The Retrospective

The Retrospective random header image

Tiny Pants x The Retrospective Interview

July 29th, 2007 by

Tiny Pants Header
Chris Dang(Tiny Pants) and I crossed paths way back when you could probably still use the “blink” tag in code without getting a shovel to the back of the head. When I was searching for the first visual artist to feature for the launch he immediately came to mind. He’s not only responsible for the infamous logo for my now defunct band but a laundry list of great work in varying mediums. We’d lost communiquĂ© for a while but I was pleased to hear that he’s been doing it mogul these days up in NYC.

For people not familiar with your work tell us a little about
yourself and your background?

By day, I’m a User Experience Designer, and by night I’m a Brooklyn based fashion designer, DJ, promoter, music producer, illustrator, party animal, pho lover, and an eating machine. That’s it in a nutshell! I’m also an all around nice guy with a contagious smile.

A majority of the few people that do remember me (and I’m surprised they still do!) know me from Halo’vision. Halo’vision was my digital art playground during my college years, and I went through some pretty serious growing pains. There was a lot of ego being thrown around, so you can imagine the kind of drama that goes with that. A few years ago I went on hiatus, disappearing from the Internet with small promises to return.

My experience with Digital Art has been a fast roller coaster ride that started when I was a high school senior. Deviantart was blowing up big time with fresh talent, and I was really excited to be a part of this explosion. That’s what it felt like 7 years ago. After high school I went to the University of Florida to study Digital Arts & Sciences. After school I moved to NYC to work for Fantasy-Interactive as a designer and decided it wasn’t for me. It was soon that I met Alyssa Key of the Love Brigade ( and got sucked in to fashion design. It’s been awesome! I’ve been able to use all my talents to help out this young company. My tasks are different everyday and it keeps me on my toes.

It’s really hard to be concise about 7 years of your life, but I hope you’ll get a better picture at the end of this interview 🙂

Did your family always support you getting into art?

Hahah. I’m ASIAN

They came around though once I landed these jobs in NY :).

I know you probably hear this a lot but what’s the story on Halo’vision and is it ever coming back?

You’re right, I do hear this a lot. I want Halo’vision to come back, but these days it doesn’t look very likely. I’m such a different person than I was when I was running that site. You know, it’s a lot like when Bruce Wayne started being Batman. He was extremely cocky and it got him into a lot of trouble. Then he grew up and stopped being the Dark Knight. I toy with the idea of it coming back, but there’s nowhere in my schedule where that would fit.

Still watching any anime? And if so anything stand out and you should definitely check out Paprika (crazy ass movie!)

What is this movie!!? I saw posters all over Chinatown and I still can’t figure it out. From what I can tell, it’s a movie about a wild acid trip in Japan. Everything Japanese intrigues me. The things they come up with amaze me and weird me out at the same time.

I walked by some hentai a few weeks ago, so that’s the only anime I’ve actually seen since college.
How did the move to New York come about, and how did you hook up with Love Brigade?

During my senior year in college, my dad started asking me about my future plans. This was during my hiatus and it was a time where I was sick of Photoshop and client work. I got a little worried and decided to put up an updated portfolio ( Within the first 5 hours of putting that site up and sending out my resume, I got 4 job offers. Fantasy Interactive was one of those. I had a couple interviews and ended up working for Fantasy Interactive’s NY office in January 2006. I moved to Williamsburg and started an exciting chapter in my life.

Fast Forward to August 2006. Chris Dang is overworked and underpaid (join the club).

One night in August, I was having a drink with my friends at the Royal Oak in Brooklyn. Alyssa Key (CEO and founder of the Love Brigade) just so happened to be in the bar that night. She sat next to me and it was like clockwork. Turns out we knew the same people and grew up in Jacksonville near each other. The crazy thing is we never met until that night in the bar.

Alyssa and Tiny Pants

We googled each other’s names and quickly figured out something could happen here. It’s a small secret that I’ve always been into fashion, and I’m a sucker for smart women. Since that day we’ve organized fashion events, designed men’s clothing, shocked the world, and spread the word about Love Brigade. She’s a kindred spirit and we’re probably going to be nasty rich one day.

My role at the Love Brigade is pretty broad. I have one of those brains that wants to pick up a bunch of skill sets. At LB, I contribute in every way I can. This can be line sheets, pattern designs, illustrations, event coordination, marketing strategy, PR, HR, and making sure everyone has fun. No two days are the same for me :).

When shall we be seeing your creations?

Nolcha fashion week ( Love Brigade is one of the top 10 emerging talents being featured. We’re blowin’ up!

