Sup y’all? =) Hoodie’s back with another fun interview for everyone to enjoy! w00t!! =D
While I’ve finished up with the V.3 judges interviews, & had a blast talking to
Rekcahdam as well, I’m going to take this chance to chat with a regular ChipWINner who’s been involved in the project since Volume 1! Of course I’m talking about everyone’s favorite merch fairy (& one of my favorite people, period), Pixie Maddie, who is currently happily buried in the midst of a pile of Vol. 3 merch prep! Enjoy!
Hoodie: While most folk in & around the chipscene know of your magical merch fairy-ness, I’m not sure most folk know you all that well. Give me a quick breakdown on exactly who Pixie is! =)
Pixie: I am Pixie! Perhaps better known by some as Maddie. I’m a Scorpio, I like long nighttime walks on the beach, and… I run a little business known as pixie druid (formerly Pixel Pixie Apparel & Promotions), and I’ve been producing merchandise for the chiptune and VGM scene for three or four years. I print all the stickers and shirts and buttons for Chiptunes = WIN, and I’ve also done a whole lot of work for the likes of 8-BitX, 8-Static, Arecibo Radio, BOSTON8BIT, GameChops… Chances are, in any given “look at all the stickers on my laptop!” picture you post, more than half of those stickers were made by me.
Hoodie: hahaha I always play the, “How many of these did Pixie print?” game every time I see one of those pictures pop up, and sure enough, they’re generally all you! ;)
Pixie: Hahahayup! When I first started doing this, I used to save a few extra for myself to sticker up my cabinets and everything, and I’ve since run out of room… It really is kind of a game though, with those pictures that people post, enough that I’ve made a point of putting only stickers that I DIDN’T print on my own laptop. Sadly, there is still a lot of empty space on there.
Hoodie: So what in the world brought you into merch-i-fying the chip & VGM worlds anyways? I guess that’s sorta two questions in one. YAY INTERVIEW SKILLZ. :3
Pixie: I’ve always been a fan of the music. (Who hasn’t, right?) When I was a kid and went on long family car rides, I always brought my Game Boy with me, but I spent more time with the speaker pressed against my ear than I did actually playing the games. I used to put a cassette tape recorder to the TV, compiled full soundtracks to my favorite games, and would listen to those on my WalkMan to and from school every day.
Hoodie: ZOMG! Me too! haha
Pixie: The video game music, the bleeps and bloops, they’ve always been a part of me. But how I got involved in the chiptune and VGM scene? You know Rob Lynch, from that band Cathode Rays?
Pixie: He and I have been good friends since Kindergarten. When we were both kinda finishing up with school, he had started doing some live shows playing NES music he’d written, and it was through those shows that I eventually came into contact with the BOSTON8BIT guys. Now… I don’t know about anybody else, but when I go to a concert, I have a tendency to go straight for the merch booth, just to check out what kind of cool shit they have! Maaaybe it’s because I’ve been working for ten years in a shop printing custom apparel and promotional goods or something, I dunno!
Hoodie: Haha! I reckon that’ll do it!
Pixie: But I was at a lot of the early B8B shows because Rob was playing, and at all of these gigs, the merch booth was always SO BARE – if they had a booth at all! So one night I just showed up at one of B8B’s gigs with a bunch of stickers I had made for them. Handed some to James Primate, stuck one on Active Knowledge’s helmet, introduced myself in the most charismatic way. James invited me aboard the crew at PAX East 2011.
Hoodie: Which we actually met at indirectly, and neither of us remember! haha
Pixie: I was so psyched to be a part of this awesome thing, I showed up the next day wearing a custom BOSTON8BIT shirt I embroidered at work the night before. I took a seat behind the merch table because my legs were tired from walking from one side of the BCEC to the other to get to the JamSpace…
Hoodie: SUCH A LONG WALK. o.O
Pixie: And suddenly found myself selling merch for three hours straight to one of the busiest groups of excited nerds I’ve ever seen. And as an introvert with social anxiety who sometimes has panic attacks in large groups of people, I didn’t feel a bit of anxiety that day. I felt nothing but joy and nerdlove. I had found my place: Chiptune.
And yeeaah, I just kinda branched out from there. I met (and continue to meet) a lot of really, really awesome people, and they all seem to really love the work I do, so I keep doing it, and they keep giving me more to do!
Hoodie: That story is similar to my MAGFest introduction to the chip & VGM scenes in so many ways. Seriously, kindred spirits level up!!
Pixie: Yeah! Y’know, when you look at it a certain way, like to compare yourself to your coworkers or people you grew up with or whatever, it might seem like you’re the odd one out, the weirdo who listens to video game music… but really though, with all of us together in this scene? Our stories can’t be that different!
