I would like to open this by thanking 64 Colors (Eric and Laura) for sitting down and taking the time to do an interview with us considering we are just starting out on our journey of covering urban vinyl toys and networking to reach as many artists as we can. So, without further ado, I bring you 64 Colors.
Urban Vinyl Daily: Would you mind telling us a little background about 64Colors?
64 Colors: We are located in Michigan. There are two of us (Laura and Eric). We are both are designers and illustrators with a background in publishing design. In 2008, business kind of stopped at least for us, so we thought we would try to do something new that we found interesting and rewarding… 64 Colors spun from that wish.
UVD: Would you mind telling us about some of the designs that were made when 64Colors was first starting up and how maybe things have progressed over the years?
64 Colors: This is just our second full year as 64 Colors. Marshall was our first design/illustration. A letter press print… then came the toy with Rotofugi and Squibbles Ink. We’ve been very fortunate especially with the toy. Marshall has opened a lot of doors.
UVD: How did the design idea for Marshall come about?
64 Colors: We wanted to make a letter press print. Just for fun… no expectations. So we drew characters and came up with a marshmallow boy whose name was Marshall. The sketch was made into the letter press print which was sold from our website. Marshall was well receieved and Rotofugi who we new from visiting their store in Chicago carried some prints. The prints sold well and so Rotofugi and Squibbles Ink said lets make a toy. The toy was produced very quickly which is unusual for vinyl. Looking back, the whole Marshall thing happened very quickly.
UVD: Of the 19 different designs that were featured as part of series one of Marshall, are there any stories as to how some of the designs came about? And which ones do you hold an especial affinity towards?
64 Colors: No great stories… We did about 50 designs for Marshall of which the 19 were chosen. Original is still our personal favorite. Simple with a nice personality.
UVD: Aside from Marshall, what have been some of your other adventures with designing?
64 Colors: 64 Colors: Everyday seems like an adventure or a gamble. We are essentially free lance for hire. Kind of like gypsies going from project to project. Juggling making money and art is an adventure.
UVD: After looking at some of the custom painted Marshalls and Munnys, did you guy receive any formal training/schooling, or is this all self-taught/natural gift?
64 Colors: 64 Colors: We both went to art school. Lots of design, illustration, drawing and painting classes.
UVD: Growing up or when establishing 64Colors, who were your major influences in the design world that helped shape 64Colors as we know it today?
64 Colors: Influences are many… and the list is very long. To make a list would be crazy as it would have to include everyone we ever went to school with plus every designer/illustrator/painter who ever lived. … it could be a worn advert on a building or a detail from a painting seen at a museum. Everyday, we see something new. We have sketchbooks filled with drawings and ideas.
UVD: I see that you participated in the “Small Gift” exhibit in LA, how was it designing a Hello Kitty style piece?
64 Colors: We were allowed to do pretty much what we wanted. Sanrio is very cool to work with. A dream gig really. Take an iconic character and do something with it… cool!
UVD: Are there any other shows/exhibits that you have participated in that were particularly memorable/influential?
64 Colors: I would say the first couple of custom shows were pretty influential in that the exposure we received was awesome! 1am San Fransisco “Into the Darkness show” and Rocketworld’s “IWG custom show” both curated by Drilone. Cool galleries and people. I think our work was good but without help from people and galleries, we would be sitting at home looking at our work all by ourselves.
UVD: Are there any future projects that you wish to discuss for the reader to keep their eyes open for in the upcoming future?
64 Colors: We have some cool stuff coming out in 2011. Several toys and some new products but nothing we can mention by name. Very exciting!
UVD: What would your encouragement/suggestion be for artists/designers that are either just starting out or are trying to get themselves noticed?
64 Colors: Obviously, go to the best school you can get into or afford. Exposure to art history and great teachers makes life a bit easier. Get to know people through shows, networking is important. Be professional and on time. Try to learn everyday forever. Draw, draw, and draw.
UVD: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Are there any parting words you wish to say to the reader?
64 Colors: Thank you to everyone for the opportunity to do something we really enjoy and appreciate! It’s not possible without you!