We’ll be touring our Spring 2008 line to potential buyers in September all over the United States and hopefully a trip to Montreal (thanks to Meng from Shadowness).

What’s the design processes like when you’re creating a visual piece or a clothing piece?

This is a question I like!

Everyone wants to know the magic behind finding inspiration. We all want it! It’s like the impossible search for the Holy Grail sometimes. The truth is, it’s not a switch or a drive to the supermarket. Life in general can get very boring once you start developing methods (even worse, when you start relying on those methods to come up with exciting ideas). Of course, there are parts of the design process that have to be mechanical (mainly the production part), but the conceptual stage is such a wild card. Anything goes.

I’m not going to put myself on a pedestal and say my ideas are fresh and groundbreaking. That’s BS for anyone to say, but essential for someone trying to make money off of their work haha. These days, my goal is to have fun. That’s the reason I started doing art. My brain is always shifting gears and I try to be perceptive to my environment. Anything can spark an idea for me – a shape, a sound, a smell..haha…you get the idea. I try to create work that excites me and makes me sit back and go “fuck that is awesome.” Most of what I come up with in the end is a downgraded version of a perfect vision in my head. I’ve never been able to create exactly what I picture in my mind, but the fun is trying to :).

I really wouldn’t mind having a machine that just fabricates what I’m thinking. I could get into some awesome bad decisions with gear like that hahah.

Fashion design is relatively the same. You take an element (shape, philosophy, experience, whatever it is) that excites you and you try to create pieces that emulate it. I find this to be a very organic process and it’s worked for years.

Sounds too simple huh? Or maybe…too abstract hahaha. I hate that word. Deviantart ruined that for me.

Of course, there are times where I just want to create something just for the sake of making it. It can be very cathartic. I love to draw cowboys and ninjas.

What trends in fashion or design do you like or dislike?

Cheap Mondays. I like skinny jeans on guys, but these are fucking leggings that showcase a dude’s package. Jeans should not mold perfectly over your balls. If you come to NY it’s like a penis show on Broadway.

haha. but besides that, any answer to this question will only be relevant at the time it was asked. I like skinny jeans, plain white t’s and hi-tops. Next year I could like bikini briefs as pants and capes.

Are you listening to anything good lately? How do you feel about
the current state of music any genre?

I’m very numb and generally unexcited these days. The Internet is a blessing and a curse. We have immediate access to a whole world of music. There are literally millions of bands out there pouring out the same stuff. It’s really hard to find the gems. I really feel that the Internet spawned a culture that demystifies celebrities and rock stars. I miss celebrities and rock stars.

I went to Coachella in 2006 and it ate my face. I went to Coachella in 2007 and it gave me a softie.

I used to be excited about music and I used to get really hyped when my favorite bands were coming out with new albums. Anyone can be a DJ now, and anyone can put together an album on their computer now. Look at me lol.

In general, I’ll come across one track a month that really gets my blood going! My most recent find is a remix of Feist’s song, 1234, by Van She. That shit is dope!!!
I wish Michael Jackson was still black. He’d kick all our asses.

(He looks like a scary white woman to me these days)

I hear you’re getting into music production what’s that all about?

Basically, I’m getting into music production. lol. I think it sounds stupid to tell people that b/c I’ve never been known for having an ounce of musical talent in my bones. Also, I can’t play any instruments, so there’s no street cred to ride on.

This is just one of those fun things I want to do while I’m still young and productive. I’m hoping to have some demos for the public late August. My main inspiration for this is The Glamour, a small duo from Milwaukee that produces catchy-ass electronic dance tunes. That’s what I want to do – make people dance.

I’m also getting the ball rolling on doing shows with the Zax ( and hopefully touring Japan next summer as their DJ.

Any idea of who you’re voting for in 08?

I plead the 5th!! I wish it was Arnold.

iPhone yah! Or Nay!

What was the question again?

Name one thing you think is PHAT! And one thing you think is WHACK!

Diet Dr Pepper. PHAT!
Empty stomach. WHACK!

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Tags: Art · Design · illustratrtion · Interview2 Comments

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ashley Oct 20, 2008 at 10:33 am

    hah neat
    i felt obligated to comment cuz my mom knows you guys from when we used to live in jax…Rachel Sims ring any bells?
    She knew alyssa, not sure if she knew you…
    thats all. 🙂
    oh and i saw you guys in a music video.

  • 2 Blur Mar 4, 2010 at 12:32 am

    How can we ever forget Halo’vision?