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Episode 11 – Stefan Bucher

November 3, 2009

344 Design

Episode 11 of the Escape From Illustration Island Podcast features an audio interview with Stefan Bucher of 344 Design.  Stefan is an Illustrator, Designer, Art Director, and the creator of the popular blog, The Daily Monster, which became an interactive online sensation virtually overnight.  Together we discuss creation stories, the art of wearing many hats, stumbling well, respectability forcefields, dinosaurs with rockets, and the giveaway of his newest book, The Graphic Eye, which is a collection of the photography of Graphic Designers.  Stay tuned for the end of our conversation to find out how to enter!

I also announce the winner of the latest EFII giveaway of Holly DeWolf’s book, Breaking Into Freelance Illustration, along with many other exciting developments at Escape From Illustration Island.

Here are links to some of the things mentioned on the show:

344 Design
Stefan Bucher Illustration
The Daily Monster
The Daily Monster YouTube Channel
100 Days of Monsters
All Access
The Graphic Eye
Under Consideration
Speak Up
Ze Frank
Holly DeWolf
EFII Podcast Episode 10
Breaking Into Freelance Illustration
Best of EFII – October 2009
EFII Community Member of the Month – October 2009
EFII Illustration Resource Library
How to Create a Custom Avatar on EFII
Amanda Crawford

Audio Editing Provided by

Whiskey Sound

28 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2009 6:47 PM

    Nice interview, great guest. Politics ends up in some of my work. Gets me to use photoshop. It’s probably the only way I’ll use the program and experiment, which makes it more fun than a task to learn.

    • November 3, 2009 7:55 PM

      I’m curious. What is it about politics that gets you to use photoshop?

      • November 3, 2009 9:29 PM

        hi thomas,
        thanks for asking – it’s mostly a way to create easy and slightly thought-out satire on topical and historical issues by using a combination of myths or mythical characters juxtapose current events or stuff I see, read or observe around me.

        (is there a German word for that Stefan?)

        I figure since no one else is paying attention I can have a bit of a laugh and still feel like I’m learning something and contributing to the future of humanity. it also allows me to fine tune my skills in smart-assishness so, rather than being boorish in social situations I appear slightly more clever. as you can see I have a lot to learn, a long way to go and in need a web site.

    • November 3, 2009 10:15 PM

      Ah, now I understand. There’s a lot to be said for learning to be cleverly smartassish. Thanks for sharing.

  2. November 3, 2009 10:13 PM

    Here’s my experience with working in a medium besides Illustration. In my case, I spent a few years as a singer/songwriter in Northern California, where I learned quite a bit about how to create, as well as how to promote yourself as an artist. You can check out the full story of The Bearded Musician from Northern California here:

    I’m looking forward to hearing everyone else’s experiences.


    • November 5, 2009 8:25 PM

      Wow! talk about multifaceted! One of these Days Thomas you will have to post an example for all of us to listen to. :o)
      Love what you have going here and I hope the community continues to grow!

  3. scott permalink
    November 4, 2009 10:21 AM

    My experience is with laying ceramic tile. It is tedious and mundane but requires attention to detail and accuracy. Some of the tiles have abstract markings or patterns, that often when just focusing on one spot will conjure up a bunch of various images. This is where I often get thoughts of images or charaters to illustrate. I guess it requires a vivid imagination to get past the monotony of laying tile.

    • November 4, 2009 11:38 AM

      Thanks for sharing, Scott. That’s a great example. Do you want to share a website address or other way of contacting you in case you win the giveaway?

  4. November 4, 2009 7:12 PM

    When I was in highschool I stopped focusing on drawing for a few years and took up music – I learnt to play the double bass and the cello and I participated in all the school bands. I even formed a jazz group with some friends and we played all around Melbourne at public venues and private parties/functions. I think that experience has really helped my art too!

    I also look to graphic design for inspiration – I get really excited by beautifully designed things, especially minimalism. Web design and print/typography that has that touch of sophisticated ‘simplicity’ is something I love and respect. I’m not really sure why, when I look at something that’s awesomely designed and intricate and detailed, I don’t get that same feeling. I think it’s to do with discipline; the designer can make something beautiful without going nuts about detail, which is admirable.

    I enjoyed this week’s interview, thanks Stefan and Thomas!

    • November 5, 2009 8:32 PM

      Hey Mell I love your work! Simplifying is something I really need to work on. Your work inspirers me to try.
      Isn’t there a way to add a next button on your slide show? I’d love to be able to flip from one to the next.
      Great Stuff! Thanks for sharing!

      • November 10, 2009 2:26 AM

        Hey Samual, thank you!

        I’m sure there’s a way to add a slideshow/next button with Lightbox, I’ll have to look into that – I’m working on a new more permanant website design so I will definately keep that in mind. :)

  5. Mike Shoaf permalink
    November 4, 2009 9:17 PM

    I have really enjoyed these last few podcasts, Thomas. Listening to this one earlier today inspired me to jot down some of my thoughts on my own ancillary creative outlet.

