Derek Gets Down: “Eastbound and Down” Print Interview

Derek Deal recently released a new “Eastbound and Down” print for the upcoming 2011 Paley Fest. We got the chance to catch up with him and discuss his latest endeavor.

First and foremost, thank you for lending us your time, as it is very appreciated. Before we start, could you tell our readers a little about yourself? Who are you? What do you do? Where are you from?

Hi, my name is Derek Deal. Im a Freelance Illustrator from Central Florida, currently residing in Brooklyn, New York.

You have a very impressive portfolio that covers a wide variety of clientele and projects. What were some of your favorite projects to work on?

Thanks. One of the reasons i like being an independent contractor is because i get the opportunity to work on lots of different stuff. When I’ve got a lot of apparel one month, it’s nice to be able to change gears and work on an album layout or flex my design muscles on a logo. Sometimes ill get something really off the wall and it will give me a complete recharge. For example, last year i got asked to design a full size vinyl wrap for a party bus. It ended up being an insanely fun project to work on and the pictures i got back were mind blowing. I live for when projects like that fall in my lap.

I had a chance to look through your new online store and found a very nice collection of prints for sale. Do you prefer designing prints over merchandise? Is it a nice break from the normal merch. load?

Definitely. Often times apparel design takes up a huge majority of my workload. I love the format but sometimes i just don’t want to concern myself with the restrictions that apparel design imposes. What i mean by that is with tees, whatever i end up designing, at the end of the day has to look good on a tee shirt and somebody has to want to wear it. That takes all kinds of special consideration when it comes to composition, concept, how it’s going to be produced, etc. Screen printed posters have their limitations too but i find that I have a lot more freedom to create whatever i want while still maintaining the ability to reproduce it relatively cheap. I can break borders, mess with overprinting, and best of all don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of different sizes. That doesn’t mean that I’m strictly tied down to prints either though. I’m definitely going to have some shirts, as well as other stuff, at some point if the concept’s right.

You recently designed an “Eastbound and Down” print for Paley Fest 2011. For those of us who don’t know what Paley Fest is, could you tell us about it? How did you get involved?

From what i understand Paley Fest is kind of like a comic con for the television industry in Los Angeles. The big draw is that they put together these Q & A Panels where the cast and creators from popular television shows get together in front of a live audience and talk about the production of the show as well as field questions from the crowd. This year they had shows like Eastbound & Down, Parks and Rec, True Blood & The Walking Dead amongst others.

Do you watch “Eastbound and Down”? If so, are you a fan? Do you have a favorite episode or quote from the show?

I’m a HUGE fan of the show. I watched both seasons a couple of times while working on the poster, which is always a nice job perk. Kenny Power’s devil may care attitude and unbridled mean spiritedness creates a lot of hilarious moments in the show. I’m also a big fan of Stevie, who’s Kenny’s clueless and questionably retarded assistant. I can’t single out one episode but my favorite quote is probably ” Honey, I love you…I think you’re a terrific girl…but you have clothes like a fucking dickhead”

Yeah, i think that pretty much sums it up for me.

Did you find it hard to capture Kenny Power’s character/attitude in one print? Artistically speaking, were there any parts of the design you struggled with?

Being a fan like i said, i definitely felt the pressure to do it right. I knew that i wanted to do a baseball card so the next challenge was just finding the right screen caps to reference for the main image. Once i had that I spent a ton of time going back and forth, tweaking lines in the face trying to get it right. Just having Kenny pitching though didn’t feel like it really encompassed his character so the first image i threw into the background was him riding around on his “Panty Dropper” jet ski. Then i just filled up the rest with my favorite auxiliary characters from the show.

I noticed you had a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Kenny Power’s would tell you that “fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless”. Would you agree? How did school or it’s fundamentals affect you?

Yes. School is for fools.

No, i had a great time in school and learned a ton. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world. If i had a 95 mile an hour fastball though i would probably agree with Kenny. I will say that the core fundamentals you learn in college are invaluable, but after a while you start to get out what you put in. Art school creates a sandbox environment where you can explore different ideas and play with expensive toys but if you really wanna learn something you have to kinda take it upon yourself.

Lastly, where can our readers pick up the limited, and amazing, “Eastbound and Down” print? Do you have any social networks, blogs, or websites that our readers can use to follow you?

I’ve got a brand new webstore located at http://www.merchline.com/derekdeal and you can check out my work at http://www.derekdeal.com. that’s where you can find all my social media links too.

Thanks again, Derek, for your time and support of I Am The Trend.


  • pw!

    awesome interview of an awesome dude

  • Anonymous

    Those posters are awesome I am definitely going to have to check out his website. I think the show Eastbound and Down is hilarious. Danny Mcbride does a great job of staying serious when he says something completely ridiculous. I didn’t start watching this show until after I started working for Dish Network and they were already into season 2 by then but it was cool to do a little marathon to catch up. DishOnline.com is going to be having a ton of content from HBO soon and that would have made it a lot easier when I needed to catch up to just watch the episodes I missed on my laptop. Dish Online has a ton of movies and shows to watch which is awesome even if you aren’t a Dish customer because there is also free content. You should check it out for yourself!