October 9, 2020
- What is your name / organization / title?
Gabriel Barletta / El Grey Ghost
- What motivated you to become a maker?
I've always loved creating worlds through illustration and that has evolved into other creative disciplines.
- Looking back on the early stages of your journey, what advice would you give yourself now?
Learn the basics of running a business. Contracts, taxes, etc. Ultimately though you learn from failing and I've done a lot of learning.
- What is your favorite thing you’ve ever made? Why?
My kids haha! Creatively speaking, I'd probably have to say the TMNT pins. Not because it was anything particularly complex, but it was the first time I worked on something that I sold that wasn't an illustration and I learned a lot from that process. Everything from concept to packaging/shipping. Plus I've made some great friendships and connections because of it.
- What’s the next evolution for you (or your industry) going to look like?
Not sure about the industry as a whole, but for me, I'm looking to tell more stories from the ground level and surround myself with the talent to see it come to life. I love the creative community and bringing others together. Building a team and giving them a platform has always been extremely fulfilling.
- Who would you partner with (living or dead) for your dream collaboration? And what would you work on together?
I would love to work with Hayao Miyazaki. His seemingly limitless potential for storytelling and craftmanship blows my mind. I'd work on anything he comes up with.
- You're on death row and it's time for your final meal. What'll ya have?
A pepperoni pizza from Metro Pizza in Las Vegas with a slice of my mother-in-law's cherry cheesecake.
- In a world where you have two hands, all of your pets and loved ones are safe, and your studio is on fire, what do you try to save?
I'd definitely grab the old family photos that haven't been digitally archived. Everything else can be replaced.
- What is one piece of pop culture (movie, tv, artwork, song, etc.) that no matter how many times you return to it you still draw excitement, movement, or inspiration?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. JRR Tolkien is a master world builder.
- I love useless facts. Impress me with a seriously useless fact!
Package Saver is the name of the little plastic table that goes into the middle of pizza boxes.
- If you could try any profession other than your own, what would you choose to do?
Woodworker. I'm pretty sure I'd lose a finger, but it'd be worth it.
- What is your personal strategy/philosophy when it comes to using social media for your work?
I don't have one. I'm horrible at social media and actually have been intentional at spending less time on it. It's been great for connecting with people in the industry I've never met, but definitely prefer socializing in person.
- Speaking of social media, where can people find you?
@gabebarletta... maybe? You'll figure it out.