    In short, banging sheetmetal on my 1952 Chevrolet continues to surprise me at how creative that process is.

    Here’s the blog post:

    And thanks for yet another great podcast!

    • November 4, 2009 9:41 PM

      Thanks, Mike. That’s a great blog post. I’m hoping that this contest helps Illustrators to create content for their blogs that they wouldn’t otherwise create.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the show as well. Is there anything you’d like to request for future episodes?


  6. November 4, 2009 10:10 PM

    So, I originally went to school at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art to be a comic book artist. Ended up taking a year off because I ran out of money and had to pay some bills and save up for my second year. When I came back to register for year 2, I ran into a bunch of my classmates were were now finishing up their second year, and everything I heard, from all of them, was that the comics market was in a bad spot.

    Heeding their warning, I switched majors to animation for my second year and I’m actually very glad I did. It taught me to draw from a completely different point of view. Being able to take combine the illustration techniques I’d been learning my whole life with the animation techniques I learned that year, my skills developed at a rate I never would have thought possible, and I gained all sorts of new insight into the creative and production process.

    I no longer animate, it wasn’t really for me, but the lessons learned there have served me very well not only in my own art, but in liaising between the two different groups when necessary.

    • November 5, 2009 6:58 AM

      That’s a great example. I would think that when drawing for animation, you might focus even more on gesture and expression, as well has creating more drawings than you might with Illustration. Is this true?

      Thanks for participating!

      • November 6, 2009 5:15 AM

        So, yeah, there was a lot more emphasis on gesture and body language, and pushing the pose beyond what seems natural. When your drawings are moving, a lot of the time you want your extreme drawings (your Marvel moments – see How to Draw the Marvel Way) are just beyond what looks natural, but it adds so much life to a scene when you can do that. When returning to illustration, you can bring the same principle with you, just make sure it doesn’t look too extreme.

        Just getting into the habit of drawing ‘through’ everything, because you had to be ready to move and rotate it is a plus. A lot of illustrators will ‘cheat’ when its convenient because it doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to drawing things through.

        Also, when illustrating, you try to decide the single most expressive moment and draw that, but when animating, you pretty much have to go through all of the moments, so there’s a lot more exploring all of the in-between stuff that illustration tends to ignore or sideline.

  7. November 5, 2009 9:06 AM

    I’ve worked in the sign business for about ten years. There are moments where creativity comes into play, but for the most part, it’s a lot of making other people’s (bad) designs bigger. The most useful thing I’ve learned is using vector graphics and text.

    Also, playing in bands is super fun and a great creative outlet. I’ve been able to make tons of vinyl banners and stickers for free. That’s one small perk of my sometimes frustrating day job. :)

    Another great podcast. Thanks, Thomas and Stefan!

  8. November 5, 2009 8:38 PM

    What a Great Idea Thomas. I hope you get a lot of responses to this thread. It’s like a whole new world opening up for a hopeful like myself. Here is my contribution.

    • November 5, 2009 8:55 PM

      Great and thoughtful blog post, Samuel. Thanks for taking the time to do that, and for the great EFII plug. Yay Escapees indeed!


    • November 5, 2009 9:11 PM

      Hello Samuel. Nice blog and OUWANGALAYMAH looks awesome. Unfortunately, I am on a really slow computer right now, but I’ll definitely be back to poke around a bit and follow any new posts. Good stuff.

  9. November 5, 2009 11:37 PM

    Awesome interview! Very inspiring. Makes me want to remove myself completely from licensed illustration. Keep it up Thomas! makes the work grow stronger.

  10. batteryjuicer permalink
    November 8, 2009 5:30 PM

    The medium that inspires me other than the one I am always working in is puppetmaking. I love it. It has turned into what drawing used to be before it was a job (I still love it). Thanks for everything you do Thomas.

  11. November 8, 2009 7:48 PM

    having spent 10 years as a designer i let all the information flow into my illustrations wherever it can. especially in composition. investigating movie stills also helps.

  12. theadamhayes permalink
    November 9, 2009 1:36 AM

    I’ve recently started making short films using the camera on my mobile phone. The video quality on most mobile phones is perfectly adequate now and as you always have your phone on you it makes it much more of an organic process than carrying a regular camcorder around.

    I sometimes use the tripod for my SLR camera to set up shots by attaching my phone with masking tape. It’s a great creative process trying to compile all the little scraps of footage you collect over the course of time into a compelling narrative.

    It almost feels like the ‘Ghettomation’ of film making!

  13. Aithene permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:45 PM

    I’ve been running around like crazy this week and got caught behind. Finally finished this ep and at the end was wondering what your fav quote was. Then after it was all done, there was a stray snippet about a Dino with three rockets. I take it that was the favorite quote?


  1. A blog dedicated to illustration » Blog Archive » Win a Signed Copy of The Graphic Eye by Stefan Bucher
  2. The Bearded Musician From Northern California « Thomas James Illustration – Portland, OR
  3. Tweets that mention Episode 11 – Stefan Bucher « Escape From Illustration Island – Illustration Resources and Community --

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