Have You Seen Herbert? – Interview with Where’s My Hippo

June 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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Tell us a little about yourself, what is your background?

I grew up on the East Coast. I love skating and photography.  I spent the majority of my days either out on my board or developing film in a darkroom. Eventually I moved to the West Coast, where I do not skate or shoot as nearly as much as I would like to. Instead, I search for my hippo, Herbert. I also have always loved tacos.

How was Herbert lost?

Herbert was lost en route during our move from Richmond, Virginia to Long Beach, California.  I flew and Herbert took a cargo ship.  I arrived a little before Herbert’s ship and stood on the docks waiting for him with a 10 pound bag of gummi bears, his favorite.  His ship made the trip, but Herbert was no where to be found – I waited all day.  He never showed up.  He might have gotten on the wrong ship and could be anywhere now.

How did stickers come into play?

I always enjoyed stickers as a kid. Even getting the yellow smiley face Wal-Mart sticker would make me happy. As I grew older, I started putting stickers on my skateboards. When Herbert C. Hippos was lost, I realized that giving compassionate, hippo-loving people, free stickers would be a great way to spread awareness.

Herbert’s face itself is the logo for Where’s My Hippo. His playful (and simple minded) spirit is expressed in the logo. Sure Herbert’s smile isn’t what you’d call perfect, but there is something really special about Herbert’s smile. I did my best capturing that smile.

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So, your goal is to find Herbert and bring him home?

Exactly, I want to find Herbert. Once we (loyal hippo hunters and myself) find Herbert, the project and website will be renamed “Here’s My Hippo”.

What is your most popular sticker? What is your personal favorite?

The male hippo hunters tend to like the large 5” dye-cut Herbert head logo while the lady hippo hunters prefer the small 2.25” Herbert heads. Personally my favorite would be this full color one that I only made 250 of.

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How do most people react to what you are doing?

If you have ever lost a pet before you understand my passion. If you have never lost a pet, or even a remote control, you will probably say, “Huh, I don’t get it.” The folks who help search for Herbert are incredible people that I cannot thank them enough. From supporting the project by purchasing shirts, to taking Where’s My Hippo stickers to places as far as the Arctic – they continually amaze me.

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Where do you find inspiration?

My fellow hippo hunters continue to inspire me, as well as my city, tacos, and the artwork of others.

Does anyone specially inspire you to keep going on your search during those rainy, lonely nights?

The first artists I noticed and who had an impacted on me during my search for Herbert were, Septerhed, MAR, Gregory Siff, KH NO. 7, Destroy All Design, 2wenty, Shepard Fairey, NASA, RIK 455er, and a few others. I have always followed some of the big name graffiti artist, but those artists inspired me tenfold more than anyone else to keep it up.

What about the police?  What have your experiences with them been like?

They have been helpful, but it remains an open case with the LAPD and Port Authority officials.

What is your least favorite part of being a sticker artist?

Not being able to make as many stickers as I would like. I want to make thousands and thousands and give them out to loyal hippo hunters. Maybe some day in the future that will be possible.

What is your personal take on the street scene in Los Angeles, arguably the biggest place for street art in the US?

It is hard to sum up Los Angeles or why it has always been a dream come true to live here. Herbert would love it here. The people, the culture and the city itself continue to inspire and drive me day in and day out.

For example, having grown up skateboarding all of my life, the first place I went in LA was Fairfax Avenue in Fairfax Village. Fairfax Avenue is home to the likes of Supreme, ALIFE (formerly), The Hundreds, and other companies. Walking down Fairfax you will see tons and tons of different stickers on every single block. Seeing the variety and sheer number of stickers caused my interest in stickers to grow and eventually transform into an appreciation for street art as a whole. Now I am fully entrenched in art as a whole, particularly pop art.

LA is a great place to live.

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Lastly, if you were not designing stickers, what would you be doing?

Eating tacos, enjoying museums, and riding my skateboard with Herbert, of course.  Thank you, Sticker Drop!

Follow Where’s My Hippo

Website: WheresMyHippo.com

Twitter: @WheresMyHippo

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/herberthehippo and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wheres-My-Hippo/

Flickr:  www.flickr.com/photos/wheresmyhippo/

Instagram: @WheresMyHippo

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Do you have any other questions for Where’s My Hippo?  What other artists would you like to have interviewed?  Comment below.

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