Happy May the Fourth from Designer Daddy!
Concepción Studios is a California-based graphic design studio that specializes in vintage-style prints, posters and photographs for its music industry clients. They’ve worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, MUSE and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, merging 60s-style design with contemporary irony and whimsy.
Yet it’s the studio’s Etsy store that drew my attention on this most blessed of holidays. The shop features, among other things, an out-of-this-world collection of Star Wars-inspired prints. Let’s take a stroll through the gallery, shall we?…
My favorite is this set of Princess Leia and Han Solo silhouettes. Click to enlarge and read the obvious, yet hilarious, captions.
I was introduced to Mr. Spatucci by Rob Kelley (AKA: Keeper of The Aquaman Shrine), who noticed I was profiling various designer dads and thought his friend Steve would be a good guy to blog about. Hailing from the great state of New Jersey, Steve is a fellow comic book fan nerd and an awesome illustrator! He also has a darn-tootin’ cutie of a son. (Ask him to see pictures—he posts them weekly!)
Q&A with designer dad Steve Spatucci
Tell me briefly about your design business: how long in business, what kinds of clients you have and/or work you specialize in.
I started doing freelance illustration back in the early 90′s, after I’d graduated from college. In those pre-Internet days, I’d do sample black and white illustrations, which I’d make into little photocopied booklets. I’d look through magazines, local newspapers and publishers at Borders and Barnes & Noble, compiling my own contact list, then I’d mail the books out. My first professional job came from one of those mailings. The art director for a gem and jewelry magazine, Lapidary Journal, liked my style and hired me for an editorial illustration. I wound up working for them off and on for almost ten more years.
I got a website up in 1997, and started doing more freelance design (mostly for print) and logo work as well as illustration. As Flash developed, I started using it for animation, and by the early 2000′s I’d learned to program in ActionScript and started developing games and interactive demos. I also started doing more website design. I incorporated my business, Plasmic Studio L.L.C., in 2003. I continue to do all of those things – design for print and web, identity, illustration, animation, online demos and game development. I’ve also done voiceover work, music composition, video editing and writing. I love the variety of work, and I really love a project that lets me incorporate those multiple disciplines. I do a lot of work for startups now, but some work also comes from larger, more established businesses that might need an updated identity, an interactive demo or some other type of creative project.
Okay, I was just gonna post this photo and be done with it, but then I started poking around to see if I could post a link of where to buy JJ’s awesome Darth Vader tee (which, by the way, I unknowingly dressed him in this morning — on the unofficial Star Wars holiday). Couldn’t find it anywhere, so I searched the Googles and came upon this…
I spooked the dog with my multiple “OH MY GOD”s at how adorable these are. Painfully cute stuff. Visit Mi Cielo’s Etsy shop and check out the full line of tees and infant bodysuits (some of which come with matching rattles).
In addition to several more Star Wars designs, there’s a gaggle of other pop culture icons to make you giggle: Optimus Prime, Thor, Mr. T, Ron Burgundy(!), and Totoro to name a few (yes she also has bunnies and pirates and Elmo for you less-adventurous types). Of course I’m begging her for an Aquaman. Each is custom made in Hawaii, so they ain’t cheap. But seriously, can you put a price on something this delightful?
(PS: Several come in adult sizes, too!)
If you’re wondering “Who the heck is Dicken Schrader?” you’ve obviously not seen this video:
That’s Dicken (a video producer from Bogotá, Colombia) with his kids Milah and Korben — also known as DMK — rocking one of their three Depeche Mode covers. I’m a lifelong Depeche Mode fan (as is Papa) and the night I came across this video we sat in bed watching and laughing so hard at how incredible it was. In addition to being amazed by the video’s cleverness and creativity, I was equally intimidated by this dad’s dedication to raising some seriously talented offspring. Dude has set the bar seriously high. I hunted Dicken down and he generously agreed to do a DDQ&A about all things DMK.
Q&A with designer dad Dicken Schrader
Tell me briefly about how DMK got started.
It just happened very naturally. My kids grew up listening to whatever I listen to, a lot of it being Depeche Mode and other electronic music. They really get into the melodies and love trying to emulate them on our keyboard. When we did our first video, “Shake the Disease,” we never thought we would do more than one, but the kids loved doing it and we just kept on going.
Why Depeche Mode?
Depeche Mode is my all-time favorite band since I was in high school. It was the band that really got me into music and it has been the soundtrack of my life ever since.
Looking chronologically at the 3 videos you’ve done, it’s great to see the increased involvement and musical skill of the kids. How old are Milah and Korben, and how do each of them contribute to DMK?
The kids are getting better and better with each video — their musical abilities growing steady. Milah is 8, loves to play the recorder and is about to take up flute. She’s very responsible and helps me keep Korben in line when we’re practicing. Korben, 5, is a little keyboard virtuoso and is amazing at keeping a beat. He’s also the diva of the band, the one most likely to throw a fit in the studio.
I can’t believe another year has zoomed past, and with that a toddler that’s learned to zoom quite a bit on his own! To recap, here are a few of JJ’s favorite things from 2011…
Sadly, Labor Day weekend is now behind us, which means summer is over, both astronomically and emotionally. So now it’s time to pull out the Christmas decorations, buy eggnog in bulk, and start bargain hunting for Snuggies or whatever asinine infomercial piece of crap will be the go-to White Elephant gift this year.
Okay, so I’m exaggerating a teensy bit. But certainly Halloween is already being shoved down our throats. Candy corn has been on sale at CVS for a couple of weeks now, but I refuse to buy it until the month has a “-BER” at the end. My sweet tooth does have some standards.
Another sign that autumn is lurking around the corner is this frightening catalog we received in the mail recently. Not frightening in a Pinhead kind of way, but more of a Twilight meets Toddlers and Tiaras* kind of way.
A while back a friend shared a link to an out-of-this-world adorable alphabet a designer had illustrated for his impending son. More on those ABC’s in the interview below with brand-spanking-new dad, Brandon Peat…
Q&A with designer dad Brandon Peat
Tell me briefly about your design business and what kinds of clients you have.
I graduated from college in 2007, and was soon hired by a prominent ad agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana as an Art Director. I gradually expanded into the role of Interactive Developer as well, and after two and a half years decided to strike out on my own. That was January 2010, and I’ve been successfully full-time freelance since then – now operating as Brandon Peat Design, LLC.
I specialize in illustrative design and interactive Flash development, though I have experience in every area of design and enjoy being able to bounce between them as the job requires. My main clients are design agencies who lack a full-time web, Flash, or video specialist, but I’m always engaged in a smattering of jobs from individuals as well. I’m always looking for new clients, too!
How long have you been a dad? How many kids? Ages?
I am a new dad! My first son, Tycho Maximus Peat, is about four months old. We definitely plan on having more, but hopefully not for a while yet!