THE BRILLIANCE! > Chuck!
CHUCK ANDERSON > Is that a sexy name or what…
TB! > Any starting comments?
CA! > Yeah, I have a starting comment. I’d like to say that this past week was the nicest the Chicago area has been in a very, very long time. Breezy, slightly warm, few clouds here and there, a little rain, but all good. I’d also like to start with a namedrop for Mr. David Stuart, a wildly talented photographer who I’m going to have the honor of working with soon on a pretty big project. www.davidstuart.net
TB! > What’s really good today?
CA! > Today…This Razr phone I got today is nice, I had Panera for dinner, checked out the new issue of V Magazine, and now I’m doing this interview and I have to go to the bathroom really bad, I’m squirming…Also good is a membership to a new gym that has a pool. What’s NOT good is this kid who got my AIM name, talking to me on there and calling my phone at midnight and leaving me a message and being weird. I do not like that. Not one bit. But I’ll end on a good note. What’s good today is listening to Saetia, Ghostface Killah, At the Drive-In, Isis, and Jay-Z in the same car ride.
TB! > Fill everyone in on what you do, give us the run down on NoPattern, NP&CO., THE BRILLIANCE…
CA! > NoPattern is the name I go under when I freelance. It’s just been a better route for me than “Chuck Anderson, freelance artist”...And NP&CO. is my label, if you will, which I sell and will be selling things through. Right now it’s online store - www.npandco.com - started with 500 lithographs. There will be more to come. THE BRILLIANCE! is something that was started by Benjamin Gott and I as a labor of love/hobby/creative outlet/entreprenaurial-experiment-endeavor sort of thing. Putting tastemaking news/writeups together with interviews with people in extremely interesting and prestigious positions just seemed like a perfect mix. All three of these things I do because I love. And I’m sure there will be more “companies/brands/endeavors” to come, but for now these three are my full-time jobs. And I love it.
TB! > Let’s get this rolling… Give us a short rundown of your hobbies and loves. From art to fashion to cars, just talk a bit about what makes you happy… What do you think about when you first wake up?
CA! > My hobbies…Well, art was my hobby but it’s become my job. Although I still love it and consider it hobby-ish…It’s still my job. So aside from that, I really love spending time with my friends…poker, Halo, bookstores, eating…spending as much time as I can with my girlfriend of 2 1/2 years Holly, my family of 6 and my dog Jazz…I love tattoos…I collect KAWS…Enjoy watching sports highlights and documentaries and bloopers…As far as general loves go, I’m not super fashionable, but I do keep up with things. I just don’t wear all the brands. I hate Diesel and most everything in Urban Outfitters nowadays is pretty lame…Puma, H&M, Upper Playground…Pretty simple person with clothes. I love cars, specifically Audis, specifically the TT…When I wake up I first thing “Whoops…It’s 10:45 AM and I was supposed to be on an important conference call at 9…......”
TB! > With NoPattern, do you have any favorite clients?
CA! > Working for ESPN Magazine and NYLON was fun - lots of creative freedom. The work I did for McCann-Erickson SF for Microsoft was a blast because I got a wildly fun trip to SF out of it…Reebok, Burton…Sometimes its the people I actually work with that make it fun.
TB! > What about clients you hate? Please name names, it makes this more fun.
CA! > This is tough, because what if they read it? I can’t hate like that…What goes around comes around. Even my least favorite client (and I do have several) still might send me to the bank with a nice check one of these days. Can’t burn bridges…
TB! > Give me something funny that has happened to you recently.
CA! > My girlfriend told all her friends that what little chest hair I do have grows only on one side. I didn’t know what to say. And now everyone knows it.
TB! > Do you have a girlfriend?
CA! > What did I JUST say, Ben. You NEVER listen. This relationship is OVER.
Yeah I do, which I already mentioned, but I’ll say it again. Holly and it’s been about 2 1/2 years. Doing quite well, thank you.
TB! > Name some things you can’t live without?
CA! > OMG Internet.
TB! > Where is your perfect vacation/travel spot?
