Welcome to the first installation of the Weapons of Mass Creation video interview series. Not sure what this is all about? Read the kick-off article to get caught up!
Our first interview will be with Richard Minino, better known as HORSEBITES. We’ve got 10 minutes of awesome video interview for you to watch. We’ve also transcribed the interview for folks in a hurry who’d rather scan than watch! You’ll find both below.
Go Media:Just start off by telling us a little about yourself, and how people would know you.
HORSEBITES: My name is Richard Minino, and I go by the moniker of Horsebites. I guess people would know by that name more than anything, because it’s a dumb name. It sticks out & they remember it.
Go Media: How did you pick the name Horsebites?
HORSEBITES: Actually there was a punk band I used to love when I was younger, they were called DI. They were from southern California. They had an album called “Horse Bites, Dog Cries”. That was my email address when I was delivering pizzas and doing no design at all. I thought I would deliver pizzas for the rest of my life – biggest loser! So I had that as my email, and I started getting little jobs here and there. I was doing shirts for some merch company and the guy there called me “Horsebites” instead of Richard, because he always forgot my name. I thought “I kind of like the sound of that”, and it actually has story and meaning behind it. I thought, “Screw it, I’m going to start something”.
Go Media: So who are some of your clients?
HORSEBITES: Right now I’m doing a lot of stuff for The Fest in Gainesville, which is always fun. This is the third year in a row that I’ve done stuff for them. I’m pretty proud of that. I also just got a KISS hoodie approved, which is awesome, because it’s one of the greatest rock bands ever. I do work for a lot of smaller bands too that just need help getting a good design, like the Polar Bear Club and Strike Anywhere. I work for bands that I would probably listen to, which is always rewarding.
Go Media: Can you tell us a little more about The Fest and how it is you got involved in that?
HORSEBITES: I’ve played in it every year so far, so all eight years. It started off with one of my bands, New Mexican Disaster Squad. We played it because we were friends with a ton of people in Gainesville. Like anything that’s new, it started off bad and there were just a few people – but we did it because it was just hanging out with friends. And every year it got better and better. Now, it’s something that seems almost out of control, but they keep it under control somehow. I love looking forward to that every year.
Go Media: So, Jeff wanted to know specifically, on behalf of Go Media – how did you involved with No Idea records?
HORSEBITES: Actually because the guy who started The Fest, Tony Wineman, he works for No Idea Records. He was always a fan of the band I was in, but more so we were just friends. And Florida, it’s weird; it’s a big long state but a lot of people know everyone. It’s smaller than you think. Especially the punk community – it’s really tight. So, knowing No Idea and being associated with them, it was a natural thing. If you’re just a Florida resident and you’re not playing music to get big, but just to have fun. They’ll usually pick up on you, or you’ll pick up on them.
Go Media: So why did you come to Weapons of Mass Creation?
HORSEBITES: I was paid lots of money! Just kidding. No, well, I was promised lots of pizza. No, I met Jeff [Finley] before the website Emptees came along. And I knew him a little bit before that because he would MySpace or email me. We would talk about each other’s designs and gush about each other’s work. We instantly got along. I’ve known him for a little while now when he asked me to come up. I didn’t know if I could because it was going to be a busy month for me, but I knew this would be so much fun. And honestly, it’s so hot in Florida right now that this is like winter for me. It’s like 65 degrees! I had a jacket on all day. Of course, now I’m sweating because I’m on camera!
This is cool to actually meet, like physically meet, people that I’ve looked up to, or just seen their work. I don’t recognize them by face because I only know them through the internet.
Go Media: So coming here, and knowing a little about Jeff and Go Media, what is your opinion of what we do, and what is your opinion of stock art and resources?
HORSEBITES: I think it’s awesome, especially for a lot of people that either could be starting out, or for companies that just depend on it. The possibilities are endless, especially for what Go Media does. It’s so broad and covers so much of the bases. I think designers like me and web design people look up to this company so much because we think: Wow, they really made something out of something that’s hard to make living out of, let alone building a tiny little empire of just Go Media stuff. Your fingers are in just everything! It’s really respectable and cool.
If a kid wants to start out designing, and he can use the illustrations you’ve provided as stock art. Even if he uses it at first and doesn’t use it later, he’ll always remember that he needs to make it as professional and high quality as what Go Media puts out. I think it’s great.
Go Media: So then, what is your ideal project?
HORSEBITES: I guess it would be working with people I like to work with. I like collaborating a lot. It’s pretty much what I’m doing now! I’m in a company with four of my other good friends. Getting paid to do this is phenomenal – I just can’t believe it’s reality!
And then having the option and the confidence to start up another business with someone and put out a little series of things. I would have never thought that would have been possible five or six years ago. It’s just awesome. I’m “living the dream”!
Go Media: You said you gained the confidence. What inspired you to feel confident to get you where you are?
HORSEBITES: it was when bands actually took notice. They would say “make a shirt for me” and it’d be a band that I looked up to. I’d be so nervous. I had no confidence. I’d think “how am I going to do this?” I didn’t know how to use a computer – I started out doing everything by hand. Drawing and painting was my true art. I didn’t know how to do stuff on a computer. It was getting pushed by bands like that, and then having other people react like “oh, I love this!” I thought “Okay, maybe I can do this.” That’s what gave me the confidence: Bands telling me “it’s cool.”
It’s still weird to me.
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