GeekCraft Expo Seattle 2018 is November 24-25—have you pre-registered for your free tickets yet? We'll be showcasing the coolest geeky jewelry, gifts, apparel, and more by local Pacific Northwest crafters over at Hangar 30, complete with food carts, free make-and-take crafts for kids courtesy of Seattle ReCreative, and more!
One of our newest exhibitors is ThinkNu, purveyor of some incredibly geeky pins, stickers, keychains and more. We were able to chat with ThinkNu's Kelvin Oh and get his origin story, below:
GeekCraft Expo: How did ThinkNu get its start?
Kelvin Oh: A few of us in university were working as freelancers in our respective design fields. I suggested the idea of instead of putting random individual jobs on our resume we should say we were all part of a "freelance creative agency" and use each other as references. To all my previous employers who might be reading this . . . well, I mean I still did good work so can you really complain?
GCE: Can you explain the name for us?
KO: I literally made it up on the spot while filling it in on my resume. It sounded like a cool nerdy Silicon Valley-esque startup. Even misspelled the "new" part to really sell it. I cringe a little every time someone says it out loud.
GCE: How did you get into art?
KO: My parents owned a video rental store (you might need to explain what that is to some of your younger readers) so I watched soooo many movies and cartoons and played video games constantly. Every night my parents would come home with stacks of scrap paper (inventory sheets, receipts, etc.) from their store and I would draw on the backs of them. I guess those two things really left an impact on me, which kept me from being a more productive member of society. Sorry Mom and Dad, but really you only have yourself to blame for me not being a doctor! I love you though!
GCE: What are your major influences?
KO: I grew up on a huge diet of Bruce Timm animation, and consequently, Jack Kirby comics. Also a lot of Super Nintendo box art because I'd like to take the instruction manuals and trace the artwork I found in them. Also anime . . . so much anime.
GCE: What are your favorite aspects of geek culture?
KO: How incredibly lucrative it is—*ahem*. I really love how there are so many different ways to be "a geek." You can play card games, watch movies, or paint action figures. There are so many different ways to engage in this sort of culture, and it just seems to grow hand in hand with society. I have a friend who is kickstarting his own online trading card game. Another who employs a team of almost 20 people building cosplays for gaming companies. Kids are earning scholarships playing video games and professionals are playing them in sold out sports arenas. All of these people are "geeks."
GCE: Who is your favorite geek hero or villain?
KO: I misread this question as asking who my favourite hero/villain is that happens to be a geek, and now I'm just picturing Darth Vader reading comic books or Doctor Doom being a dungeon master.
Favourite hero is probably Spider-Man. I actually got into photography because Spider-Man had a cool expensive-looking camera. Favourite villain is probably Kirby. You heard me. The little pink ball of terror consumes all that crosses him. Then he runs around wearing your skin. And he FLIES! Also in Kirby Superstar/Dynablade, you kinda straight up murder the giant bird in front of its babies . . . like seriously what was up with that? (0_0)
GCE: What are you bringing to the show this year?
KO: Hope. Freedom. But mostly pins, stickers, and keychains. And some dope T-shirts.
Our thanks to Kelvin for the interview! Make sure to pre-register for GeekCraft Expo Seattle now for free admission, otherwise it's $2 for those 13 and up. Can't wait to see you there!