For all you feline fanatics out there, have we got a Designer of the Month for you! Break out the cat nip and tune up your scratching posts as we sit down with uber-popular designer FridayCat! Delve into the mysterious world of this catty designer, as we ask the questions the others were too scared to ask… So sit back, gather up all of your nine lives and get to know FridayCat after the jump.
Hi Evgeny! Thanks for taking a few minutes away from the drawing board to sit and have a chat with us. And congratulations on becoming Spreadshirt’s Designer of the Month for December!
Evgeny: Hi Rob! Thanks! Actually I’m not that person who makes all these designs. My role in the project is PR, art-direction, web-design, etc. and it was my idea to start such a thing. Let me introduce Daria. As the artist, she will give you the answers for the most of questions. Another person involved in the project is Pavel. He is a frontend/backend programmer. I would like to give thanks to Daria and Pavel for their belief in Friday Cat, for their time spent for it and just for being such nice guys!
Ok, so now that we’ve established that FridayCat is a team of talented Tabby lovers, we are pretty much obsessed with your teamwork. Everyone from HR to the Graphics team runs to your Shop or to fridaycat.net each week to see what the cat dragged in (pun intended). Tell us, how does your team come up with such creative designs every seven days?
Daria: I can neither say it’s a collective mind nor only one of us is coming up with ideas. Evgeny always has some plan and I’m the complete opposite who randomly suggests something out of nowhere. It took a while starting to trust each other, but now it actually works and I believe and hope that our cats get more and more interesting and funny each week.
Your User Profile says that you started selling with Spreadshir just this past summer. How did you hear about Spreadshirt, how have you found the experience so far, and what took you so long?!
Evgeny: Well, I am a graphic designer and I tried to make some prints and sell them before. So I’ve tried several services like yours quite a long time ago. But for Friday Cat I’ve chosen Spreadshirt for several reasons. The constructor of products (User Area) works quite fast, you’ve introduced the modern design for shops, and you support team is perfect!
So from what we can tell, your kitty themes coincide with the holidays (Catoween), pop culture (this cute little guy that reminds us of a particular Jedi) and just cats being catty. Outside of the mentioned categories and themes, what wells do you draw from for your inspiration?
Daria: As for holidays and pop culture [the designs are] mostly connected to the calendar and release dates of something big (or not really big). Some ideas just pop out of nowhere or the feeling that this one will fit this week perfectly. Also Evgeny sometimes [comes up with] really ingenious ideas that I just have to visualize. Another very important part of it is friends who are actually into Friday Cat and like to suggest new themes.
What medium do you use to create your art? Are you an old-school pencil and paper artist or do you trend toward the new-school tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, or other digital art programs?
Daria: I love paper. And I love materials which are applicable to it. Mostly for graphics though: like pencils, ink, pens, liners, sometimes markers and on the terms of colour and painting – watercolour. At the same time, I work a lot digitally too. [I mostly use] Photoshop and Flash.
How much time, on average, do you spend creating designs and managing your Spreadshirt Shop?
Daria: It’s always a tricky question for me and I can only answer about the designs. I can tell that for each design we have only one week. Since our Friday Cat is our lovable pet project but not [our] main job, sometimes it’s pretty hard to manage the time. However every week I’m choosing a couple of evenings to make one new design and as funny and nice an animation as I can come up with at the moment. Before that, depending on a plan or its absence, we’re discussing the next idea [which] also takes a little bit of time.
Evgeny: Managing [our] Spreadshirt Shop takes about 2 hours per week.
We always like to guess what our designers do for a living when they’re not designing t-shirts. We asked around the office and took the three most popular guesses: the most obvious ones were cat-related—a groomer, you work for the cat rescue league, etc. Others included a stay-at-home dad, an IT professional and an accountant. Were we close? How do you pay the bills if it’s not collecting huge commission payouts from Spreadshirt?
Daria: [I am an] illustrator in a game development company. The closest to that would be an IT professional, I guess. Anyway since there are 3 of us working on this project, you were partially pretty close.
Evgeny: [I am an] entrepreneur, Graphic/UI/UX Designer, Web-developer. IT professional is very close.
We particularly like Friday Cat No1 (the ballerina cat) and Friday Cat No23 (the comfy, cozy hot chocolate cat). If you could pick one of your designs that best represents you, who you are, your style, etc; which would it be and why?
Daria: Haha. I’m very glad that you named the cozy cat! This was a problematic one and caused a little dispute between us, but became surprisingly successful in the end. I would pick two of them: it’s the NoFace Cat and Trippy Cat (as I call him. Originally “Lollacat”) – they perfectly represent two different sides of my character. As for a recent favorite, I would definitely pick MadCat. (And also pixel, catoween and pip-cat, but the MadCat is my number one so far.)
Evgeny: Before I’ve started a project, I wanted to make a Black Metal Cat, so we did a Black Metal cat. Actually, it is very successful. What I like most of all is when the final outcome is unexpected. When it’s kind of witty. That’s why I like the Termicat and Cookcat. Most of our fans aren’t expecting such [mouse] violence, but come on, it’s funny!
What kind of advice could you offer to someone who is looking to open their own Shop on Spreadshirt? Do certain products sell better for you than others? Certain designs?
Evgeny: I definitely suggest adding your designs to Marketplace. We don’t have big traffic on our shop. Most of our sales are from Marketplace. About designs — don’t sell cats. Cats are ours.
Last one: Do you own any cats? If so, how many and what are their names?
Daria: Actually I am a dog owner. A tiny chihuahua dog named Thor. However my dog is such a trickster and can pretend being a cat when needed. Nevertheless the character which represents me is a cat (the blue one!).
Thank you so much to Evgeny, Daria and Pavel for your brilliant and loveable contributions to our Spreadshirt community and also for taking the time to chat with us. We love when we get to dig a little deeper into our artist’s (and their team’s) litter box and find out what really goes on behind the scenes.