Our guest on Overtime episode 15 is Rogie King. Rogie is a talented illustrator, designer, and developer and he’s been a long time Dribbble member. Recently, he’s worked on NeonMob and Super Team Deluxe.
In this episode, Dan chats with Rogie about how he got into design, the origin story of Super Team Deluxe, the challenges of working alone, the benefits of collaboration, Rogie’s plans for the future, and more.
A big thank you to Jamf Now for sponsoring this episode. Jamf Now helps small business owners manage their Apple devices from anywhere and on demand. With Jamf Now, you can configure settings, protect sensitive information, even lock or wipe a device—from anywhere. No IT expertise needed. Dribbble listeners can start securing their business today—by setting up the first 3 devices for free. Add more, for just two bucks a month, per device. Create your free account today at jamf.com/dribbble.
Links Mentioned in Overtime:
- Rogie King on Dribbble
- Rogie on Twitter
- Rogie on Instagram
- Rogie’s website
- Super Team Deluxe
- Rogie’s 48 Week Challenge
- The Four Agreements
Rogie: What an amazing idea that you take your friends and the people that you love living life with, and you shove them into a room and just say make shit, and just have fun with it.
Dan: This is Overtime, Dribbble’s official podcast. I’m Dan Cederholm your host. Today is Episode 15 with Rogie King. Rogie has been a long-time member of Dribbble going way back, just about to the beginning of the site, really. He’s been a champion and a great ambassador for Dribbble over the years and the community. We really appreciate that and all he’s done for Dribbble members and designer and creative people all over. He’s a mobile and web designer, illustrator, and friend developer, a part of Super Team Deluxe. Worked on NeonMob and just an all-around fun, positive person. I think you’ll enjoy this episode.
Before we get started I have a couple of announcements. One, if you like the show, and we hope you do, please rate and/or review us on iTunes, and subscribe there. We’d really appreciate that.
Also this week was a big week. We launched our official iOS app. It took us a while. We think the iPhone and iPad are going to be around for a while, so we decided to launch our iOS app officially. That’s very exciting, so please go to Dribbble.com/ios for more info on how to download it. It’s available for iPhone and iPad. We’re really excited that it’s out there. And the experience on those devices is going to be pretty special. There’s also an Easter egg I hope you’ll find because it’s really fun. Check it out, Dribbble.com/ios.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Jamf Now. Jamf Now helps you manage your Apple devices from anywhere and on demand. When you first start your business, it’s pretty easy to keep track of your own computer and phone, but as you grow and start to buy more tech for your employees it gets harder to keep track of everyone’s Macs, iPhones, and iPads.
Figuring out how to secure the iPad that your sales rep lost can be tough, especially when you’re in different locations. Jamf Now makes that and a whole lot more much easier. You can configure settings, protect sensitive information, even lock or wipe a device from anywhere. Jamf Now secures you stuff so you can focus on your business instead. No IT expertise needed.
So Dribbble listeners can start securing their business today by setting up the first three devices for free. Add more for just two bucks a month per device. Create your free account today at jamf.com/Dribbble. So special thanks to Jamf Now for supporting this week’s episode. Now let’s dive into our chat with Rogie King.
So welcome to Overtime, Rogie King.
Rogie: And this is the part where I talk. Hi. I’m Rogie King here with Dan Cederholm, both on Overtime simultaneously. It’s a miracle, we know, but here we are.
Dan: It is a miracle because we haven’t hung out in a long time. It’s been a long decade or something.
Rogie: It’s one of the relationships that should have happened. It’s like the Bennifer that should have happened but never did.
Rogie: Sounds great.
Dan: Doesn’t it?
Rogie: Exactly like it should sound.
Dan: Where are you calling in from?
Rogie: I’m calling in from my home as my wife watches the TV and my child sleeps in Helena, Montana. This is real-life happening right now.
Dan: I love it.
Rogie: In Helena, Montana, city of 50,000 people, sort of like a tech armpit. Not much here, just a little, just a touch. And then where are you calling? I’m co-hosting now.
Dan: I love it. I’m calling in from Salem, Massachusetts. Also about the same population, like 50,000. But we’re sort of outside Boston, so like a suburb of Boston, really. I’ve never been to Montana and I really do want to go there. It’s always been one of those bucket list places, honestly.
Rogie: Dude, I miss I’ve done a lot of business in San Francisco and I miss all of the people that think like me. I love going to conferences because of all the people that think like me. But there’s some solace here that within five minutes I can hit the mountains going hunting or hiking, and I don’t see a soul. There’s something special, like feeling like you’re the only man on a hill, or the only woman on a mountain. That’s pretty amazing. It’s a great feeling.
