The Baron Julius von Brunk is a 27 year old graphic artist. He lives in New York City, New York, United States.
DS: How did you hear about Dailysingle? What are you expecting from being on the front page?
Julius von Brunk: Two questions in a single query? Egad, man! Anyway, I stumbled upon this smashing website through an interview of a friend of a friend. Like a pyramid scheme, but non-evil. Meanwhile, I'm expecting my amazing LEGO sculptures to be seen by several -- nay, dozens of people to whom are ready to grease up their eyeballs and plunge right into the quirky world of Brunk! Pay attention, kids: You might learn a thing or two. Or ten.
DS: What are the most memorable years of your life and what happened to make them so memorable?
Julius von Brunk: In 1984: A mentally unstable Army radiologist and a promiscuous redneck had unprotected sex and gave birth to a freakishly tall baby they named Julius. In 1986: I received my first LEGO toys. 1987: I saw RoboCop, and it was good. 1994: I decided to be a cartoon animator as a direct result of watching too much Nickelodeon. 1999: The world almost ended. 2000: It didn't. 2005: I learned Flash and started taking my graphics/animations seriously in a not-so-serious way. 2009: I realized Lancaster had nothing to offer, ergo I made arrangements to live in New York. 2010: I worked my first Manhattan graphic design job on Madison Avenue, and nearly cried manly tears as a result of a magical, Disney-esque life change. September of the same year: I talked to Steve Buscemi and cried further manly tears. 2011: I helped launch an electronics company, where I design/develop interesting nicknacks and geeky accessories. 2015: I invent the world's first efficient jetpack and make a Transatlantic journey. 2034: I gallantly defend planet earth from a horde of space invaders, and later on in the same year I'm promoted to Cosmic Space Patrol commander as I oversee the anti-asteroids laser cannon grid in a far-off galaxy. 2084: My brain is put into a robotic body, and thus I will live 10 million more years.
DS: How would you best describe yourself?
Julius von Brunk: I would describe myself as a creative jack-of-all-trades -- an eccentric artist, entrepreneur, animator, inventor, and an aspiring actor/comedian -- but mostly, I mess around with Photoshop and Illustrator at work all day, and play around with LEGO pieces and acrylic paints as soon as I get home. I also talk extremely fast and I have large, fluffy mutton chops. By the way, folks, these eyelashes are real.
DS: What are the must-haves in your daily wardrobe?
Julius von Brunk: I only shop at vintage clothing stores and the like to purchase garments -- ergo, I always wear flamboyant rockabilly clothing with totally bitchin' cowboy boots. On the weekends I wear Hawaii shirts.
Rear portion of my partially-complete LEGO Mario airship, with the warp pipe and stained-glass window!
DS: Who do people tell you you look like?
Julius von Brunk: As far as a physical description, folks tell me I look awfully like a young Elvis Costello, but I must say this is strictly a coincidence. I'm personally not a fan of his music, albeit I am a big '80s music and pop culture geek. However, as soon as people hear me speak, they tell me I sound exactly like Hunter S. Thompson. I'm not exactly sure if the latter remark should be an insult or a compliment.
DS: How did you end-up being a graphic artist?
Julius von Brunk: I started doing graphic design in 2003 during high school, when I'd waste time on video game message boards by making crude images of my face superimposed on cereal boxes. I soon discovered I have a knack for this type of work, and ultimately made a career out of it with absolutely no formal education whatsoever; I am entirely self-taught through jobs and internships. And after all, graphic art is one of the few forms of creative media that can actually land a paycheck. Don't get me wrong, I still paint pictures, draw things and build models, but at the end of the day, those aforementioned hobbies don't exactly pay the rent. With being a graphic artist, I'm able to use what I do best with my creative savvy, and actually make noticeable results -- in both self-satisfaction and monetary compensation.
“Questions, comments, complaints, death threats, marriage proposals? Nothing nasty now. Just kidding: Be as nasty as possible.”
Participate and answer Julius von Brunk's question on The Wall below.
DS: Can you tell us more about your job?
Julius von Brunk: As taken directly from my website: In the spring of 2011, I managed to get along the right track and help launch a new electronics company geared towards impulse buys and mass marketing. For security purposes, I shan't reveal anything about our company name nor our product line, as I'm waiting for it to be a big surprise this holiday season. Although many of our initial items are gadgets you can buy on ThinkGeek.com, some of our new goods are in fact 100% original inventions conceptualized by me—in the sense that I started off with an idea, drew it on paper, made a sketch in Illustrator, built a mockup out of foam and wood, mailed it to the overseas factories and then did the technical work for the specifications. When they hit the shelves, you'll certainly be dazzled like never before! In other words, I went in business with another gentleman, and now I'm the official product manager & sole graphic designer for the package layouts, store displays, technical specifications.