CA! > I’ve seen some pretty incredible pictures of Fiji and areas in French Polynesia…But perfect right now would be the Carribean or anywhere in Hawaii. Aside from the honeymoon style vacations like that, I’d love to visit Antarctica. It’s this fascination I have…
TB! > What trend(s) do you think are ridiculous right now? Fashion, design, music, whatever…
CA! > The Killers, The Thrills, The Strokes, The Kills, The Vines…The list goes on. That’s my answer for music…Stop it. Fashion…Anything Von Dutch. I know that’s a pretty common answer but seriously. If I see a pretty girl somewhere with one of those hats I think…“Oh she’s pretty…Really cute gir….Wait….What’s that….A pink and green Von Dutch trucker hat…?” Whoops…In design…just more and more people copying. Few and far between do I see anything original these days, or at least something that looks like the person actually put some time into it. Photographers and traditional illustrators being a typical exception.
TB! > If you could be eating any food right now, what would it be? What drink would you have with it?
CA! > Mmm…Right now I could go for some Bourbon Chicken on brown rice with egg and peas, with a big fat eggroll on the side…Maybe some sesame chicken too…Yeah…To drink I would have a giant tub full of rasberry iced tea. Or if I felt like milk, Oberweis 2%. Ya…....
TB! > It’s Friday/Saturday… That last thing on your mind is work/clients/design… What IS on your mind?
CA! > Going to the city, visiting friends/girlfriend, hanging out with family, going to the gym…..But it probably still would come down to some kind of work..Happens a lot. In a few months what will be on my mind is how can I get to the beach…
TB! > How often do you see your family/parents?
CA! > Pretty often. I don’t live far from them so at least every other day. My mom makes killer meatloaf.
TB! > How many minutes are in your cell-phone plan?
CA! > That’s a tricky question. I have Vonage - that broadband phone service - and I have a cell phone with a plan that currently has 1,250 minutes on it. I will be downgrading soon though since I got Vonage and I can do work calls on that for no extra charge.
TB! > The web right now… What are your honest thoughts on it. From design to how it effects business…
CA! > I hate most websites. Just in general these days. I used to think Jakob Nielsen was a fool for thinking the web was a place for information and not heavy flashy pictures, but I’ve migrated to his side of thought. These days, sites like The Drudge Report, Google, CoolHunting, ConceptShop, and Helmut Lang are what keeps my interest. When you can perfectly blend simplistic, “non-design” with form and function over fashion. It’s just working somehow. Sure, most companies and artists say “no way, I want a site that grab’s someone’s attention right away!” Ok DUUUDE are you going to load it up with some SWEET background music, then maybe some AWESOME animated drips coming down from the top with some really ExTrEmE flash transition between navigation? It can be done, few know how to execute it well…but that’s the problem. People overdo it on the web these days. Too much focus on how it looks. Most people have broadband, so hey, go ahead, put a lot of pictures, but keep it simple. It’s refreshing.
TB! > What cd’s are in your car’s 6 cd changer right now.
CA! > I mentioned this earlier but I think I’ve got Saetia - Retrospective, Isis - Panopticon, John Legend - Get Lifted, Ghostface - Supreme Clientele, At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command, and John Coltrane’s best of.
TB! > Would you choose a Kiwi or a Coconut?
CA! > I’d choose a coconut because it reminds me of suntan lotion which reminds me of warm weather and the ocean. But kiwis taste good. I like kiwi strawberry Snapple. You ever had that? That’s a good drink right there. A solid drink. Not too sweet, not too bland though. Just enough. I mean, you can get it practically anywhere. Your local grocery store, Walgreens perhaps, maybe Rite Aid. Also available is Diet Kiwi Straweberry Snapple I’m sure. Perhaps you’re on a diet, so this might fit the bill a bit better. You know what I’m sayin??
TB! > Being that you’re completely freelance, working from your own office, own hours, etc… How do you stay motivated on those ‘non-creative’ days? What gets you out of a slump?
CA! > Oh man - those are the worst days. When it rains it pours. When I have a creative block I just get in a bad mood. Usually I play Scrabble online for a while. Just kind of takes things off my mind. Go for a drive…Take my camera somewhere…Watch something on my giant TV. Yup.
TB! > You’re doing big things at a young age. Who are some people that have really influenced you or really inspired you?
CA! > My parents - mostly for just believing that I could do whatever I wanted without college. They just saw it in me, that I would push until I was doing things in a big way. Too many friends to name them all…This is a tough question, people know who they are who have affected me, so I just thank all of them for the inspiration. Artists, family, and friends alike.
TB! > Your house is burning down… What three things would you run back for regardless?
