Interview: Tristan Eaton for STGCC 2012

What was the first thing you ever drew?
The first things I remember drawing were monsters. I used to draw really brightly colored monsters!

What’s the most memorable mural you’ve ever worked on? 
I was lucky enough to paint a mural in the Palace of Versailles outside Paris. It was a crazy setting to make a big, sloppy painting! Good fun. It was all gold and chandeliers and there was my dirty spray paint mural in the middle of it all.

What do you do when you’re stuck in a creative rut?

I don’t force it. I’ll eat, read, watch a movie, or most importantly, move on to a project that is working for me. The good energy of another project will sometimes jump start the one I’m stuck on.

One of your major starting works was a toy design for Fisher Price. We’re curious—what toy was it?

Ha! It was Smokey the Fire Dog for the Rescue Heroes series. I had done many rough designs before that, but they weren’t actually produced.

You were commissioned some work for Barack Obama. Tell us about that.
It was a major honor. I was hired to design three posters for Obama’s campaign. I was able to attend a Presidential Ball and see D.C. politics up close. It was really valuable for me. It also made my mother very proud!

What are some of your favorite design books?
I love Chris Ware, Ashley Wood and James Jean. I buy all the books they put out. Every single one!

What is it about New York City that made you decide to focus your design work there?
It’s such a harsh place to live. Only the best survive, so I wanted to see if I was one of the best! I always like a challenge and that was the biggest I could imagine. After five hard years, things started to go well for me.

Is this your first time at STGCC? What do you think of the creative scene in Asia?
Yes, it’s my first time! I’m very excited! My work has always been inspired by anime and manga, so I always love visiting Asia. I also love the new modern artists that are coming out of Asia like Takashi Murakami, Ai Weiwei and Chiho Aoshima.

What advice would you give to a designer or artist who wants to show the world his work?
Just be honest with yourself. Make art you love that is original to you and who you are. No one can ever take that away from you.
The Singapore Toy, Games, Comic Convention 2012 happens on September 1-2, 10am at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Center. Tickets are $15-50 from the STGCC website.