onto the 20 q’s and show you why I’m also so proud of her.

1. How and when did you start drawing?
I don’t ever remember NOT drawing so maybe as soon as I was able to pick up a pen/pencil, I just started doodling.

‘Animalbetized’ name print

2. Recently, you took a year off from the corporate world to delve more into your creative side; what was/were the most valuable lesson(s) from this?
That it’s okay to take the time to be good to yourself and feed your spirit (no matter how scared or doubtful you are about doing so). I’m back in the corporate world which I’m cool with but I’m so glad that I’ve laid some groundwork to keep my creative juices flowing.

3. Ideal lazy Sunday?
Sleep in a little bit, have a yummy breakfast (e.g. latte, fruit smoothie, bacon, oatmeal with apples and roasted almonds), go for a
walk and/or to the gym, veg out in the evening.

4. You are a HUGE foodie. What’s your favourite meal?
Bi bim bap, various pasta dishes, a good curry or roti, bacon and … oh, you just wanted one item? ;)

5. Introvert or extrovert?
A fine balance of the two with some tendencies towards introvert.

6. You put up a Creative Something Of The Day (CSOTD) on your blog everyday; can you tell us how this came about and how you get your ideas?
In 2008, I decided to leave my job to regroup and tap back into my artistic side. As I this timeline came to an end, I knew I wanted a vehicle that would help fuel my creativity and keep me drawing everyday – hence the birth of my Creative Something of the Day blog. I asked my guy=Marc=”CCS”=”Collaborative Creative Someone” to lend his support by giving me the words and phrases that my drawings are based on. It’s worked out really well (although I’m a few days behind right now thanks to the distraction of the Olympics!).

7. Worst job you ever had?
Probably working part-time in a real estate office in the evenings – BORING – but at least I got to read and draw.

8. If you had the time, what’s something you’d work at improving or learning?
Agh, so many things … I’ll stick to one for each. To improve: time management (I can be such a procrastinator!) To learn: Spanish

9. What is your kryptonite?
Baby animals or anything cute.

10. What’s the last movie you saw in a theatre, and did you like it?
Avatar – although the story was pretty unoriginal/predictable, I still enjoyed and marvelled in the animation/CGI and the 3D effects.

11. Have you made any new year’s resolutions for 2010? Not officially but have managed to get back into the gym regularly, started bringing my lunch more to work and am finally using one of those reusable mugs for my daily coffee.

12. How/when/where do you get your inspiration and best ideas for your illustrations?
Lately, it’s more about “in the moment” – like when I get my words for my CSOTD, or if someone asks me to come up with an idea for a drawing. I usually have an automatic idea/visual for the drawing but like to have a bit of time to mull it over to see what else pops up in my head.

13. You live in Toronto (boooo); what do you like least and best about it?
Love the convenience and availability of everything around and especially all the different cultures and foods. The busy-ness of it all can be fun but can also get on your nerves, like riding crowded subways and streetcars with cranky people. It’s alway a nice getaway to Ottawa where I find things greener, cleaner and calmer.

14. Happiest kid memory?
Getting candies/chocolates from our Grandmother whenever we asked – she always had a stash of it somewhere.

Cover of our uncle’s book, which Serena illustrated

15. You illustrated our uncle’s book (Journey to the West with the Stone Monkey) — congrats! What were the best and most challenging aspects of the project?
Thanks! Best part was being asked to be involved in such a special and personal project. One challenging aspect was making sure the characters stayed true to their traditional interpretation AND reflected my own style. I also wanted to make sure that my uncle “approved” of all the illustrations and was happy to have them accompany his writing.

… and one of the illustrations inside

16. Dream vacation spot (barring logistical/budget limitations! ;)?
I would say Belize, the Galapagos and Iceland are at the top of the list but I’d be pretty happy to get up and go just about anywhere right now!

17. Most often visited website(s)?
Mostly news sites, Youtube and your blog!

18. Chocolate or vanilla?
Give me a double – a scoop of each flavour!

19. What are you most proud of right now?
Having taken the time off to help get myself into a better headspace about so many things.

‘Animalbetized’ single letter S

20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
I am very grateful for so many things in my life: my health, a caring family, a thoughtful/supportive partner, a strong/close network of friends.

You can find out and see more about Serena and her talent:

Thanks for playing along, Serena — you are huge inspiration and one of the reasons I am where I am! Moosh moosh moosh :)

good peeps, in the memory bank , , , ,

© 2010 Emily Chen Design & Illustration. All Rights Reserved.