Welcome to the Official Banzai Chicks Blog.
Join me, artist Sandra Chang-Adair, on my journey of creating and building the Banzai Chicks brand. The idea for an artist to create artwork that can lend itself to merchandise and licensing first came to me when I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon in 2005. I’ve always been a struggling artist, honing my skills and unable to make a proper living as a full-time artist (hence the 4-day/week graphic design job). If I sold a painting as freelance work, I would be paid once. Because I’ve traded in my watercolors and oil paints for a digital medium, I no longer had an original to sell. But I digress, when I was in Hawaii, I came across a store that sold David and Goliath Tees. The artwork was silly and fun and I was inspired by the brand’s creator, Todd Goldman. He started his t-shirt company in 2000 with little money, a dislike for his day job, but a love of doodling. Today, it’s grown into a huge conglomerate!
So slowly, around 2007, I started working on some character designs. I’ve always loved kung fu, so combining it with art, a desire to inspire girls to pursue their ambitions, and a story resulted in Banzai Chicks. Of course I’m a procrastinator, so with the original working title, Death by Chicks, I ventured to NYC for the 2008 Licensing Expo. I got myself a licensing agent, Northern Promotions, really nice guys from Minnesota. But after 2 years and maybe a bad economy, I received no licensing contracts, so we amicably parted ways. It occurred to me to take matters in my own hands, after all, you should be your own best press agent and promoter.
Now it’s 2010. A friend of mine encouraged me to do some redesigns of my cartoon characters. My father never liked the name Death by Chicks. In Chinese, it’s bad luck to have the word “Death” in your name, so I changed the name to Banzai Chicks. I designed several t-shirt designs and made two silk-screened shirts and two digital tanks and took my new merchandise to the San Diego Comic-con. I added a bunch of glass pendants and bottle cap glass magnets. I was surprised by the overwhelming positive response! I got a lot of requests to move my stuff to sell online, so I put together an online store. I am still in the process of refining my website (and learning flash actionscript 3 in the process…I hope Apple doesn’t convince people to dump flash for html5, but nevertheless, I will need to code a nonflash html site).