Dan: I can imagine. I grew up in Vermont, so I have that in my blood. I’m happy when I can get away and be part of nature. You’ve been a long-time Dribbble member, like from the very beginning, super beginning.
Rogie: I am a long-time Dribbble member. I remember Mark Jardine invited me and he was like “Dude, I think this would be something that you would like.” I was running a blog called Komodo Media at the time with jungley weird stuff and illustrations all over the place.
Dan: I was a big fan of that site.
Rogie: That’s very flattering. You should have told me that back then. It probably would have gone straight to my head. I remember jumping out of the web scene and doing CSS, design, and being very thirsty to learn and teach all at the same time. I remember writing a blog post and I think I called it something like instead of a tag I called it an attribute. I literally didn’t know what the difference was. But I was just winging it. I was good at tinkering with stuff. I remember Nathan I forget what his last name was. His website was SonSpring. Do you remember SonSpring?
Dan: That sounds really familiar.
Rogie: He’s a frontend developer. He was like “Dude, that’s actually an attribute.” I was like “Oh, okay, cool.” That was all about the time when I just jumped out and starting to get into design, and teaching people what I knew about CSS. And then of course I knew about Dan and I knew about simplebits.com.
Dan: Good memory.
Rogie: This is like crazy web standards, evangelizing period of time. I remember thinking this Dribbble site is cool, but I didn’t know what it was. Mark Jardine is like “This is totally you.” I remember doing it, and I don’t even know how I look at my work then and then I look at the other work that was being created there too. And I’m like I got lucky somehow. Somehow people decided to like some things I was posting. Then I just kept posting and getting addicted to it.
Dan: Aw, now you’re being too humble. You’ve always been a talent. Even back to your Viney website. Super cool stuff, I’ve always admired your visual style, and have loved watching it evolve.
Dan: Aside from that, when I think of the early days of Dribbble, the sense of community and the people that really made it a special place, you’re at the top of the list in terms of really helping Dribbble as an unofficial ambassador almost. Encouraging people, and obviously, I think that’s part of your personality in general. I really appreciate that. You’re still on there kicking butt and making cool stuff.
I’m excited to talk to you about all that today. Thank you.
Rogie: You’re welcome. I think it was a great tool. I remember why it was made. I remember reading up on the genesis of it. I think it was something that we all needed. It was great to encourage people to kind of get to peek behind the door. Especially in the beginning days of Dribbble, everything was works in progress. People were lifting up the skirt a bit and showing what was happening behind the scenes.
It was really cool. It was like this vulnerable thing. I know that there is recent the web is filled with haters both on Dribbble and not, also on Twitter and everywhere else. But it’s good to see there are still people within the community lifting each other up and critiquing each other and saying what if you did it this way. I remember Rebounds being used for that reason. Rebounds being used because people wanted to show let me show you my take on it because this might help a bit. And you’d be like thank you, I never thought about it that way.
Dan: Totally. Then we built a feature on that, which is fun. It’s fun to sit back and watch how people use this thing you’re not really sure how they’re going to use it. That was one of those things.
Rogie: The tool has grown a ton since then, and a lot of people are on it now. I definitely feel like a small fish now in a big pond. I think you even alluded to this a while back. The talent on Dribbble now is ridiculous. As many followers as I may have amassed now, you look out at people with 1,000 followers, but their stuff is ridiculous. It’s so cool.
Dan: Absolutely. It’s continually inspiring, the amount of talent that’s out there. It’s amazing.
Rogie: It’s so cool.
Dan: I’m just grateful people are sharing it. Over the years, you’ve been sharing all sorts of stuff. Like I said earlier, watching your illustration style evolve has been really fun. Actually, I want to get back to something you said earlier about lifting people up. That’s what I think of when I think of Rogie.
Rogie: That’s a cool thing, man.
Dan: It’s definitely true. You have a presence out there that’s really positive.
Rogie: Hell yeah, all right.
Dan: That’s super cool. On your blog, you’ve got this 48-week challenge thing going on, daily goals. One of them is to life others up as a goal. That’s like a thing. You wake up in the morning and that’s one of the things you’re thinking about.
Rogie: In that situation it was every week brings on a new challenge, and that one was a week of go figure that was the easiest because it was more within my natural non-challenging wheelhouse, not to say that I’m this amazing person but it’s definitely it brings me more life to do that than go on a run. It’s easier for me to do more naturally.
That was a really fun week. It was a really great week. The idea is to kind of ramrod your system, almost like taking an ice bath, shock yourself into something new and different. That one was cool. Some days it was just like I remember the coolest day was a tweet.
