Friday, May 1, 2009

Meet Dustin Pike...


Thank you so much Dustin for doing this! I know for a fact that there are so many stampers and crafters out there who would love to know more about the man behind the dragons (as well as your other wonderful characters). So tell us a little bit about yourself, how long have you been drawing/doodling?
I have been drawing/doodling for as long as I can remember. Even my homework in school had more doodles in the blank parts than it did answers...In school I tried to have more art classes than any other, I don't get math, English was OK, but in art classes I knew what I was doing. I joined the US Air Force in 92 with the idea that I would do commercial art, advertising, something in a creative field and boy was I wrong. At Basic training I was informed I would be an AMMO troop, driving bombs and missiles around the flight line delivering them to the jets.I still doodled in the Air Force, designing tattoos for friends, drawing on the bombs before they were sent away. I just kept it going to keep up the practice.


What made you decide to debut into the stamping/crafting world?
About 10 years ago I worked for a printing company in Bountiful, Utah. I designed a whole line of clip art for the yearbooks that they published. After I left there, I found a few places to free-lance and do drawings here and there. 6 or 7 years ago I found a company that would scan and sell my designs for scrapbooks. I did that for a while and then learned how to do it all by myself and went out on my own. I drew a lot of moose, bears and bugs, but somewhere a dragon popped in, I don't remember exactly when but he was born and he's been a part of my art ever since. With my rubber and digi stamps a very good friend of mine Rikki (http://coconutloungecreations.blogspot.com/) sent me an email telling me I needed to look into rubber stamps, my style has clean crisp dark lines that would transfer over very well into the stamping world. I contacted a few companies, joined a few groups and have my first rubber set coming out May 2nd and the second set around the second week of may. In the meantime I found Digital Stamps. Drew a few, put them on Etsy just to test the waters and found myself dragged in...

You are obviously a talented and unique artist, was there a particular artist/illustrator that you liked growing up?
I am a cartoon junkie, still pay for premium satellite TV just to get cartoon network Boomerang. AND I have the imagination of a 6 year old. I think I was influenced by Disney of course, but also Hannah Barbera, The smurfs, anything Jim Henson did, mainly Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. On PBS there was a show called "the Secret City" a drawing show hosted by Mark Kistler, he's still around and on the web www.draw3d.com I learned so much from his show I think I might have borrowed some of my look and style from him, mixing it with a little Disney, Henson and anything else I could throw in there...

Since we've read that you have 2 little girls and are obviously outnumbered in your house, where did the inspiration for dragons, monkeys, and teddy bears come from?
I also have 2 boys, my youngest is ALL boy, holy cow, definitely keeps you on your toes, He is my buddy and my shadow, he has also rescued me from the world of tea parties, Bratz and dress up. We like Power Rangers, monster trucks, matchbox cars and anything alien and space related...My oldest is taking after me in the creative department, he is very imaginative and I will have to post a few things of his on my blog here in the near future...

So have your girls or your wife made any kind of character request for themselves?
I draw for my kids all the time, creating coloring pages for road trips to Disneyland. I also have a few older pieces that resemble them, or certain things about them, they each have custom
clip art and paper piecing in their scrapbooks as well.

What exciting ventures can we expect to see from your line in the future?
The one thing I haven't done and is a life long goal is to become an illustrator for children's books. As far as being popular enough to do school visits, I am not sure, I am deathly afraid of talking in front of groups of people even kids. I really don't do well in public speaking. I would like to see a book featuring my art or illustrations on the shelf at the local Barnes and Nobles or on a website...

Finish this sentence for all the Disney fans out there: It's the most perfect scenario - the weather is gorgeous, everyone's in a great mood, you get to Disneyland and the first thing you do is...
Head for Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted Mansion, no matter what new ride there is, it seems to be we always head in that direction first, no matter how many times we have ridden it, we always start there...next I hit the closest pin cart or store that carries pins, We are a crazy family of pin traders and I am a sucker for merchandise, I am a marketing directors dream client.

