Hasbro Pulse: Hi, Tony! Nice to e-meet you! We’re so excited that your piece, Til All Are One, is the Hasbro Pulse winning pick! As you can imagine, we’re big fans and your artwork really speaks to the look and energy we see in the Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy. Thanks for taking some time to answer our questions.

Tony (Rozilla74): Good morning! I have my homework done. I also have to tell you that I can't wait for Earthrise after seeing that trailer this week. My jaw dropped to the floor when Galvatron appeared. And you guys are killing it with the new toy line.

Q: Let’s ask the REAL question: Autobot or Decepticon – who’s your team and why?

A: That’s easy, Decepticon. They always had the more interesting character designs and transformations. Soundwave and his cassettes, Shockwave, the Insecticons, and the Constructicons combining into Devastator win for me hands down. It wasn’t until the Dinobots came out that the Autobots received some transforming diversity from just four wheeled vehicles. Plus jets are just much cooler than cars to me, especially back when I was a kid.

Q: Tell us a little about you as a fan of the Transformers brand. Have you always been a fan or is this a new passion?

A: I’ve been a fan since the G1 cartoon growing up. That’s my childhood, Transformers, Super Friends, He-man, GI Joe, Thundercats. I always wanted the toys and would just gawk at the wall of Transformers in Toys R Us as a kid. I owned a handful of them back then. Hound was my first Transformer toy.

Transformers the Movie was the first time I begged my parents to let me see a movie. And the first time they let me watch it without them in the theater (it was a theater attached to a mall so they shopped). I did have my younger brother with me. I’ve kept tabs on the various iterations and toy lines over the years but the G1 version will always be my favorite. I absolutely love the new Netflix series. It really brought back that original mythology in a fresh way.


Q: Tell us about your winning design and the story behind it. It's incredible by the way…

A: Thank you so much. A few years back, I had designed two different concepts, BOTS and CONS. Each shirt had a set of iconic Autobots and Decepticons with the words BOTS or CONS declaring what side you were on. From time to time I will go back into old work and see if it can be improved.

The timing was perfect with the contest and the Netflix series. The series had me excited about Transformers again. I wanted to see if it was possible to combine the two designs into one epic composition that reflected the history and conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons. Something that captured the spirit of the new Netflix series but was also a tribute to G1 and the original cartoon.

There are a few Easter eggs included like the Matrix of Leadership, Unicron, energon cubes, the digital grid from the cartoon intro. I managed to fit 15 Autobots and 15 Decepticons total for a fair fight. It was a lot of fun to work on and piece together.


Q: As an artist, what are some of the things you draw inspiration from?

A: That’s a hard one to pin down. As a graphic designer I’m always looking at branding, advertising, layouts, social media, and websites to keep things fresh for myself and my clients. I get to work with a lot of different subject matter. I love logo design, sports design, retro, art deco, iconography, comic books, Pop Art. Instagram is a wonderful place to get lost in looking for inspiration. My wife and kids are also artists so naturally that’s one of the first places I go to for ideas and critiques. I like clever, things that have personality, and humor never hurts.

Q: Looking at your winning design, has this always been your style, or is it something that’s developed as your career progressed?

A: It is something that has developed over time. This style evolved out of an Avengers t-shirt design contest when the first Avengers movie came out. I deconstructed the Avengers "A" logo using simplified versions of the core characters, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. It was very minimalist, limited colors, and it just caught on with an audience. So I explored this minimalist approach and applied it to the X-men and their "X" logo. That one earned me a trip to Comic Con! Over the years I’ve used it for other Marvel properties, Star Wars, and Dungeons and Dragons.

It’s a very graphic style and as a graphic designer, heavily influenced by my love of logo design. My goal is to try and keep it simple or minimal using positive and negative space and color to fill in the visual gaps. The level of detail used in Megatron and Optimus Prime are probably the most I’ve strayed from my minimal style. But I wanted them to be the stand outs of the design in this case. The detail in those two are still very shape oriented and graphic in nature. I don’t use line work or outlines with this style.

Q: Are there any artists you can point to that had a significant impact on your stylistic development?

A: Bruce Timm, definitely. Batman the Animated Series came out when I was in college. His very graphic and art deco inspired take on backgrounds and character design has impacted how I approach logo development, sketching, and brain storming. I’ve always been a big Pop Art fan, so Andy Warhol and his screen prints made an impression. I worked at a screen printing plant as my high school summer job so the process of screen printing has always stuck with me. So designing for t-shirts, I always have that old school process in the back of my mind. Frank Stella’s minimalist style is also a favorite of mine.

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