Meet Our Vendor: Butts on Things / Brian Cook
I am not sure it’s possible to not love a business titled Butts on Things. Is it? We are so excited to learn about this new vendor!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Brian Cook, I’m an illustrator from Portland, OR, and I silly doodles and love to eat Oreos. I am the author/illustrator of a children’s book about severed limbs called “Beware the Haunted Legs.” I have been fortunate enough in my freelance career to get the opportunity to work for companies like Nike, Target, Capitol Records, Warner Brothers, Facebook, Kelloggs, and Threadless A few years back I began drawing a butt on a random object every Friday on my Instagram and people loved it! I have kept up with that tradition for almost 3 years now and it is still going strong.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
Lately my “Butts on Things” series has been getting attention at a somewhat alarming rate so I have been working non-stop to bring the butts to the people! I’ve been developing a full line of shirts, mugs, pins, and stickers! I even have shoes!
Any new exciting news you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m SUPER excited to bring my butt up to Seattle! I’m working hard to bring some exclusive and new designs just for you guys!
What was your first memory of making something?
When I was about 2 I crawled under a table in my parents house and covered the wall under the table with scribbles using a Sharpie. My parents didn’t see it for a week or so but eventually they moved the table to clean and the evidence was there.
What is your favorite new product for 2018?
I’m pretty excited to be able to offer oodles of stickers for the first time this year! I try to sell them as inexpensively as I can because I think it’s really cool that people will buy them, cover their laptop, water-bottle, or even car bumper with them for everyone to see! It’s pretty cool to see everyone covering things with my silly doodles and tagging them on Instagram!
How far will you be traveling to come to UCU?
Just a few hours drive up from Portland.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
Meeting new people and getting even the most exhausted of shoppers to crack a smile when they wander past my booth. We need more smiles in the world right now!
How did you get started in your business?
I went to art and design school and trained to be an illustrator. I started out working small and taking any job I could and eventually worked my way up – hopefully I haven’t peaked just yet!
Is this a full-time business for you?
I used to do freelance full time – then I started teaching art as well. It was nice to get out of the studio and work in the field and not have to worry about health insurance etc…..but the way things have been going some days it feels like I am working 2 full time jobs at this point! It helps that the teaching only happens for part of the year because it gives me lots of flexibility to take on much bigger projects during the teaching off-season.
Where do you see your business in 3 years?
I’d like to expand my Butts on Things brand even further with the goal of covering the world with as many butts as possible. I am also hoping to work on a few more picture books and art books, and I have even started rough planning for a animated kids channel on YouTube. I have lots of plans….
Who’s your biggest fan?
My Parents….and any 6 year old.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?:
You can get by on 5 hours of sleep a night.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
I’m still proud of how my picture book turned out – it was an insane amount of work but it was pretty awesome to see people get behind such a wacky idea for a children’s book….it’s not every day that parents want to read a story about ghostly limbs to their children before bed! I love it when people come by my booth and tell me that it’s on the heavy rotation list of bedtime stories.
What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
I think all the humor in them. I like to make people giggle, and I think the people that get my humor can see that.
What’s the best experience you’ve ever had with one of your customers?
I’ve done a lot of t-shirt designs over the years and it’s always super fun to spot a stranger wearing my shirt in the wild! Every once in a while a picture will pop up of a semi-famous celebrity wearing my shirt or it will be on someone on a TV show! It’s super cool!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram for your chance to win A fully loaded “Butts on Things” SWAG BAG!