And finally, I just have to ask how the DT call went! Without spilling any secrets or revealing any names, give us an overall review of what that experience was like.
I am over 100 applicants right now. Choosing just 10 is not going to be fun. I thought I would get 30 at most making the decision hard, but do-able. I don't like saying no to people but there can't be 100 DT members...I plan on swapping the team in a few months, mainly to let those not chosen the first go around a chance to show their talents, I am blown away daily by the links and samples sent to me, the things people come up with using a doodle I drew while sitting in the car waiting for the girls to get out of dance class really blows me away...I also look at everything sent, even when I don't get a chance to comment on their blog, I try to do it, but there are days where all I'd do is blog hop and not get any drawing (or housework) done...

One last thing, I would really like to thank my family (sounds like I am winning and award) but seriously, my wife puts up with papers on the couch, roughs on the dining room table, drawing pads in the car and pencils here and there. Even when I am overwhelmed with art or things to do she helps me through. She puts up with a lot, but she inspires me to keep going. My kids as well, they put up with dad making them pose just to see how a charaters arms should look when folded or reaching for something. I owe a lot to them.

***************

Thank you so much Dustin for this interview! Your work is a breath of fresh dragon air to us all, I am so excited to see what the future holds for you as you are already a household name. And many thanks to your wife and her 'honey-do' lists, to your sons for their inspiration, and to your daughters and their dance rehearsals - they are an integral part of what you create! :D

To see more of Dustin's work, visit his BLOG (see the 4/30 post for 10 new fabulous digis) and his Etsy Store , as well as his NEW site HERE to order any of his designs. (Please note: I did not apply to Dustin's DT call. haha! I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to get on his good side by interviewing him. But the best of luck to all who entered, the announcement will be made on May 3rd.) Have a wonderful Friday everyone!
*Love and Aloha*

17 comments:

Ann said...

Joni I love Dustin's work (I put him on Inspirational)- what a fantastic interview - so interesting.
Thank you to both you and Dustin for doing it.

I can't wait to see the stamps and I just got to get some of those digi dragons. I've held back due to lack of pennies!
Ann xxx

Melissa Craig said...

What a wonderful interview! It's really nice to get a chance to meet the designer behind all the great images.

Ri said...

Great interview!!!!
In my book you have won many many awards, cause every time you draw something it puts a smile on somebody's face and THAT is an award in itself. You have touched so many people already with your art and will keep on doing so.
Hug your family and an extra big HUG to your wife for letting us have a part of you.

Rikki

CRYSTAL said...

Wow, that was very insightful.... I love to hear about people that I am in 'awe' of.... Dustin you ROCK!!!!! Joni, Love ya bunches...and sit down and prop up your foot already!!!!!! LOL

Dee said...

This was a great interview!!! It was awesome to learn about the man behind the Dragons. I'm a BIG Dustin Pike fan and was thrilled to find this interview. We love ya Joni even if you were trying to score extra brownie points (hehehe) :p - ...and Dustin you totally Rock. Your work is fabulous in every way possible!!!I'm past excited to hear about the DT announcement and the new rubber stamp set coming out - Have to have it NOW!!! lol

Jacilynn said...

Cool Joni! I love his images and cool to know more about him.

PaperCrafty said...

Great interview!!!

Jackie said...

Such a great interview!!!

Kerry said...

THanks Joni! Great interview! Silly me, I never knew those "awesome" images are from Dustin. All his image is amazing! Thanks for introducing his cute characters to me.

Jami {sgtStamper} said...

So cool Joni - how fun to get to know Dustin a little better!!

Gramrussell said...

Thanks for sharing. It was great!

Lora said...

Fab interview. It's great to find out a little more about Dustin. I love his images and can't image not using them in my cardmaking now that I have them. Can't wait to see who made the design team. Dustin you rock and thanks Joni for doing this interview.
Lora x

Brandi said...

Awesome interview! I love learning more about artists... especially ones that I admire so much! Thanks for doing the interview Joni and Dustin!!

Kim Dellow said...

Fab inteview :) Thanks Joni and Dustin. Kim

Barbara said...

Thanks Joni for a fab interview. This guy is getting BIG in the UK!
Barbara
x

kim said...

What a wonderful idea Joni, thanks for the great interview. I am a big DP fan and it was fun learning the behind the scenes stuff.

my5bratz said...

another DP fan here...fab interview, great to see a little of the man behind the "doodles" :0)