“If you had something to get yourself” and we’re not talking about feeding refugees but some small impulse purchase that you bought for yourself “that was ten dollars or less, what would it be?” Of course, some people waxed philosophical, but some people were like I remember Jen Mussari from the Ghostly Ferns was like “I want mustard pretzels.” I was like, “Boom, done. Give me your address.”
I told myself the first five or so people that answered with an honest request I would do it. Some guy wanted a Luke Skywalker Kenner figure on eBay and linked me. I was like “Give me your address.” It was pretty fun. It was super cool.
Dan: That’s incredible. You literally sent mustard pretzels to Jen Mussari?
Rogie: I got their address and sent a bulk box of mustard Snyder’s mustard pretzels. She was like “Yeah, my breath is going to be horrible.” I was like “You’re welcome. You and your husband, you’re welcome.”
Dan: That’s so cool.
Rogie: It was such a fun challenge.
Dan: That’s amazing. That was one of the 48 weeks of challenges. Now I understand the structure here. This is inspiring because you also did a 5K a day, which I know personally that would be a lot harder for me to do.
Rogie: That one sucked so badly. It was during this cold snap that I was like are you kidding me? One day I ran it was 10-degrees below zero, and I was like this is not right; I’m going to quit. I didn’t quit, but it was insanity.
Dan: That’s nuts, but you did it.
Rogie: I did it and God it hurt. I’m a little failing on these, but it’s not necessarily 48 continuous weeks. I can hop on board soon.
Dan: You can space them out. I just love the concept of it. Just taking the time and saying this week I’m going to do this.
Rogie: Strangely enough, the things that we think we what I like about it is that I chose things I knew I wouldn’t normally do. I know I’m going to sit down and draw. I know I’m not going to read a book, so I forced I haven’t written this one down, but I forced myself to read this book called The Four Agreements. Specifically nothing out of my past. In my past it was always reading these Christian books or whatever from being a kid. I was like I’m going to read something that’s philosophical, a bit maybe theological, but not Christian. And it was really amazing. It was an amazing book.
Dan: That’s awesome. I have a similar issue with reading. I think I need to be disciplined about it. I don’t know why. I’m just doing other things.
Rogie: Do you find you sit down and code? What are you doing now when you’re in your natural state?
Dan: Mostly taking care of the kids, obviously. You’re familiar with that one.
Rogie: I’m familiar.
Dan: And just trying to do I love doing things that I love working and love what I do. Then I also love doing something that’s not related to design or screens at all.
Rogie: That’s banjo, right?
Dan: Yeah, like music in general. If I have any free time, that’s my go-to. But books, you never regret reading a book.
Rogie: It’s kind of like working out. You’re always like “I feel amazing,” but when you start you’re like “Why?”
Dan: At the end it’s like this is why people work out; this is incredible.
Rogie: It’s amazing. It’s a thing.
Dan: It totally is a thing. I picked a couple of shots to talk about today. Probably to serve as bookends for a conversation we can have. The first is called “Sailor Jerry x Disney x Rogie” and this looks like it’s a tattoo. You describe it as a “rogie-disney-sailor jerry style’d tat”. First of all, is it a tattoo, because it should be.
Rogie: It’s not a tattoo. I had somebody ask once if they could tattoo it. I was like oh, please.
Dan: Someone else would take it? Oh, yeah.
Rogie: I’m like put that on your body, man.
Dan: That would be the ultimate compliment; wouldn’t it?
Rogie: Yeah. It’s kind of scary though. I’ve had people go “I love your art. I love your style. Can you illustrate me something for a tattoo?” I kind of shut down, like no, I’m busy.
Dan: It’s a lot of pressure.
Dan: You can have fun though. You could add an Easter egg in there that only you’d know about. Rogie: Unfortunately I only know about Easter eggs typically through code. I’d be like I can’t hack the mainframe, I can’t get in. Can we do an implant? I don’t know.
Dan: It’s the style of a tattoo. I love the illustration. I’m wondering what the inspiration was there. You’ve had an interesting evolution from you mentioned you started out building websites and CSS, and then how did you get into illustration? Tell us about that journey.
Rogie: It’s a long, arduous tale. I can fast forward this story and hit some key points. Growing up, I was a son of a father that was very much like a welder and hardcore work with your hands kind of guy. He didn’t see a lot of value in art, and I was crazed about art. I would draw all the time. I would draw in sketchbooks and paper, whatever the hell I could draw.
I would pause Disney movies and pause back in the VHS days when you would pause it, and you had to pause it and unpause it like 18 times so you’d lose the little scan lines so you could get a clear image. I loved it.
