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When Chip speaks of his childhood, he talks of things like hiding under his deck for an entire day while he watched his parents search frantically for him thinking he had been kidnapped. Or how he remembers spending his entire first grade year as a non stop party where he spent his days hiding under desks throwing things and grabbing kids feet. Well things haven't changed much and Chip is still living his life by his own rules. He's the type of bad dude that you'll catch ice grillin' you on the subway with three fake gold chains on and a neon sweatshirt. He's the type of guy that spends his time on company work trips by sliding bars of hotel soap off the window to see what kind of noise it'll make. Basically he's on this tip where he pays close attention to the finer things in life like staying well dipped and rollin' deep with Sharks and Dinos.

- Danny Diamonds

When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
You could say there was somewhat of a "moment" to it, but looking back the desire's always been there. I've always focused & examined my surroundings, critiquing everything that passes through my periphery. So being a designer seems almost second nature. The idea of creating something is very exciting for me.

Growing up I never thought about my future or "career goals." As a teenager my life revolved around skateboarding, graffiti, punk/hardcore/hip hop music & that was it. Design came as an extension of all of this. I began getting into screen printing around 16 or so, as well as teaching myself computer software & observing type treatments. I began printing on skateboards and t- shirts, I even dabbled in embroidering all still while I was in high school. My part time jobs would fund all of this, until I began printing in bulk and distribution my stuff to shops and kids all over central New York.

I was offered a scholarship to a state college by doing this (lord knows I wasn't pulling straight A's or anything, haha). That was when I began to think that this is what I want to do for a living.

Who or what inspires you?
The skateboarder / artist Mark Gonzalez - he just oozes style and creativity. Loads of designers, I could list them all but I won't. Find your own inspiration, it's everywhere.

What inspires me : People who struggle & make major sacrifices to peruse what they love. People who are passionate/focused/determined for what they do (design related or not). People who struggling to get by, to pay rent, to eat. Real survivors - who don't take anything for granted. I see a lot of pretentious people in this industry who are too comfortable & just kind of get by, that doesn't sit well with me. I've slept on plenty of couches before getting to where I am right now, ramen & hotdogs were daily meals for me. Being down & out really brings out the best (or worst) in people, you have no time to slip up, so everything you do needs to be on point. These are the people who inspire me, keep me on my feet for sure.

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
Okay.. if we're being completely real here, I'm going to say self taught 98% I did graduate from college, but that really means nothing to me. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know or could figure out on my own. I took a bunch of courses that I will never need nor did I ever care about ever. I graduated with a bunch of dimwits who are going into the real world with no sense of good design. The only reason I went to school was to get a piece of paper that for some reason makes me more desirable for employers. I never went to any prestigious school or anything, I was accepted to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) but couldn't attend because it was out of my financial range. I went to a state school on a design scholarship. Although I may feel that it was a waste of time & money, I am happy with my decisions to put up with it, I did score some super good friends & great times in the process, so it wasn't a total waste.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
I Make it a point to checkout at least 2 new magazines a day. They can be about anything, but I like to stay very current. I take inspiration from everything I see so I like to expose myself to a really broad spectrum of information.

Another thing that keeps me fresh is getting out and experiencing life any way you can. It's a real balance with the workload that comes in but it's important to feel alive. I like to walk around talk to people & take pictures / ride my bike through city streets / & go skateboarding. The biggest killer is when you start to live your life through "screens". Wake up, watch tv in a screen, drive to work, looking through the windshield screen, go to work sit in front of your computer screen, come home, eat and watch more tv.. Life is too precious to waste it like that.

What are some of your current projects?
My title at Puma is Color & Graphic designer of Heritage. These are the most common sneakers when you think of Pumas. I am in charge of creating the colorways for several categories of footwear as well as creating story packages & limited edition series within the categories. I also work with creating any patterns & graphics that may be applied to the sneaker, this is cool because it allows me to work not only with silk screen as a medium but with embroidery, emboss / deboss, heat cut, & laser etching as well.

I'm also working on keeping it EXTRA REAL!

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
I am very happy with my Fresh Meat promotional booklet. I made this when I was down & out looking for work. I was interviewing places and decided to design a creative yet economical package/booklet to send out to potential job perspectives. I figured It would give me an edge on the massive piles of resumes that never even get looked at, plus it allows for them to know who I am as not only a designer but a person.

The Festival du Nouveau Cinema et Nouveau Media du Montreal campaign was also very satisfying. I worked with a buddy of mine and really dedicated ourselves to the event. Compiling research & demographics to best reach the audience, not only did we win awards with this campaign it was a total blast. It made working long nights & weekends totally worth it.

I am also proud of what is coming out of the Puma camp on my side of things as well, I can't really go into details but thing's are lovely over here.

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
I've been quite fortunate so far. My job allows me to sample of ideas on a wide variety of materials and techniques.

One thing that I have dabbled in that I would one day like to fully immerse myself in is the more print media side of things, that's where my heart is. My last print ad's were for Fischer Skis a little while back & it's such a rush knowing that your ad is in hundreds of thousands of magazines.

I would also like to do some more photography & video production work. That would be amazing.

Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
To be successful at anything in life you have to be willing to sacrifice for it. It really takes dedication to your craft, make friends not enemies whenever possible. Connect with other designers & events. Do it because you love it, not because it's a cool career or an easy way to get through school or anything. Stay up to date & current with trends & lastly know that there are tons of designers out there who want the same thing as you,they eat sleep & breathe design, so don't slip.

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
Balance, ability to evoke human emotion, but I'd have to say when in doubt use Comic Sans.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
It's really a hard balance to make, to stay at the top of your game but at the same time maintain your sanity and somehow try to scrap together a social life. I guess I'm still working on that myself. Quality time goes so much further than just "time off". I guess just making all your time really count both when designing & your time off. Also realizing that mental & physical health are way more important that some crappy layout or logo or whatever you're working on.

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
On Sundays you can usually catch some great infomercials. A favorite of mine is the magic bullet, or any Ronco product that's on the market at the moment.

I also like watching this channel Nickoledon GAS (stands for Games & Sports)It features old Nick game shows that I grew up with like Double Dare, Guts! & Finders Keepers, I love it!!

Other than that.. I like watching Court TV stuff.. The Food Network, Miami Ink on TLC.. I try to limit my tv watching until the weather gets bad, THEN IT'S ON!!!

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Unknown said...

hey man. in addition to eat, sleep and breath design, I think pooping design is good too. It's good in so many analogous reasons. Relatively.
nice work. Top notch.

Stevie G. the RDQLUS One said...

Yo, Chip...
The work is mad nice and the philosophy on point. Nice interview man.

Anonymous said...


nice work, very diverse. I would love to meet you, maybe go out for a steak dinner or perhaps a couple sambucas. keep on keeping it EXTRA REAL. very nice, very nice indeed.
golden axe fo' life.

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