All courtesy of FCTRY, a design company that creates trendy products that let you express the fun and creative side of your life.
JASON FEINBERG, co-founder of the Brooklyn, NY based company is dedicated to embracing the creativity of artists and using the tools of mass production to turn original concepts into global brands.
INTERVIEW: Jason Feinberg
brandnewdaydesigns: What’s the theme of FCTRY’s products?
Jason Feinberg: There’s definitely a strong Andy Warhol influence of pop art. Warhol’s studio was called The Factory so it’s not a total coincidence we’re called FCTRY. It’s sort of an extension of the pop art concept where you have mass culture influencing art. [We are] an evolution of that idea where mass culture and art are merging into one. I want the art to be indistinguishable from the product. That’s the concurrent theme in all our products.
bndd: How is the business of art for you?
JF: I’m actually a sculptor by training. My first product was a bunch of sculptures I made of favorite action heroes. I started FCTRY as an art guy, but took to business really well. A lot of what we’re doing is reaching out to other artists and peers I’ve worked with in the past and saying, “Hey let’s work with your art and find something you want mass produced.” Because I’m able to cross between the art and business worlds I can talk with an artist and understand their needs, but can also run a business and deal with mass production, importation and distribution and that seems to be a sweet spot of FCTRY.
JF: We’re always trying to mix in whatever is going on with a trend, but do it in a new way that people aren’t thinking about. A great example of that is our Unicorn Snot. We got in early on the unicorn trend. Unicorn Snot is a gross name that’s mixed with the cool unicorn name, but the product itself is gorgeous. It’s a really pretty cosmetic grade glitter gel you can put all over your body; your hair, body on your face. Having all those things going on at once is kinda what we do. We like to roll a couple layers of joke into the product.
JF: Back in the day when I was a kid and would go see a movie, like a Star Wars movie, part of that experience was buying the toys; the merchandise that ties into the movie. We’re making toys that tie into the election experience. Just like the McDonald’s Happy Meal has a toy connected with a summer movie your psyched about, we’re trying to create something [with the dolls] around real world events. People love them.
JF: One of our recurring themes is looking for cultural icons. The gummy bear is this weird cultural icon across the globe. Everyone knows exactly what it is and they love it. I can’t remember why I chose a light, but I remember it had to feel like a giant gummy bear. You had to interact with it by squeezing it to turn it on and off because if it didn’t have that element, then the magic of a gummy bear wasn’t there. We spent two years trying to find a factory who could make it all happen.
JF: Back in the day, having an Apple computer was suppose to be the whole ‘think different’ thing right? Twelve years ago, I used to sit in a cafe with my Macbook and you stood out. [You felt] creative and cool. Now if you look around, everyone’s got an Apple so it’s kinda like a flock of sheep sitting around with the same computer on the table. Flapjacks are a way to give people an affordable and easy way to make their computer look different from everyone else.
bndd: How do you want to grow as a company?
JF: We’re looking forward to working with more and more artists and creatives to bring their whacky ideas to reality.
bndd: Do you have advice for artists trying to take on the business of their art?
JF: Based on the majority of my experiences with artists, I’d say try not to get too wrapped up in the business part. Focus on the things you do well and find partners you trust to work with on the business side. It’s really hard to be creative and maintain your business savvy simultaneously. One will always zap the other. I can’t do my creative work and keep the books balanced at the same time. I can go into one space or into the other. If you’re a great artist, I would avoid that book balancing space and just surround yourself with people to take care of all that. —
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