Growing up though, my parents didn’t have a lot of direction to give me there. They were like “You’re good with math, Rogie.” I was like huh? I end up going to school, becoming a math major. Then in the middle of that, like this is strange. So I end up meandering into computer science, get a degree in math and computer science, get a double major. Pretty damn good at it, but I had sort of shelved all this art stuff. My dad was going through some weird religious stuff at the time. And he was like this art is evil, and whatever. It was some crazy stuff. Love my dad, but God that sucked.
I think if I fast forward to I get out of college, fall in love with Flash, start coding in Flash. I’m getting on board with all this CSS stuff and being like shit, this is easy. I can do a lot of the stuff I did in Flash but right here and native. Talked to Douglas Bowman, got a lot of great insights from him at this weird conference. You may remember this a Thunder Lizard conference?
Dan: Yeah, Thunder Lizard, yeah.
Rogie: Do you remember those?
Rogie: Doug Bowman was my hero. This is how I started to know about you and your work, and that whole group, like Molly Holzschlag, and all that. So anyway, I get out and start doing all this web dev stuff. But the more I start working with the web the more I’m like visual things. I’m just doing frontend dev. I’m not doing design. I’m like I got to get my fingers in this.
I start messing around with the visuals of that. It’s the way my life works, one thing yields way to the next, and I’m too curious. I always find the next thing. By the time I’m 30, I go on a vacation to Disneyland and there’s this one epic moment in my life. I’m sitting there looking at the fireworks, surrounded by all this great art and animation and all the stuff I wanted to do as a kid.
I remember being like you lost that. You lost all of that love, and it was from that moment I’m relatively spiritual for those that know me. I don’t know exactly what I would say this was, but there was definitely a moment where I felt like some sort of spiritual, sort of I would say to myself and people that maybe believe this way that like it was God, some kind of moment where I felt like God was saying you got to get that back; that was you.
From age 30 and even if you go back into my Dribbble about six years, you’ll notice things take off with that. I remember on the drive home, just broke open Adobe Illustrator and created this piece, and kept going and going. That’s how the whole art/illustration thing started, and then the Sailor Jerry thing just out of that was like being curious about tattoos.
Really curious about tattoos, kind of like breaking down some walls with “Tattoos are wrong,” and all that. I’m open to a tattoo and really starting to look into the culture and being like, “this shit is really cool. This is really cool stuff.” Just the weird, morbid I’m kind of fascinated with cute morbid, like putting two things together like the Mickey Mouse hand with a severed sort of like bone sticking out. Dan: I like that one. And you made a pin of that and we’re going to talk about that in a bit.
Rogie: It’s like this juxtaposition between life and death, and that it’s all part of the same thing. So that’s where this thing came about. This came out of just different elements that I’d seen in those tattoos, but thinking what if I did it; what if I put my spin on it, and it was this cute? I loved Cobra as a kid, like who didn’t? Cobras were the coolest, right?
Dan: They really were. It’s a nostalgic thing almost, Cobras.
Rogie: And it’s got like Cobra Commander and all that. As a young boy in the U.S., it was like Cobras were the shit, man.
Dan: You’re right. G.I. Joe, Karate Kid, the Cobra guy.
Rogie: Or even Aladdin. Yeah, the Cobra Kai.
Dan: And then you’ve got Indiana Jones.
Rogie: Sweep the leg.
Dan: You’re right.
Rogie: It’s all coming back to me now.
Rogie: I feel like if you were a little boy in the U.S. growing up in the ’80s you were like “Dude, I just want to be a Cobra. I just want to be a Cobra.”
Dan: That’s so true. That was definitely a thing, and not that it’s not now, but I think Cobras have this nostalgic positiveness even though they’re deadly.
Rogie: Yeah, because they can be tamed and they were always the bass-ass even like Aladdin, Jafar becomes this cobra. Cool. So this was just sort of a foray into a new style. I’ve seen a lot of the trends and stuff on Twitter or Dribbble the illustration styles that are very thick borders. I was like it’s always so grid-based and geometry-based. I’m like that’s just not really me. That was this for me. What would I do with a really thick stroke style. And I was like tattoos kind of fit that.
Dan: Perfect for tattoo. That’s cool to hear. In terms of how you’ve created this, what do you start in? Do you do sketching on paper? Do you go right into illustrator?
Rogie: I’ve seen so many different artists do things differently. Some like the sketch phase just completely destroys them. They have to go right into the program. For me, I have to do it in a way that my hand is working naturally. The second I jump into vectors it’s like I just sort of lose control of my limbs if everything that feels natural is no longer natural.
