Today we’d like to introduce you to Segan Friend.
Segan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I moved to LA in June 2006. Previously I had been living in London working on film and TV as a propman and art director. I must be one of the few people to move here to get out of the film industry!
The usual story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl gets boy to work for her lucha libre/burlesque show. I started working with Lucha VaVOOM. It began with designing show posters and building specialty props for the show, but then we needed a website– so I taught myself web design. I built the site, then started running the social media accounts and doing the marketing, then designing the merch and even find myself taking over DJ duties on the night of the event. I’m the Swiss Army knife of the show! It’s been an amazing experience being a part of such a vibrant, dynamic, inclusive and fucking fun show. Even after Rita D’Albert (co-creator and producer of the show) and I went our separate ways, it’s still my main focus. I really pour my heart into it. The current pandemic has certainly thrown us a curveball (hasn’t it everyone?), but we are confident we will survive, adapt, and live to fight another day.
Meanwhile — I’ve expanded my client base and now have my own graphics/web/social media company called “Misterfriend.”
I have also been known to periodically dip back into the film industry, working on fabricating sets and props when the mood and circumstance strikes. It’s good to keep your hands dirty.
AND– I’ve been nursing a dirty little secret. Making more of my own art. Sculpting, painting, and whatever else takes my fancy. Took a while to get comfortable making stuff for the sake of making it. I mean– give me a design brief and a deadline and I’m all over it!! But it’s a little harder when I’m my own client. No one I’ve ever worked with gives me as much grief as I give myself.
Has it been a smooth road?
No road worth traveling is ever smooth. There have certainly been periods of scary financial uncertainty and doubt. Times when I wonder what the hell I’m doing, or wake up at 3am in a cold sweat, the gears in my brain grinding away. But you have to work through it and keep going because the feeling of accomplishment that comes when we pull off an amazing show or I manage to knock a design out of the park and the client loves it—that’s worth it all. If I didn’t care about what I’m doing, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
The most common frustration I run into is when I meet with someone who loves my work, but thinks that for some reason I would love to work for free. Oh! I’ll get exposure you say? Really?? Pass the sunscreen, I’m fucking dying of exposure over here! But seriously — I’ve always been pretty flexible when it comes to budgets, especially when the job looks fun, but this is my livelihood. Would you ask a plumber to shovel shit for exposure?
Please tell us more about your art.
My design firm is called “Misterfriend.” It’s a one stop shop for design, web and print. I guess my style is retro-modern, as much of an oxymoron as that is. I love the rich textures of old Victorian print ads, the optimism of 30’s futurist design, bold old propaganda images, film posters from the 50’s-70’s, it all goes into the blender of my brain and influences my style.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
LA is an ace place for me and for anyone creative. It has a unique outlook and is willing to give you a chance (or three) to do something you want to try. I’m not sure I could have as easily switched career paths in London or anywhere else. People will give you a chance to prove yourself which is great, then it’s up to you to produce the results. Not to say there aren’t people along the way who will rip you off or do you over, but in my experience, they are not the majority and in general my experiences have been positive.
- Website: http://misterfriend.com/
- Phone: 2138417662
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seganfriend/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MisterSeganFriend/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/seganfriend
Timothy Norris (photo of me)