Rob Richardson is a freelance illustrator and animator with over twenty years of professional experience and the mastermind behind FatRobot Illustration. With his current project Daemon237 (dee-mon!), Rob has created unique scream-printed apparel showcasing classic Cult, Horror and Sci-Fi themed designs.
Forged from a shared love of the bizarre and the psychotronic, of pirates, sci-fi, horror, lucha libre et al, and with decades of experience in the Screen-Print and Illustration fields, Daemon237 create and manufacture their work from a specialist, self contained bunker based in Sheffield, UK.
Gift Shop hub spoke to Rob about his horror inspired designs…
Tell us a little about you?
For the past couple of years I’ve been working conventions and festivals drawing Zombie Caricatures, which has grown into drawing and printing a range of horror & alternative greeting cards, T-Shirts, Tea-towels, bandanas, courier bags…anything we can print on!
How did you start out?
I work with Iron Sphincter – The Zombie Band (to my mind, Sheffield’s finest zombie band), drawing their record sleeves and merchandise. That art got a lot of attention and I started testing the water with T-Shirts and greeting cards. It’s a huge and ongoing learning curve.
Where do you sell your products?
I sell at various conventions and festivals, as well as through an Etsy shop. It’s been a case of trying different events- Comic Cons, Tattoo events, burlesque shows, horror festivals etc. to see who was interested.
What do you consider to be the main challenges facing small business at the moment?
Getting noticed and getting people to see the work in such a bustling marketplace.
What tips do you have for fellow small business owners?
Keep on grafting!
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Hopefully the artwork. All products are based around my own pictures so they stand or fall depending on the quality of the art.
How important is social media in promoting your business?
Social media’s vital and really helps to spread the word and get out there. You can reach thousands of people very quickly, as long as you’ve taken the time to really involve yourself in that whole online world.
What has been your most successful promotion/marketing idea?
I just regularly post work online, engage with people, and keep things genuine, honest and down to earth. If a new range is coming, I might tease it with preliminary drawings and snippets, building up to a launch, but nothing gimmicky.
What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully turning this cottage industry into something I can work on full time. That and becoming king of the zombies when the apocalypse comes.
What features/articles would you like to see on Gift Shop Hub?
More of the same, please! I’m relatively new to this and always picking up tips from people who have learned, often the hard way, what works.
Quick fire questions:
Favourite song: Our Lips Are Sealed – The Fun Boy Three
Film: King Kong Escapes – 1960s Kaiju at its very best!