Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cartoons R Cool

The holidays are coming up and they are coming up fast. Hell! Thanksgiving is next week as crazy as that sounds!!! It's the time of year where people start running around looking for that perfect gift for someone special. Everyone wants to get something that will stand out whether that means getting something personalized, something to make the recipient laugh, or even just something that shows you really put thought into the gift. This time of year I always try to hit the smaller businesses that sell items you probably won't find anywhere else or make something myself. I think that handmade items always make great gifts and that is why sites like Etsy are so amazing. There is a wide variety of items that are handmade and there is always something for everyone. This site is also great for people that don't have time to run around and shop or aren't as lucky as me to have awesome boutiques all over the place with amazing items you can't find at your local department store.

I recently was approached by Brian, the owner of cartoonsRcool. He makes amazing printed items and mixed media art. I had a great time checking out his shop mainly because it feels like there is something for everyone in it. If you like art he has some prints for you to check out. Are you holiday shopping for your beer drinking uncle that likes to hunt? Well, check out his can coolies. He also makes prints for teachers, babies, and that crazy ghoul that loves Halloween. Talk about variety! I'm going to shut up now and let you get to know more about Brian and his work. Enjoy!

My name is Brian and I started cartoonsRcool in 1999. Many drawings, paintings and custom vinyl toys I created were endorsed with this name. In June 2012, I opened the cartoonsRcool Etsy shop.

 1. What sorts of items do you make and sell?

In short, Branded and Custom Clothing and Art. Initially, my shop featured a variety of t-shirts I designed. Some of these are cartoonsRcool branded while others are more of a custom order. The majority of my items can be personalized. One unique thing about my branded items is that they come with a cartoonsRcool Certificate of Authenticity with the official cartoonsRcool wax seal.

2. How long have you been making prints on shirts and how did you get started?

I have been printing shirts and other apparel for over 5 years. Initially, I worked with local schools, businesses and sports teams. After designing a shirt for myself (Tic Tac Toe Tee), I received a few comments from folks when I was out and about. I thought, “why not sell these on Etsy?”

3. How would you describe your process from getting an idea to the finished product ready for sale?

For some items, especially custom orders, sketches are done prior to jumping into Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. This allows for easy back and forth with clients. This process occurs for some of my branded items as well. A few of the cartoonsRcool items, such as the Adorable Disaster line, came to me at 2:30 on morning. I hopped out of bed, and designed these until about 5:00am.

4. I noticed that you are a relatively new seller to Etsy. What advice that you would to someone thinking about opening at Etsy shop?

Don’t give up if you don’t have any activity. I have a few friends and family members that are on Etsy as well. They thought about bailing after a few slow weeks. I advised they stick with it. Shortly after, things picked up.

This definitely isn’t the case all the time, but you need to make sure you have a market on Etsy. If you don’t, be sure to market your shop (word of mouth, social media, etc.).

5. I have noticed that you have some mixed media prints for sale in your shop. Is this type of item something that your fans can expect to see more of from your in the future?

Yes. I really like art with featuring a mix of real life and cartoon. If there is another element that I can bring into the piece, like I did on the Grimm Graveyard print you are referring to, I will definitely do so. For that piece, I used a blow torch to burn parts of each print prior to mounting to give it age and wear. I won’t have anything ready until early 2013. I am in the final stages of paper research for these prints, and I am really excited about the results.

6. Do you do custom prints?

I definitely can do custom prints. In addition to the items I sell on Etsy, I do freelance design work, including, but not limited to invitations, business cards, logos, etc. for various clients.

7. Are you working on anything new for the holidays that you would like to share with my readers? What is it?

I am working on a series of onesies for newborn/infants. I am also hoping to work on a few other collaborative projects for the holidays. I worked with art4bare walls earlier this year on my Dinosaurus Rex Tee.

8. I saw a Grimm Reaper image in some of your work. Why did you pick this symbol and what does it mean to you?

The mixed media print occurred as a result of the print ad I designed for the Grimm Tee. I really liked the way the image in the ad looked, thus this sparked the idea of the mixed media print.

9. Your shop is named cartoonsRcool. Where did the inspiration for this shop name come from?

I like cartoons and think they are cool, simple as that. Not all of my work will have a cartoon look or feel.

10. Do you have a favorite cartoon? (animated or print) What is it and why?

My all-time favorite is the original TMNT television cartoon. The combination of the cartoon and action figures helped seal this as my first choice.

11. Now you can't be interviewed by a ghoul without being asked a horror related question! What is your most favorite scary movie and why?

Aliens 2 would be my favorite, but the entire Alien and Predator series would take the cake if I could choose an entire series. Jurassic Park would be a close second, but I don’t know if that would count as a scary movie.

If you have any questions for Brian, want to know more about his work, or want to see what's in store you can check out all of the excellent sites he has that are related to his work!

Like Brian's Facebook Fan Page for cartoonsRcool
Follow him on Twitter: @_cartoonsRcool
Check out his website
See what's in store at his Etsy Shop
Find him on Storenvy

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