9 Questions with the Man Behind Daily Monster: Stefan G. Bucher

Just in time for Halloween, designer and illustrator Stefan G. Bucher has released a brand-new Skillshare class, Drawing Daily Monsters: Finding Inspiration in a Drop of Ink. This 45-minute class goes behind-the-scenes at his Los Angeles studio to reveal how he transforms inkblots into quirky creatures—and then inspires students to make their own! The class is perfect for designers, illustrators, and everyone who loves to doodle. Check out Stefan’s thoughts on learning and inspiration below, then hop over to the class to create your own Daily Monster!

Skillshare: Where do you live and how does it affect your work?Stefan G. Bucher: I grew up in Germany and always felt out of place. And then I moved to LA, and everything made sense! The sunlight makes a big difference, and everyone in LA is here because they’ve chosen it. They’ve come to make something cool and wonderful happen. That’s the energy of the whole place, and it affects my work everyday, being among so many people that actively want to make things.

Why is lifelong learning important to you? I have a very low threshold for boredom. I always walk my nose into things where it’s not supposed to be. And to me that’s learning. Find new things to do everyday, new ways of interacting with the world.

What are you passionately curious about? Figuring out my own brain! I want to understand the things I do by reflex, and understand how to be more consciously aware of them, so that I can do the things I want to do. In everything I do, I’m curious about how to get beyond the “default settings.”

If you could take a class from anyone, who would it be? In human history? Or alien history? (smiles suspiciously) But really, László Moholy-Nagy, one of the great illustrators and typographers, and somebody who pre-invented Photoshop by 50-60 years. Fascinating guy.

What's the next skill that you want to learn? 3-D programs or Cinema 4D. I want to have access to makerbots, and I want to do cool, crazy, floating-glass laser typography for movies.

What keeps you motivated and inspired? The need to get ideas out of my head and into the world. I never have the problem of not enough ideas. For me, it’s about getting better at translating those ideas well.

Is there a particular project you've worked on that's your favorite? Definitely the Monsters. The Saks Yeti, which brings together writing, illustration, typography. Movie titles because I love seeing them on the big screen. I have a hard time saying “oh this is my favorite.” I love doing everything, all the time.

Name one book you think everyone should read. I’m just going to be nerdy: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think that book encompasses a lot about life and design and being different in the world.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Don’t worry so much. But I don’t think that I would have taken that advice. I don’t think I’m taking that advice fully now! I expect for 70-year-old time-traveling me to come back here and say that, and I’ll say, that sounds great. Teach me how!