In the frozen wasteland of the Himalayas, there’s something cold, something icy, something…sugar-y. And it’s every Yeti’s favorite way to start the morning: Abominable Snow Flakes!
You don’t often look at a cereal box and think “canvas.” But we challenged our artists to do just that and to design a cereal box that would give Tony the Tiger and Lucky the Leprechaun a run for their money. And Artist Shop owner Michael “DinoMike” Buxton put a spin on corn flakes that makes them less abominable…unlike yellow snow cones.
We talked to Michael about his winning design, got a look at some of his sketches, and, of course, had him reveal his favorite gif. Check out his answers below! (No prize included.)
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Long time no talk! What have you been up to lately! Any projects you’re excited about?
Yeah, it’s good to be back! For the last few months I’ve been really busy with some book projects. One is an adult coloring book featuring geometric animals and the other is a children’s book I’m illustrating. They’re both super-secret though, so unfortunately I can’t really go into any details. Other than that, I’ve just been keeping busy cranking out tee designs (which, between you and me, is the most fun).
What attracted you to this challenge?
Coming from a background in greeting cards, I guess the format of cereal boxes was a really good fit for me. I love character and type stuff, and it made me try some color palettes I wouldn’t normally go for.
What was your favorite type of cereal as a kid?
I used to LOVE the tiny variety packs and would always pester my mum to by them even though they were terrible value. Obviously I’d eat all the exciting stuff first then leave boring old Cornflakes ’til last. Also, it totally made you feel like a giant when you poured them out, which was another completely valid reason for buying them.
What do you think an abominable snowman’s favorite cereal would be?
What other ideas did you brainstorm for this challenge?
I had a few actually, which I might still work up when I get the chance. One of the ones I was most pleased with, but didn’t work on due to taste issues, was an Exorcist-themed cereal called ‘Cruci-Bix’. I’m probably damning my soul to hell if I ever complete it, but I think it’ll be worth it.
Your designs are so clean – what’s your process?
Thanks! I normally just try and sketch out my ideas super rough, then refine them as much as possible in pencil before inking them up. I then use the scan of the inked version to build up the design on the computer. I try to retain as
much of the hand-drawn fell as possible while also making the design nice and readable. Then once that’s done I’ll scuzz it up a bit to make it look a bit more worn, as I think it just gives the design a bit more character.
But to be honest, I like trying all different methods, the one above is just my sort of default mode. I even did some painting recently to see if I could still do it.
How did you develop your style? What art styles inspire you?
I don’t know really, I’ve always liked drawing characters and I’m influenced by people who have very quirky styles and senses of humor. I love artists like Scott C, McBess, Tony Riff, and Josh Cochrane to name a few. And of course the regulars on Threadless are a constant source of inspiration.
You have a couple of awesome upcoming designs being printed at Threadless soon! Excited?
Yeah, really excited! It’s really cool that Threadless has started to branch out into Home Goods, and I can’t wait to see how some of my designs look on them!
Okay, this one is a little weird, but I find it really funny. It’s just the little jazz hands at the end…