We had the good fortune of connecting with Anoki Casey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anoki, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Looking back not at my own habits, but the habits of others, I would say a sense of fearlessness when it comes to the tools I use, as well as researching these tools and the techniques they elicit, that has truly helped me succeed in ways I have sought out. I am not afraid to click every button, try every setting, or test each feature; knowing in some way it can all be returned to a blank slate if needed. I feel that maybe people are afraid to allow a computer interface to outsmart them, or uncover an enormity of information they didn’t know was available. Sometimes this large amount of information on a topic, say in design or in craft, needs to be sectioned out into segments that you can personally digest, and I’m unsure many know where to start. All experimentation and play with the tools of the trade and the tactics behind their successful use is for the benefit of your current project as well as future endeavors. Not being fearful to dive into some research before I dive into my craft – now that there is plenty of empirical experimentation online – has been instrumental in my success 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
An Oak Eye Merch is an ongoing creative experiment using various practices of customization on found commercial objects. This customization has been applied through a variety of means: laser engraving, sublimation, ultra-violet light cured printing, micro-publications, and epoxy resin sculpture and mold-making. Sounds very classy, but basically I am using cool techniques to make cool things. Drawing from a variety of sources, both cultural and counter-cultural, this customization has gone from apparel and accessories (t-shirts, stickers, pins, and collectable art) into a more focused format of refurbishing small vending machines into moveable artistic spaces. Through the creation of these “Mini Merch Machines” I have created and plan on creating more that will vend small art pieces produced by me, along a variety of themes. Themes, of course, that I think are cool. So far I have the flagship machine, which will vend a changing selection of hand-made stickers and spooky short stories; a retro sticker machine that vends stickers classically-styled to a late-80s look; and a “Just Skulls” machine that will offer a rotating cast of skull-based sculptures and stickers. Each of these machines are currently housed at The Urban Art Shop in San Diego, but I plan to expand these to other locations, and have the theme and art within them match the environment.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is a place of views, so I’d make sure they were able to take a walk through Balboa Park, see the Cactus and Rose Gardens, as well as the beaches such as Imperial and Ocean Beach. Anywhere I could take them to see a sunset, as Southern Californian sunsets are a daily sight, especially in the summer. San Diego is also one of the best places for a variety of authentic and vegan-friendly eating: from Mexican to Indian to Ethiopian to Thai, it’s all rooted culturally through the people that brought it here to share with us.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shout out to The Urban Art Shop in San Diego. It’s a place unlike any other in Souther California, as it is a fair and equitable art and creative space that is home to some amazing creatives and offers a variety of capabilities to the artistic community.

Website: https://anoakeye.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anoakeye/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anoakeye

Image Credits
Anoki Casey

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