What do you create?
I am an endless producer of many, many arts but I try to focus on Paintings and Jewelry. My paintings tend to be mostly oils and abstract expressionistic and my handmade jewelry is colorful, funky, and pretty. I also do a lot of web design, digital imaging and hand embroidery, but I tend to forget to advertise those. My BFA is actually in Computer Graphics with a minor in painting, so I tend to go back and forth from working with my hands to the computer, its a nice balance.
How did you come up with your company name?
Well, I am a very energetic person and work all of the time, some would call it manic behavior so I thought I would embrace that trait of mine and use it right there in my name. As for the trout, I love the ocean and large bodies of water, for a long time that was all I painted and in fact my abstracts still remind many people of water, so I naturally was gravitating towards the aquatic with my name. I was playing around with names and decided that Manic Whale was just not the image I wanted to project, and the trout does have great coloring. Once I heard the name, it stuck, I loved it instantly and here I am.
When and why did you decide to start your business?
I started my business in 2002 after I finally graduated from art school, I was at Syracuse for 7 years, in the Architecture School, then the Art School and even there I had a few majors...you get the idea. When I graduated I realized I never would be able to survive not creating all day long, so Manic Trout was unofficially born in the fall of 2002. In Jan. of 2003 I became legal and have been growing ever since. I now create much less then I realized I would as running the business part takes so much time, but I still love every minute of it!
Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?
The water is my number one go to for inspiration, then fashion, photography, nature... specifically colors found in nature. I make books of images hat I find and save, I have images covering bulletin boards in my office and studio and I tend to hoard any thing I find remotely beautiful. Let's just say I have a lot of stuff, and I justify most if it because it inspires me.
What is your main goal for this year?
A massive attack on the gallery scene for my paintings and a marketing binge on line for my jewelry. They are both full steam ahead and doing well so far, so I am really pleased with myself at the half way mark.
What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?
Remember that you are starting a business so be prepared for that aspect of it, its not all creating. Also, have a back up to make extra money if you have a low month but still need supplies for shows and bills to pay. I bartend at a friends restaurant to make sure I avoid starving as an artist and to get myself out of my studio, as I tend to be a hermit.
Which of the tools you use is your favorite?
My beautiful custom Mac duel processor G5 with all the bells and whistles, including a flat screen monitor. I spend a lot of time on my computer, even for the jewelry and paintings...it makes my life so much easier.
Where are you located?
What's your favorite quote?
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" -Albert Einstein
What's your favorite food?
Cheese, Apples & Natural Chunky Peanut Butter...separately, all together or any combination.
What's your favorite drink?
Coffee...gallons of black coffee.