Meet a Maker: TADO 18 Nov

Mike and Katie, otherwise known as design duo TADO, got in touch with us to tell us about their latest project for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Their fun characters really brightened up our day so we found out a bit more about the project and their design practice.

TADO_OCT_15.021Tell us about the March of the Misfits project

The March of the Misfits is a very special exhibition for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s ‘Long Gallery’. It’s a whimsical parade of over 40 different characters, all made from laser-cut wood, who we hope will liven up and brighten up the journey round the hospital for both patients and visitors. The characters themselves are a mixture of some of our favourites from the past 13 years and also some new faces too. The artwork is all for sale on the Children’s Hospital Charity’s website (http://www.tchc.org.uk/shop) with 100% of the proceeds going to the Artfelt initiative, the Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme.

How did you make the misfits?

Each character is made from layered up pieces of laser-cut wood and mdf. Some of the pieces are very big… some are very very very tiny! They’re all painted with Liquitex sprays and then assembled by hand.

How did you two meet and why did you decide to start working together?

We first started working together whilst we were at university in Leeds, back in 2001. We both wanted to learn Flash animation and so decided to try collaborating on a project – we’ve never been apart since!_MG_7490

What materials and tools do you use in your work?

Our workflow varies hugely – it’s usually a juggling act between illustration, animation and design work (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop etc) and making stuff when we get a chance.
Most of the stuff we’ve been making recently has been wood-based – we’re lucky to have our own laser-cutter so we tend to use that a lot to make very intricate wood stuff.

Where do you make most of your work?

We work at home in our tiny studio. We do pretty much everything here, although the whole house often turns into a little factory!

What inspires you?

Pretty much anything and everything. We love animation – especially stop-motion, toys, vintage games, tiny vehicles, strange animals, strange people! The list could go on forever.
Being a two-some means that we tend to bounce ideas back and forth a lot. It’s much easier to get excited and inspired when there’s someone to share it with.

_MG_0584Who is your favourite artist?

That’s an impossible question, but there’s a few who have been a constant source of inspiration to us and who keep captivating us with their work. We both come from a background of being big fans of comics and animation, so we’d have to include Hayao Miyazaki, Akira Toriyama, and Otomo Katsuhiro. All 3 are very different but they all tell wonderful stories in their own style.

What advice do you have for artists starting out?

Spend plenty time playing. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff all the time – don’t worry about whether your good at it or not!

What’s next for you?

At the moment we’re working on 2 large commercial mascot projects. We’re looking forward to winding down for the end of the year and starting next year with a very large animated making project which we’re super excited about!

Where can people see your work?​


March of the Misfits is open until March 2016 at the Long Gallery, Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

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