I think this started as a sketch on paper and then I just did quick iPhoto scan, sent it to myself, and then at the time I think I had my Cintiq. In Cintiq you can go in and draw it rough, and then it’s almost as if you have vellum paper or tracing paper. You can then duplicate the layer, put another layer on top and drop the opacity of the layer before. And then just keep overdrawing until you get to a place you like.
If like three drawings back you love the way you expressed a mouth or wing, you can literally selection tool cut that out and bring it into your new layer, which is a lot more forgiving for non-classically trained artists.
Dan: Interesting. All those are on different layers, right?
Rogie: For sketching, I would do it all on different layers. In this case, once I get done sketching, then this one was all Adobe Illustrator using the width tool. It’s a pretty manual process. There’s a lot of masking and width tools. The scales are definitely just blowing out a regular round butt-end stroke. Some are a bit organic shapes. Some are gradients. I think the bird has some gradients. It’s like the only place that has gradients.
Dan: It’s nice because it’s like a tattoo gradient, that you would see, that they would do with a tattoo gun.
Rogie: I think they call it a whip shade. Dan, are you a tattoo guy?
Dan: No. I don’t have any, actually. But I appreciate them, and as an artform I really appreciate it too.
Rogie: You should appreciate them as an artform on your body. That would be great.
Dan: Maybe I should. I just always think is it too late to start getting a tattoo. Maybe it’s never too late.
Rogie: Is it sort of like oh, no, Dan’s getting tattoos; it’s a midlife crisis? Is that it?
Dan: Exactly. Am I too old to start? I’m not too old to get a tattoo but am I too old to start getting tattoos?
Rogie: The technicality of it is like your body is plenty able to take on the ink, but—
Dan: Exactly. It probably would hurt less now, which is good. I’m a bit more I can take pain better than I did when I was younger.
Rogie: Sad stories. I guess that’s a good question. Can you endure it socially? Will the friend group just I know when my son was like “Dad, I’m concerned.” This was three weeks ago “Dad, I’m concerned about you.” He’s ten. I’m like “Why?” He said, “I’m just afraid with your tattoos that you’re going to get your whole body covered in tattoos. And then you’re going to get a nose ring.” This is my son’s largest fears for my life.
Dan: These are the things they’re worried about.
Rogie: Yeah. This is the devil incarnate, something really bad is going to happen.
Dan: Oh, man. That’s awesome.
Rogie: Dan, never too late. You may get some commentary from your children, though.
Dan: That’s okay. That would be an interesting conversation. Also, maybe I should just get your Sailor Jerry tattoo.
Rogie: I would love it.
Dan: As my first tattoo.
Rogie: it would be an homage to Dribbble and the year of your you should totally do it.
Dan: We might have an update about this on a future episode.
Rogie: Where Dan just gets random designs. How about Rich develops a random generator. And anything tagged tattoo—
Dan: We just have to do it.
Rogie: Sort of like a Thursday night special for the Dribbble team. Everybody goes out and gets a tattoo.
Dan: I love the idea, and you have to do it.
Rogie: You have to.
Dan: Or you’re fired.
Rogie: I think that’s fine. Isn’t that in the handbook?
Dan: It will be in the handbook.
Rogie: Amend the handbook. I like this idea. I think it’s great.
Dan: I think it’s great too. So speaking of tattoos and ones I might get, I actually would maybe get this for real, your “Pen Tool Enamel Pin” design.
Rogie: No kidding? I just saw somebody online that shared one that they did that’s the pen tool tattoo.
Dan: It’s perfect. It’s black and white, simple shape, meaningful in a lot of ways. I wanted to bring this one up because you’re doing some amazing stuff along with some other talented folks under the moniker Super Team Deluxe.
Rogie: This is correct.
Dan: Tell us about that because this is cool. You’re making physical things and selling them. But they’re very cool. It’s sort of a collective almost.
Rogie: Yeah, this is probably a more important thing to talk about because there’s a lot of growth in it. Justin Mazel, of Dribbble fame as well, he and I have been friends for well over five years. Sort of a random friendship on the web where he saw an article from me on The Great Discontent. He was like you don’t seem like an asshole, so let’s be friends.
I was like I think I’m not an asshole, so let’s hang out. He worked from home too. We ended up having this friendship. We’ve grown this friendship over five years and become really close. And go to conferences together, hanging together, and it’s almost disgusting how bromancey it gets sometimes. The problem has always been we’ve always thought let’s make something together. I think a lot of people think this. I don’t know how long you and Rich were friends, but you started something together.
Dan: Yeah, we were friends before Dribbble started, for sure. That started as a side project.