Hoodie: Totally. I’ve encountered that same phenomenon myself. It’s a bit surreal, but awesome! And it explains the quick connection that seems to happen between folk at these events/in these scenes/etc. Damn, it’s cool! haha
Pixie: For sure, it’s what makes us a family.
Hoodie: I guess you could say that’s what pulled you into this crazy project? (ChipWIN).
Pixie: Of course! YOU pulled me into this crazy project, brother! I remember it clearly, right after volume 1 you were just toying around with the idea of merch, then went OH WAIT, I KNOW A PIXIE! And now here we’ve been at it for what, 3 years is it??
Hoodie: YUP THAT LONG GEEZ.. o.O Although to be honest, so much has happened since then that I couldn’t remember if I pestered you first or you volunteered. haha I just know that you made magic happen for that first bundle and we’ve kept it going strong ever since. And that’s still pretty damn amazing! <3
Pixie: I don’t remember either. I think it was a little bit of both, but yeah, it was something special. :3
Hoodie: Speaking of special, how goes the chip/VGM printing business as of lately?
Pixie: The printing business is always a fluctuating one, but it’s going about as steadily as I could ask it to. I’ve got a fairly small group of loyal customers who keep coming back, and who keep referring more to me, but I’m definitely overwhelmed, even doing it by myself. It’s definitely not something I could make a living doing nothing but, and that’s okay with me. I’ve never been in it for the money.
Hoodie: It’s the least we can do when you regularly provide us with such awesome goodies at such a fair price! The fact that your heart is 110% into it goes a long way as well. Not many folk worth their salt that simply don’t want to support Pixie Maddie! <3
Regarding doing it yourself, that’d be a helluva undertaking. *Would* you ever consider it if the ideal circumstances hit you, though? (some reliable folk to work with + $$ to get your own printing gear, etc).
Pixie: You mean like, set up my own entire print shop? How ideal of circumstances are we talking here? Haha!
While it’s a beautiful fantasy, and I know we’d make some really amazing stuff, I doubt we’d ever really rake in enough business to stay afloat. I think it’d have to be a really reliable group of folk, and a heft sum of $$, and even then…
See here’s the thing. The company I work for has been in business for 30 years, and in that time we’ve seen *dozens* of other small printers start up, and go out of business hardly a year later because they can’t cut it.
While I would totally be all for it if that perfect opportunity came along, the idea of starting up a printing business — at least on the level we’re talking here, producing all of our own shirts and everything on all our own machines — basically becoming my current company’s competition, that’s an idea that terrifies me. … Would be cool though!
Hoodie: The coolest ideas often are terrifying. Haha I’d say things are pretty cool how they are at the moment tho, for sure. ;)
Now for a (somewhat related) random flurry of questions!!
Do you have favorite chipartists? If so, who & why?
What’s your favorite kind of pizza? Or are you an outlier that hates pizza (& if so, OMG WHY?? :O )
Dickbutt, live & let live or exterminate them all?
If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck?
Pixie: Rainbowdragoneyes is probably my favorite, and I shouldn’t even need to explain why. Just so good. I also give a lot of listens to Danimal Cannon, Disasterpeace, Infinity Shred, and pretty much any one of Carl Peczynski’s projects. I do listen to a lot of chip, but relatively speaking, chiptune still only makes up a small portion of my music collection.
Pizza is my primary fuel source, so my favorite kind depends what we’re doing, but I do usually keep it pretty simple. If we’re ordering Domino’s, get me a pepperoni & shredded parmesan asiago, with the hand-tossed crust and robust whatever sauce. Papa Gino’s has a really nice specialty pizza with barbecue chicken and bacon. Best freezer pizza (which I eat too much of) is Culinary Circle’s 5-cheese rising crust, with just a little bit of crushed peppercorn.
Dickbutt will prevail.
And woodchucks. Those things are mean as hell, and I don’t care how much wood they chuck, they just better do it somewhere else.
Hoodie: Hahahhaha Fair answers all around. ;D
Any other parting thoughts or comments before we wrap this up?
Pixie: Not that I can think of! But to be fair, with how busy we’ve been these past couple weeks, I can hardly think at all. :P
Hoodie: NO KIDDING. o.O O.O O.o
On that note, ZOMG PEOPLE LIKE THAT SAPPHIRE COLOR WTF. =P
Purple is winning overall, but Sapphire is in 2nd place with a slight lead over black, with royal blue & pink trailing next. So good call on the poll for color sections I reckon. :3
Pixie: I told you! Sapphire color best color. Purple doesn’t count because purple transcends color with its awesome.
Hoodie: Indeedy do it does. Long overdo as well. May have to become a regular offering now, though. haha
Thanks again for chatting with me, Pixie. Was fun as always!
Hoodie: See you on the intertoobs for V.3 shirt prepping time! AW YISS! 8-)
Pixie: Time for pizza! B) Byyye!