While his childhood dream of being a professional soccer player may not have panned out, artist and graphic designer Sean Botwinick has certainly made the most of plan b. Sean oversees all design elements for Complex’s Marketing division. His job requires him not only to flex his skills as an artist/designer, but also to stay on top of the latest styles and trends across all Complex channels.
In the spirit of Disney’s new game Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, we asked Sean for some more insight into his process and aspirations.
What is your favorite work of art you’ve created?
My favorite artwork that I’ve created is a pair of custom limited edition G-Shock watches for Lucas Arts and Star Wars. For this collaboration, I worked with the design team at Lucas Arts to create the watches and packaging. This was the most challenging and rewarding experience in my design career to that point. We were tasked with creating a piece that not only looked great by today’s standards, but could stand the test of time (no pun) against other highly recognizable, limited-edition Star Wars memorabilia. I also got to be part of a video interview talking about our design process that was featured across all of Complex Media—the websites I design for every day. Aside from giving my mom something to brag about at work, it was certainly a surreal experience.
What inspires you as an artist?
My inspiration largely comes from magazines (Complex, GQ, HUGE, Wallpaper, i-D), my favorite clothing brands (Supreme, BAPE, Johnny Cupcakes, Nike), and all of the extremely talented people I am privileged to work with as a design director.
Describe your creative process.
The creative process is exciting, always challenging, and often nerve-racking. You’re always in a competition, at the very least, with yourself. It’s similar to long distance running: you struggle in the beginning until you get in the groove, and then you don’t even think about it, and your body’s just going.
What is your first memory of the Disney universe?
My first Disney memory is driving from New Jersey to Disney World (23hrs!) when I was eight years old. I was sick with bronchitis the entire trip, and somehow Mickey heard that I wasn’t well and came to my hotel room to deliver me a stuffed Pluto. It wasn’t the ideal way to spend a Disney trip, but I’ll never forget the Mickey visit. To me, Mickey Mouse has always stood for creativity and endless imagination. Mickey lived in a world where anything is possible if you can imagine it. As a designer, I try to live my life by that ideal.
In Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, you join forces with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. If you could join forces with any artist to create something who would it be and why?
It would have to be Antoni Gaudi. His approach to architecture is something that needs to be spread to every city in the world—and I’d love to design the signage and identity for the new buildings.
In the game you can use a magic paint-brush to change the world around you and bring things back to life. If you had a magic paintbrush what would you do with it?
I would wave it over my collection of vinyl toys, and have my own The Indian in the Cupboard moment.