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Todd McFarlane Looks Back On His Amazing Career

by Lambert Varias

“I’m in business for one reason – to drive my art. To drive my ideas.” That’s just one of the many nuggest of wisdom from Todd McFarlane’s great interview with Complex. It’s basically a video memoir. McFarlane talked at length about being a young artist, Image’s meteoric rise, and the creation and continued success of McFarlane Toys.

The video is around 40 minutes long, and McFarlane clearly loves to talk. But it’s worth watching even if you know nothing about him. In fact, we should all be grateful that we get to watch this for free. Not only is McFarlane an accomplished artist and businessman, he’s also a pragmatic teacher. For instance, McFarlane repeatedly downplayed his artistic abilities, imagination, and courage. Those are strengths that you can’t teach, at least not in 40 minutes. Instead, he emphasized things that may not be on young artists’ minds, such as being business savvy, ensuring that you meet deadlines, or finding a niche that you can fill.

But McFarlane isn’t saying that artists and entrepreneurs should focus on becoming money-grubbing soulless suits. He wraps up his talk by saying that inside he’s still a kid who loves to create and imagine. He says his proudest accomplishment isn’t having lots of money and power. It’s that he uses those resources to remain free to create and collaborate with other creative people.

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