Every time we’ve had an interview, I’ve always come out of the experience surprised. I always forget that every creative, even the ones I admire, experiences trials and tribulations. I mistakenly assume a fully formed creative outfit. More often than not, this is never the case. The journey of most is filled with ups and downs.
My interview with Mark Deutsch of Happy Garaje is no different. I have always admired their work from afar. They are one of the few creative outfits that have managed to balance design work with personal art.
If you aren’t familiar with Happy Garaje, they are a design/illustration studio comprised of husband and wife team, Mark Deutsch and Johanna Velasco. It was founded in 2009 and also includes associate artist Karina Cuizon who joined in 2015. They’ve received numerous awards and distinctions, notably the Gold Award from The Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles, inclusion in the list of 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 put together by the advertising index Luerzer’s Archive in Europe; and their work has been featured in notable publications such as Communication Arts, Semi-Permanent, Australia, BluPrint magazine, among others.
In this interview, Mark Deutsch made my job easy. Usually I research and make a short outline with how I want the interview to go, but I was in for a surprise when I stepped into their studio. You’ll understand when you listen to the episode. But in short, we talked about their journey as a design studio, from the beginning when they had the laptop of death, to when they almost closed their doors as a creative studio, to where they are today.
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Music is Piano March by Audionautix.