I use to think that if I didn’t design I’d paint. Use to. Now I have no idea what I’d do if I didn’t design.

Truth is, I don’t think I have finished a painting in a decade. I’ve dabbled a few times since then. Once I even did some watercolor backgrounds to scan in. I used those in a design, the paintings themselves were never what I’d call finished.

When I walk by my paints and brushes sometimes I feel sad about that, sometimes I just wish I had an excuse I could use. Just a small reason why I should drop everything for a few hours and have fun. I keep telling myself that is reason enough, but I never do.

Then I got an email from Paul “The Professor” Berkbigler asking me to be on a panel for his AIGA Nebraska student event – Me, Myself & Design 2009 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Somehow I always find time for those, so I said yes. Paul had other things planned. He was making an excuse to design custom toys, and the fourteen panelists were all told to create one as well. Leave it to Paul to come up with my excuse.

MUNNY he said. Design a custom MUNNY from Kidrobot. Paul created materials to promote the event (a roundtable discussion and portfolio review with professionals) by creating three characters on blank 7″ MUNNY vinyl figures. The materials were sent via PDF to instructors to print out and hang up. Each of his three characters were given Facebook and Twitter pages. The promotions worked, as I’m told the event sold-out on the final day.

But more important to me, my blank MUNNY showed up in my mailbox. All of the panelists got 4″ MUNNY figures to work with. I knew mine would be painted, because I needed an excuse to paint, and this was it. But sketching first, because I had no idea of what to do.


Then Nate stopped by the office. He asked what the figure was for. He wondered why he was left out. I didn’t know the selection process, so we could only guess. But that wasn’t going to get in my way of painting. If only I could remember how.

Base coat the entire figure so that small spots that get missed with the painting don’t show up white. Use whatever color I have too much of and won’t otherwise use. Teal. Check.

Rough in the basic areas to paint with a pencil, and start painting one area at a time. Check.


Pencil in details and paint with a nice dark gray. Check. Do other minor detail work like eyes. Check.

Use some glazing to water-down the paint, and add a bit of intensity to the colors. Check.

Cover entire figure with a gloss medium to give it an even shine. Check. And done.


And now, all fourteen of us panelists will let our MUNNY figures be sold at auction. This includes not only mine, but those of some other designers that we’ve been honored to have on the old Be A Design Cast and The Reflex Blue Show: Drew Davies, Steve Gordon, Bennett Holzworth, Adam Nielsen and the three 7″ figures by Paul Berkbigler.

The auction begins at 11 AM on Thursday, April 16, 2009 and ends at 2:30 PM on Saturday, April 18, 2009. The auction links, as well as photos of all of the MUNNY figures will be posted on the AIGA Nebraska website.

If you follow 36 Point and win any of the figures by Donovan, Drew, Steve, Bennett, Adam or Paul, let us know, we’ll mail you a few 36 Point stickers as a special thanks.