Rogie: How long did you have little spitball conversations where you were like what if we made this?
Dan: A lot. We were sharing an office on the days that he was working from home. We’d spitball a lot of things, and Dribbble was one of them. But Dribbble was probably the biggest projecty thing we started. I don’t know when.
Rogie: I would imagine these conversations are happening with a lot of close friends that have a skillset. Our industry is pretty good at saying get out there and do something, take a risk on yourself. We always thought about what could we do together.
We had a few ideas, just to throw some out there. The first thing we did on Dribbble was we did Epic Armory. We started illustrating a bunch of guns.
Dan: I remember that.
Rogie: Very culturally sensitive we were, illustrating a bunch of guns.
Dan: But they were super weapons.
Rogie: Like sci-fi, yeah. We got away on a technicality there, and without the blades and stuff. They weren’t like assault rifles, which I guess was a really smart play. We ended up doing Epic Armory and we really liked the feedback we got from the community, and we liked doing this idea together, and bringing along people for the ride.
So we began to think of this project called Take8 (ph.), where we were going to get eight different artists. We even started it, eight different artists, and eight different takes on the same object. And then we were going to put it in this hardbound book and sell it. We were going to do a Kickstarter for it. We had all these artists in mind that had distinctly different styles. That thing fizzled. We never got it off the ground.
We had another idea, and that never got off the ground. We were like what if we did this and dude, it was probably like eight different ideas. Finally, last year at a Creative South at a conference, we were hanging out. Once again, we’re getting all excited about an idea. I just looked him in the eye and I’m like “Dude, this is the way it needs to go. If we cannot release something let’s give ourselves a date, then we will forever call off ever doing a project together again.”
Dan: This is the last chance.
Rogie: This was it for us. I was like I am so sick and tired of these conversations, with not only him but other people. And I’m like we either make together or we just remain friends. And let’s just be buds, let’s just be friends, but let’s never talk again about these things. It would be Voldemort to us.
Dan: This one stuck.
Rogie: I think it worked because we were scared. We were like we know that if we don’t do this we promised ourselves we would never, ever do something again. Yeah. We still have a spreadsheet with all the weird-ass names we came up with for this. We were like what is the idea behind this? We had all these great ideas. We want it to be this, and we want it to be about camaraderie and a club that everyone can be a part of. And that it’s about dorks, not cool people, and something we could just completely go ape shit on with all the ideas weird copy. It was so strange it all came together. We came up with Super Team Deluxe as our 300th name idea.
Dan: Great name, by the way.
Rogie: Dude, thank you. We still love it, which is a good sign.
Dan: That is a very good sign.
Rogie: I guess the rest is history, but there’s so much more to talk about, with building Super Team. Suffice it to say we got the thing off the ground. And everything started clicking. Justin started writing copy, and he’s like “I fancy myself a writer every once in a while.” It was like holy shit, this is some really good stuff, funny stuff.
At the beginning, we each brought what we felt our skill was. For instance, mine would be design and coding and art. His was a bit of design, no coding, lots of illustration, and some other stuff, and then copywriting. And we kind of brought these things in and let’s sort of each have our own area. Now it’s completely changed a year later. Every bit of art we build, we build together. Every bit of design we design together. The only thing we don’t do is code together because he won’t touch the stuff.
Dan: All the products you’re releasing are really collaborative efforts.
Rogie: Every single dude, we had so many ideas until we were like let’s bring on collaborative artists. But one thing we learned is we made it way too complicated way too early. We just needed to just keep it us. We needed to figure out our brand voice, figure out who we were. We needed to grow through that first version.
We initially brought on Drew Melton as a lettering artist. We brought on Alicia Colon as a photographer, and they are awesome. They’re both great. But the reality was if we’re ever going to get a salary and make money out of this thing, it wasn’t going to happen that easily. Especially after free work from them at the beginning. It was just we wanted to make sure we didn’t milk that for way too long.
Dan: You were trying to live up to the name, Super Team Deluxe.
Rogie: And we still definitely do stuff with them. Drew does a few of our lettering pieces. We have new things coming out from him. The relationship is different now. We’ll contract through you and do it that way. Alicia will be working on some of our photography stuff as well. She’s still super tied in, and they’re the biggest cheerleaders in the world. They’re so great.
Dan: Do you enjoy making physical stuff and sending it to people? I guess you have to do to this. Rogie: I absolutely hate sending products. Luckily this is maybe our secret where we tilt our cards. Early on, Justin and I — like I don’t want to send anything. I was like dude, I didn’t find goods. I don’t want to send anything. I don’t want to ship a damn thing.