CA! > A picture of me and my girlfriend from my desk, as many of my KAWS figures as possible (especially the 1000%‘s), and….I don’t even know. I feel shallow disregarding my roommates cat but I’d have to grab my computer. I have everything on here. Haha…
TB! > What is your favorite number? I like 3, 7, and 365. What about you?
CA! > 23…My birthday is May 23 and I always liked Michael Jordan. It’s just one of those numbers. I also like the number 10,702.
TB! > What is your favorite movie?
CA! > This is a tossup between Magnolia, Pi, Napoleon Dynamite, Home Alone 2, The Sandlot, Donnie Darko, and the NBA’s Greatest Dunks.
TB! > Give me your favorite song lyrics… Or just some lyrics that are stuck in your head.
CA! > Favorite of all time from Mr. Kanye West. “Said I finished school, and started my own business they say oh you graduated? No I decided I was finished. Chasin’ ya’ll dreams and what you got planned, now I spit it so hot you got tanned.” I just love that… and some old favorites from Minor Threat “Early to finish, I was late to start. I might be an adult but I’m a minor at heart. Go to college be a man, what’s the ******* deal? It’s not how old I am, it’s how old I feel!”
TB! > Can you tell us anything about your relationship with David Gensler and The KDU. Fill us in on how you got hooked in with David and what your relationship to The KDU is. The people want to know Chuck.
CA! > Well, Ben, you sent me a link to the NativeDBG site well over a year ago, just saying check out this site, it’s hot man…And I loved it. Jay-Z mixed with really really well-done design work!? Two of my favorite things! So I emailed the contact form on the site all the time. I mean, all the time. Dave “The Devil” Gensler finally got back to me at one point, semi-interested in me but more just saying he’d keep me on file, thanks for the email. I know never to stop there so I hooked Native up with some links on different news sites and kissed a little ass…Something clicked and the two of us just started emailing all the time. Months went by, Dave left Rocafella, I was developing as a freelancer, and Dave and Jason Bass of JB Classics formed The KDU which consisted of myself, those two fly guys, and several other very talented, very smart people. It’s an unreal network of people working together, pushing each other…Managing brands, businesses, ideas, creativity…Setting goals and surpassing them…Lots of good vibes all around. The Royal Magazine is a great reflection on what The KDU is and does. Just bringing together disgustingly talented people in the same community and fueling it.
TB! > It’s exactly 5 years from now… Where will you be?
CA! > Probably still answering questions from this long interview you wrote, dang. Nah, I’ll most likely be married, no kids, living in a cool house or condo probably in the same area still. Hopefully still freelancing but doing a lot more privately commissioned work, guest art directing at different magazines, etc. I’d love to be a freelance art director. Kind of nomadic…Have people pay for my trips to come to an agency or studio to work..Would be fun.
TB! > Why the Chicago-land area? Everyone is all about NYC and LA…
CA! > Never been to LA. NYC is awesome, lots of fun, but too busy. Too many ‘cool people’ there for me. I’m a fun person who likes a good time, but I’m also low-key and enjoy a quiet environment. I’ll keep NYC at arms length for trips and vacations here and there. Chicago..I’m in the suburbs. I don’t know, I grew up here, it’s what I know, and I’m comfortable. And my place I have now in the city would cost a fortune. So it’s all good right now.
TB! > If you could drive any car… What would it be? What are you driving these days?
CA! > Right now I’m driving a new silver Mazda 3. It’s been a great car, although I’d love an A4. Money wasn’t THAT good at the time of my car shopping for an Audi but I love A4’s, TT’s and S4’s…I also LOVE the Mercedes G500. In white or silver. Maybe someday…I also love Geo Metros. And orange Mavericks. Ben?
TB! > Can I borrow like $25 dollars? I’ll pay you back in a few weeks…
CA! > $25? That’s like a dollar an hour!
TB! > Do you read Streetwise newspaper? Do they still sell that?
CA! > There’s a guy at the Randolph/Michigan train station who sells that at the top of the stairs sometimes and he’s got a weird eye.
TB! > What do you think about THE BRILLIANCE?
CA! > I think it is the perfect site, concept, and execution. I think everything about it is perfect. There are no flaws. God told me it’s his favorite site.
TB! > Anything to close out with? Anything random would be good here…
CA! > You can get 25,000 staples from Staples Office for $3.49. Also, saline solution which is a light mix of salt and water can really help a dry and sore nose. Also, watch out for NoPattern X RBK soon. Ok.
TB! > Thanks!