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EDMUND MCMILLEN


Edmund McMillen, owner and director of Cold Storage, is an professional and award winning illustrator, graphic designer and cartoonist hailing from Soquel, California.

When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
I've been drawing since 3rd grade I cant really think of a pivotal moment where I decided that I wanted to be an illustrator, but there were many moments of inspiration through the years that I'm sure pointed me in the right direction. It started with ninja turtles, then garbage pail kids, super mario brothers and ren and stimpy. Those things made a huge impression on me as a kid, that really stand out in my work today.

Who or what inspires you?
Creative people inspire me. Realistic, humble creative people inspire me. Regardless of what medium they are using if you are honest in what you are making and show passion in what you do, chances are you will inspire me to be creative in some way.

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
Most of my technical illustration skills are self-taught, but I did have a few memorable high school art teachers that helped me along the way. I tried to go to art school in San Francisco after I got out of high school but it was a little overwhelming so I quit after 4 days in.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
Personally I don't really care much about keeping my work "fresh". My style changes a lot, but I never consciously change the way I illustrate to keep my style "fresh". if anything I think it's the artist's job to keep their work fresh to themselves, stay inspired and change what is viewed as "fresh" in the industry.

What are some of your current projects?
I'm currently working on character and game design for my next PC game, its very character heavy so its very fun, but also very time consuming. I'm also working on my 2nd PC game with Alex Austin (programmer of Gish) and some small side work like t-shirt illustration and Cd cover graphics.

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
Im most proud of my 1st Pc game Gish. Gish was a huge undertaking for 2 guys to take on and I was in charge of all the design, illustration, animation and level design. We were able to finish it in less then 6 months sometimes putting in 24 hour shifts. A year later Gish went on to win grand prize at IGF2005.

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
Like a lot of other cartoonist/illustrators I'd really love to illustrate for children's books, I'd also like to try my hand at writing one.

Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
Try and draw as much as you can, and don't censor your work just because it doesn't look traditionally "good". Go with what comes out naturally and try not to think so hard about what you are working on, just let it flow.

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
I personally think what makes a designed piece successful is the amount of honesty the artist puts into it. Its really easy now a days to just draw what's "fresh" and not push any limits when it comes to style and content, but I think its the job of the artist to try something new and put him/herself into their work.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
I usually play a lot of video games and watch movies when I'm burnt out, if that doesn't work it really helps to just go out and take a walk with my wife, I'm not a huge fan of people and crowds so I tend to stay inside, but it really does help to force yourself into the real world every once in a while.

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
Arrested development is the only good thing on prime-time tv, but I don't know how much longer that will last.

Here are a few links to some images of mine:

and links to a few of my games:

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