DS: Let's talk more about you and your tastes. Any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? Any thing you like and recommend?
Julius von Brunk: As evidenced by my tattoos, I am a huge (as an understatement) LEGO fanatic. In fact, I own more bricks and pieces than all of your little brothers combined! I don't just casually play with those toys, I build entire cities out of them -- as well as giant robots, dioramas, historical scenes, and custom minifigures. On the weekends (whenever I have time), I attend burlesque shows in New York as I mingle with the starlets. I've personally written many performance ideas that I'm trying to launch, provided I make connections with the right people. For sustenance, I consume endless amounts of Chinese and Tex-Mex foods in conjunction with energy drinks and Guinness -- as I listen to heavy metal and rock out like a singing Hyena!
Multimedia LEGO collage, with illustrations and photos of my actual projects.
DS: What is a typical week for Julius von Brunk?
Julius von Brunk: My typical schedule is a generic 9-5 scene in the city. Afterwards, I head out to the gym and get all buff and Viking-like, whilst passively aggressively showing off my Legend of Zelda tattoos to the cute Asian girls on the elliptical machines. Then I recharge at the 7-Eleven, head back to Queens and begin making life out of the piles of plastic LEGO pieces scattered on my spare room floor. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sometimes I've gone into hermit mode and have no social life, other times I've been a social urbanite. I live alone with no friends nor family within a three state radius, therefore I accomplish all of my goals without peers. I've learned to be an extroverted recluse, if that makes any sense.
DS: Some quick questions: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Julius von Brunk: First I struggle to wake up, then I rush to my men's room and accidentally take a leak in the sink (because I forgot to put on my glasses), then I reach for a can of Red Bull or Rockstar in my minifridge -- and groan when I realize I drank 'em ell. Then I put on some music to help wake up as I rush to throw on clothes and hustle my way out the door to the Long Island Railroad station in a nick of time.
DS: What is your favorite restaurant in New York City?
Julius von Brunk: Twin Deli on Madison Avenue: For only $6.50, they have a hot/cold buffet with no price per pound! I cram as much rice, dumplings, chicken and sushi as possible into a little bowl and squish it together. I call it "The Pig Pie", and I eat one almost every day. It's like three pounds of food when I'm done squishing it together (I weigh it with our company mail scale before I eat).
DS: What is your favorite song today? Of all time?
Julius von Brunk: My favorite song changes frequently. Just kind of assume that my current favorite song is some form of heavy rock song with fast guitars, and written no recent than 20 years ago. For a while, my favorite hit was Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights" from 1980. If you look at my iTunes, about more than half of my top 25-most-played songs are from GWAR -- followed by Motörhead and Judas Priest.
DS: What is your favorite "drug"?
Julius von Brunk: Anything I say here can and will be used against me in a court of law.
The photo shoot
DS: What is in store for you? Any key projects for the next months? Anything you want to share? Can our readers help you with anything?
Julius von Brunk: At the precise moment I'm currently typing this, I'm gradually assembling a massive custom LEGO airship from Super Mario Brothers 3 -- you know, those rickety, wooden flying battleships in the boss levels? Mine shall span across an entire 6-foot table, and is currently rigged with wiring to light up and play sounds! The stern of the ship has a large stained-glass window of a Super Mario fireflower that's connected to a 12v lightbulb that makes it illuminate like a Tiffany lamp! Hopefully by the start of 2012, I'll have this bad boy displayed at a First-Friday art exhibit in Manhattan. Also on the side, I'm doing a Transformers-LEGO-Nintendo crossover, in which I'm making a replica NES Zapper pistol that transforms into a robot like Megatron or Shockwave! At some point when I move into a larger house/apartment in New York, I'd like to devote an entire room to building a large medieval city I call "Brunkland", which was first partially constructed back in my old house in Lancaster. Check out my Tumblr page on my site links to see the work in progress photos of the aforementioned LEGO projects!
DS: Anything you want to add to close this interview?
Julius von Brunk: For those of you kids out there with little or no encouragement, or with no career path, all I can say is this: You're an American; you live in the greatest country in the world. You can do anything you want to do. Move out of your humble small town and start big, if that's what it takes. I'm living proof of social mobility; only in America can a seemingly uneducated hillbilly from a poor, dysfunctional family in rural Pennsylvania go on to succeed in New York -- from successfully starting a new company, to endlessly churning out colorful art/designs for leisure (and even occasionally doing background spots on TV shows and commercials). Don't let anyone or anything halt you.
DS: Thank you Julius von Brunk
Julius von Brunk: Stay out of trouble, kids. Don't do drugs, stay in school, don't eat fiberglass, and if a strange man offers you a ride in his car, say "NO" (unless he's rich).