Can you tell me a little bit about your path to becoming the designer, illustrator, and screen printer behind Hey Monkey Design?

As a kid I wanted to be a disney animator so bad. But in the time where I feel you really develop your skills I stopped drawing when all the new hotness of computers came out. Talking late 80' early 90's. I got all caught up in faster, easy, NOW! But it did lead me towards graphic design so it had to be for a reason. I finally wised up and started getting those drawing skills back in order too! Pencil and sketchbook FTW!

What does a typical work day look like for you?

No such thing, lol! I will usually get into the office around 7:30, read up some emails and blog posts etc. Then just firing up the machine and knocking through the to-do list. If I have a lot of print jobs lined up (Oh yeah, I am now a screen printer too!) I will do a lot of the prep and production for that first thing so allow things to dry, settle, whatever they need to do. I also have my daughter every other week so some weeks I am out of the office at 3 and some I am there until well into the evening hours.

Was there ever a big mistake you made early in your career and were able to take something valuable from it?


If you could give one piece of advice to another designer or entrepreneur starting out, what would you say?

DO YOUR DAMN TAXES ON TIME. That is all. Seriously though. Make sure you always take time to just make for you. Create something that fills you with joy. Be your own best client ever. Don't forget to just play, DON'T COMPARE! Also, it's OK to copy someone else to explore and establish and find your way but you have to veer off and add that to your style and arsenal. We already have one Aaron Draplin and Von Glitschka. We do not need 13 more.

Can you remember one of the first things you designed or created that you were proud of?

I am going to plug myself and say my mascot, Squeegee the monkey. I think I nailed the vibe I was going for and have heard a lot of great feedback from the design community and clients as well! Fun fact.... My good friend Lydia Kuekes named him!

Now tell us why you chose to do this design and what it means to you?

I love monsters. Silly, gross and no limits or rules. I wanted something fun and when people looked at it they would know I did it (if they know me, not like I am famous or anything.) Just wanted to have some fun with it and do me.

Can you talk a little bit about the process that you used to make this piece?

I started out with a sketch. ALWAYS draw. But the idea had been floating in my head for a bit so it was easy to get it down on paper quick. The first idea was to make the shirt as if it was some Monster Drawing Club shirt you would have mailed off for back in the 70's or 80's. With cereal box tops and $3.95 for shipping and handling. But Looking at the other designs I did want to have be a uplifting statement but said in my own way. So once I had the sketch I took it into Illustration and built it all out. Last to fall in place was the copy.

Are you working on any new projects right now?

I am taking the years of monster drawings I have done for my daughter and making them into a thing. A little club. A Universe! A GALAXY! I have the brand just about ready and a few ideas brewing. Which leads is right into your next question I will bet! I can see the future... Also I can read ahead and knew what the next question was.

Design bucket list time: is there one creative experience or project you'd love to work on in the next couple years?

I would love to get my monster creations off the ground in a big way. Create a true brand that includes art, interior decor, toys, cartoons. I am slowly but surely working on it. Not fast enough for me though! But once you say it, IT WILL HAPPEN!