Dan: You’ve been there before.
Rogie: We’ve been through this circle of hell and we don’t like it. We don’t want to go there again. His wife Hannah was like I’m looking for a part-time job. I could send out this stuff, and you just pay me. We’re like dude, yeah. We have to house this stuff somewhere. Hannah ships everything. She works with all our customers. She’s super sweet to them. Granted, some of our designery kinds are a bit interesting for customer service. Dude, she takes care of everything for us.
Dan: That’s amazing. So you still have a human person that cares that’s taking care of that, which I think is important.
Rogie: It’s super cool. She does all that. I think she really likes Super Team. I think she likes the idea. She likes that it’s coming from Justin and I and it support her husband too. It’s kind of like this cool little family.
Dan: That’s awesome. What’s the future plan, if you can divulge that? What can we expect?
Rogie: Oh, God man, like if our dreams this is going to be the worst business plan idea ever because people are going to be like yeah, this is just you want to cram everything into one. Okay, so here’s what I want to do. I want to build something that isn’t just a side project. I want to build something that we can branch out into I hate the word lifestyle brand, but get on more goods and things and more quirky limited-edition stuff. Be a really daring design company that makes really odd funky stuff. I don’t know if we want to get into shirts, but sure, maybe shirts, hats, whatever just interesting things.
Dan: Yeah, that’s awesome. You’ve got more products planned with Super Team Deluxe, and more awesome stuff coming. I’m excited to see what comes out of that. Pins are it right now. You guys are rocking the pins.
Rogie: It’s hard to know. It feels like there’s going to be a bubble, like people are going to be like oh, okay.
Dan: That’s what I was going to ask. I don’t think there is now. Speaking of Disney by the way, I was at Disneyworld a couple of weeks ago. We hadn’t been in like five years or so, and pins are everywhere there. My kids got really into trading them, collecting them and stuff.
Rogie: Oh no, dude, don’t let them do that.
Dan: It’s crazy. Anyway, I don’t see it being a bubble, but I wonder what do you think the next pin what’s beyond pins that’s going to be popular?
Rogie: I think I know it.
Dan: Maybe you don’t want to share.
Dan: Maybe you want to pioneer that.
Rogie: It depends. If you only have three listeners on your show, I don’t mind sharing. Ain’t nobody going to do anything with that.
Dan: That’s true.
Rogie: To go back real quick and answer the previous question which is where we’re going; just to wrap it up, I think it would be so fricking rad if Justin and I I’ve always been obsessed with this idea of have you seen the show the Ace of Cakes?
Dan: Yeah, I remember that show.
Rogie: Like Duff Goldman, basically the intro is “I wanted to do these gnarly cakes and I wanted to take my friends along with me.” They’re like these punk misfit people that all become a part of a cake-making shop. I was like what an amazing idea, that you take your friends, and the people that you love living life with and you shove them into a room and just say make shit. And just have fun with it. And I love this idea.
So Justin and I it would be a dream that this is going to sound like way too many things at once, which is going to be a horrible idea. Super Team blows up. We’re selling all kinds of weird goods and shirts and whatever. We open up a storefront in some swank city. That storefront also has a loft area where we can have a co-working space, where we rent out to likeminded individuals and people that really like building really gnarly stuff. We do that, but we also because that’s not enough, we also have a distillery and brewery that’s all a part of it.
And we have really good food. And it’s like coffee by morning, and beer by night. It’s like an art gallery at the same time. You see these weird things popping up in San Francisco and bigger cities. It’s a strange art gallery gastro pub combo strange thing.
Dan: Absolutely, yes.
Rogie: So there. Honestly, as much as I love working on the web, my life is based in being a waiter, and I would love to make rad shit for people to wear, and great drinks for them to drink, and then have conversations with them.
Dan: I think that’s beautiful. Honestly, I share a similar dream, dude, actually.
Rogie: Tell me your dream.
Dan: It’s almost the same thing, honestly.
Rogie: You’re like it’s the same one. My team’s name is Super Team Deluxe too.
Dan: Exactly. No, it’s actually like Fantastic Turbo Team or something.
Rogie: Fantastic Union Royale.
Dan: Exactly. Honestly, I think I’m with you on the make stuff, first of all. I love making physical stuff. I’d love to get back to that. Also just working with hanging out with people, working with likeminded people as a collective. I think that’s awesome. I hope you guys do it. You have to do it now.
