I just returned from Craftcation Conference (more about that in another post), where I recorded three interviews for future episodes of Compulsory. One of those was with Lauren Venell, who’s an artist and a designer of plush, among other things. She told me a story that made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to die (you can hear my near-death wheezing in the recording, obviously). The story was about the time a few years ago when she was commissioned to design a human-size plush burrito costume.

So then I got home from Craftcation last night, and this morning I see that, in an amazing turn of internet magic, the very same giant burrito is going viral. Like, Boing Boing viral. Like, I texted Greg about it after he went to work and he told me that yes, he’d seen the burrito… viral. That’s why this episode is out before the second season of Compulsory is even fully scheduled.

So. More about Lauren and the things we discussed:

Lauren Venell is an artist and designer specializing in editorial props and product development. Her work has been published in titles by Chronicle Books, Klutz/Scholastic, Uppercase, Monsa Books and Quarry Books, among others, and featured in several media outlets including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Everyday with Rachel Ray and on Canal+ Television. She has launched several of her own successful toy lines including her current line, the Deep Creeps, which can be found in stores across the globe.

In addition to her creative work, Lauren speaks at events about small business financial topics. She has aired two bookkeeping classes through Creative Live and contributes in-depth small business articles to several creative blogs, including design*sponge and Craftzine. From 2009-2011, she co-founded and programmed the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs. Lauren lives in San Francisco with her husband, her daughter and an ornery parrotlet named Elvis.

Because of the huge amount of attention the burrito is sending her way, Lauren tells me that the contact form on her website isn’t working. If you need to reach her during this particular time of burrito virulence, she kindly requests that you do so via social media (see below).

Relevant Links:

My conversation with Lauren was recorded by Mike Boyle of MB Studio Services at Craftcation Conference in Ventura, CA.

Our hiatus is a great time to catch up on the first season of Compulsory, which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud. Subscribe now so you won’t miss the start of Season 2! And if you enjoy the podcast, please give it a rating and a review, so more people can find it.

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