There’s a bit of a pixel art theme going on this week, as today I’ve been bowled over by this epic flower artwork by an...
Craig Robinson is the man behind Flip Flop Flyin and the man who brought us Minipops, those pixelated celebrity mini-beasts. He freed up some time to tell us all.
When people meet you, do they call you Craig or FlipFlop?
I was checking your OAQ section on your website and saw the one about the 2001 League Cup Final. So, are you a Liverpool fan then? If so, do you have any other connections with this fine city?
I am a fan, yes. Sadly, I have no connection with Liverpool other than my home town (Lincoln) sharing the first two letters. I am of that age where, when I was young and watching my first football games on tv, I was mesmerised by Kenny Dalglish.
Sticking on the football theme, which is your favourite mini Euro 2004 sticker you did? Were you disappointed that Greece won it?
Ronaldo and chums
I’m quite proud of, and I hate to say this, the drawing of Cristiano Ronaldo. Well, I was disappointed that England didn’t win it, and I was hoping for the Czechs, too. But, come the final, Greece had no Man Utd players, so they got my cheers. One of the greatest moments of the tournament was seeing Ronaldo balling his eyes out at the end.
Did you enjoy the amount of mullets on show during the competition?
More than the amount of diving; finger wagging at referees by players; shirt pulling and shitty Ronaldo step-overs.
For anyone unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your website to them?
Taking a can-opener to my brain, and tipping the contents out like dog food.
How did you first come up with the idea of Mini Pops?
I was just messing about, really, trying to draw The Beach Boys as small as possible.
Which miniPops have been ripped off the most?
No idea. I think the idea has been ripped off more than any particular image.
Pixel art is very popular now, are you a fan of other websites like Eboy?
I like eBoy’s work, and I like them as people. There are other talented folk out there, too, like Meomi. But there’s such a huge amount of bad unoriginal stuff going on, that I try to ignore most pixel stuff.
Could you give us a brief run down of how you’d put together a piece of pixel art.
Pencil and paper to begin with. Rough freehand sketch with a mouse, then continued refining until it’s done. Unless it’s something like a minipop, which is just a template which I re-dress every time.
Which direction do you see FFF going in now? I just watched your Blu Tack Monster film and I liked it. From experience, I know what a killer stop-motion animation can be, is it something you’re likely to continue with?
Craig’s Blu Tac monster
I’ve gradually been trying to move away from the Minipop-style of things, doing less ‘tight’ stuff. I’d like to do more stop-motion stuff, definitely. It’s more about ideas than the pixels used.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m doing some paintings, actually. Thinking about another episode of Pete and Bob, and another Blu Tack Monster movie. And packing my bags to go on holiday.
What music is big in Berlin?
Same as everywhere, really, I guess. Just with a few German language songs thrown in. I don’t really pay attention, to be honest. I just buy Mojo every month and find out what old things have been re-issued.
If you could design an album sleeve for any band, which would it be?
Brian Wilson. No contest, really. He’s my hero. It would be my dream job.
If you could do work for any company in the world, which would you choose?
Commerical work is a necessity rather than a dream. I’m lucky to have been able to have done interesting things for decent people, but it’s not my goal to collect the most impressive client list in the world. Only to do the best work for people who’ll pay me to do so until I can afford not to do that stuff anymore.
Who are your design heroes? Is there anybody in particular whose work you are a big fan of?
I can’t think of any of the top of my head. At the moment, though, I’m quite into the old fashioned early 20th century fairground posters. They are very pretty.
Finally, what’s the one thing you would recommend everybody should do today?
Read ‘The Perks Of Being a Wallflower’¬ù by Stephen Chbosky.
Don’t forget to check out Craig’s website Flip Flop Flyin at www.flipflopflyin.com. I especially recommend his Euro 2004 sticker book. Fantastic stuff!
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