Rogie: We have to because I feel like we’ve sort of tied our boats together and we’re definitely floating down the same stream. I think we’ve just realized people there’s a lot of this coming out of frustration with very much working in the real world and then coming into the web, where everything you make is so ethereal and intangible sometimes. Then you want to break away and make real things. Also, when you work remotely, you don’t get to see peoples’ expressions, and smiles. This sounds kind of creepy but you don’t smell people. A lot of the senses are not there.
Rogie: And I miss that. That’s human. I think we want to get that back.
Dan: I love it. I’m with you.
Rogie: When you make Fantastic Union Royale, let me know. Maybe we’ll join forces. We need a banjo player and designer.
Dan: That I can do. See what skills I love the idea of also amassing a collective that you look at your skills and talents and what you can bring and try to work together that way. I think that’s super healthy. This is the right way to start a venture with somebody.
Rogie: I think so too. There’s just something I can’t shake, that was like maybe six or eight years ago. There was a lot of emphasis on the web being put on, like you can do it on your own. Be independent. With the rise to fame with individuals on Twitter getting a lot of followers, or on Dribbble, it’s like we became very individualistic in our thinking. That’s not the path to fulfilment for me. It never was.
It’s amazing what ideas Justin and I can have together versus alone. Our stuff is so much better together. It’s amazing. I came up with shitty ideas alone. There’s a lot of them sitting on my hard drive.
Dan: I agree. I think better together is totally true. And you go in waves. I did a lot of working on my own for a long time. Liked certain aspects of it, but nothing beats a team. No matter how big or small it is, like a team that’s working well together and has energy you can’t really duplicate that on your own. I get you.
Rogie: Oh yeah, dude. I trust, and I would imagine that’s how Dribbble is.
Dan: Yeah, it really is.
Rogie: It’s so rad when you create something like that. You never realize wow, I made something that’s affecting other peoples’ lives in really positive ways and giving them income. This is amazing.
Dan: Thanks, man.
Rogie: It’s really cool.
Dan: Totally. Hopefully we can keep doing that. Thank you Rogie, so much, for talking with us today. Been a long-time fan, and it’s been a long time coming to talk to you even on this show, but just love what you’re doing.
Rogie: Thanks so much. Thanks for the invite, I know Dribbble has definitely been a really cool thing for me. I think probably for me different because I haven’t gotten a ton of work through Dribbble.
But I’ve always been coding and doing stuff on the side anyways. Maybe if I got some it was a bit on top, but with three kids and everything, I’m not taking that much additional work.
Dribbble has been a great place for me to be encouraged. I think it’s probably my story is a bit different, to be encouraged. I go back to comments. Sometimes I just go back, grab a glass of wine, get a little nostalgic. Turn on some Barry and go back four years ago in my stream and just see a lot of times the person or artist or designer that you are is very much based on the people that came and supported you back then. And then people will be like “You’re killing it. You’re doing an amazing job.” And I’m like that was really gracious of them to give their time to say that.
I would say that would be my biggest takeaway from Dribbble. It’s definitely encouraged me to step out, and to be bold, take steps, and try new things. And to support like a 30-year-old dude that’s decided he wants to go back to being a kid again and do art like he did when he was a kid, and Dribbble was a large part of that. That was really rad.
Dan: That’s awesome to hear. I love it. If we could have helped in that way to help people grow as creative people, I’m happy. That’s awesome. Thanks again, Rogie.
Dan: We’ll be watching you.
Rogie: From the skies?
Dan: That sounded very bad.
Rogie: It sounded very much like you’re my grandma on her deathbed. “I’ll be looking down on you, li’l guy.”
Dan: That sounded really bad, or also like maybe bad in a business way. Like a creepy way, like we look at everybody, we watch everybody.
Rogie: We’ll be watching your server logs.
Dan: I don’t want anybody to get the wrong idea there. That’s crazy. No. We’ll be watching what you’re creating, no matter where that is.
Rogie: I think I got it initially. I got the intent.
Dan: Whew! Okay.
Rogie: Dude, thanks again, so much, and for all you’re doing. Keep it up. Good luck with the continued podcasting too. It’s rad.
Dan: Thanks, man.
Rogie: I think you’re kicking it up. And the band you’re playing in—and what was your new team name?
Dan: I think it’s going to be Extreme Turbo Genuine —that’s terrible.
Rogie: Extreme Turbo Genuine Club 2009.
Dan: Yeah, 2009 2000 maybe.
Dan: Or 3000, something like that.
Rogie: 3000’s better.
Dan: I just mean the concept of making stuff. I think that’s where it’s at.
Rogie: Yeah, dude. Let’s go out there and kill it.
Dan: Let’s make stuff and make people happy.
Rogie: Will do.
Dan: Okay man, thank you so much.
Rogie: Thanks again.