Creative Biz Spotlight: Interview with JUNK-O
Enamel pins have exploded over the last few years, and they’re not going anywhere. They’re more versatile than patches, and classier than pin-back badge buttons. They come in so many designs that if you want literally anything from your wildest dreams, it probably exists as a pin.
And the best part is, you can find TONS of enamel pin creators, who are independent artists.
One such awesome indie shop is JUNK-O.
I love them so much that I kidnapped them, tied them up in a basement and made them answer some questions.
Actually, they were more than willing to answer the questions, but it was weird how they wanted to be tied up first.
Without further ado, here is their interview…
Q: If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
A: Failure is a part of success, you can’t learn and get better at what you do without failing.
Q: If you had the chance to live during an artistic movement in the past, which one would you choose?
A: Definitely the Pop Art movement. Art making fun of commercialism and consumerism is some of my favorite kind of art. They made memes before memes were a thing.
Q: What do you do to get into your creative zone?
A: I put on some good music and make a snack (usually guacamole).
Q: What impact do you think that commercialism and the media has had on your work? Is this good or bad?
A: Overall it’s had a good impact on our brand. most of our pins are inspired from media and pop culture. JUNK-O is an artistic outlet for us but we’re also trying to make money! So I’m okay with consumerism.
Q: How long were you running your business before you started paying yourself? How did you live through those first few months/years?
A: We haven’t really paid ourselves yet. Just a little bit here and there but we’re nowhere close to having a regular salary yet. We survived our first year because we both have full-time jobs that pay the bills. We’re hoping 2018 will be the year we can give ourselves a solid paycheck.
Q: How do you give back to the community? What causes do you care about the most?
A: We give back through our JUNK-TIVISM line of pins. These are politically inspired pins where 10% of their proceeds get donated to a 501C nonprofit associated with the cause. So far we’ve raised about $700 for various organizations.
Q: What was the most enjoyable thing you’ve ever done with your business?
A: My partner Nick and I have a lot of fun when we do product photoshoots in cool locations like an abandoned drive-in theater with tons of awesome graffiti.
Q: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
A: It’s pretty generic but any time a customer says they like our pins. It’s really rewarding to see that someone likes something we’ve made so much that they’re willing to give us their hard-earned money for it. The concept still blows my mind daily.
Q: Last but not least the most important question: What’s your favorite dinosaur?
A: Probably Tsintaosaurus because it’s the stupidest looking one (google it, seriously).
(Okay. Leave the Googling to me…
…Damn, Tsintaosaurus. Is that a horn on your head, or are you happy to see me?)
Thank you to the good folks at JUNK-O for being awesome. You should go to their website right now.
mom / artist / writer / light worker / editor-in-chief of neon moonbeam