Dean MacDonald
Creative Director

They won’t let me work on the actual shows themselves. They say it’s some kind of union rule or something, and the fact that they “lost” the other key to the writer’s room. So they try to distract me by having me work on pretty much every other aspect of Happy Tree Friends. They say, “Hey, it’s really important to have cool packaging and interfaces for the DVDs.” And whenever I’m camped out by Kenn’s desk with a sign that says “Free Episode Ideas Here,” Christina reminds me that my imagination and 25 years of design experience (31 years if you count that class sweatshirt I did in Farmington Elementary School) are needed for clever product design and all the innovative marketing pieces.

I smell a conspiracy.

Even the owners are in on it. As soon as I start talking about that “montage” episode, all of the sudden they need a new corporate website or new collateral materials.

Hey, after 12 years at Mondo — working on gazillions of projects for all the big players in the field — I am on to their ways.

I didn’t go to countless universities and little colleges and prestigious art schools only to wind up with an MFA hanging on my wall. No, that rigorous training and those three years I lived on the streets of San Francisco (OK it was in an RV, but still it was in the streets) helped hone my senses to a razor-sharp point. And that sharp knife cuts through their carefully sprayed smoke screen. I can play their little game.

As a matter of fact, for years now I have been getting my revenge. With inspiration from my beautiful genius of a wife, the innocent input of my little girl, and the helpful cunning of my teenage son (I think our cat threw in a few ideas too), we hatched a plot. And since no one ever reads these bios I can let you in on it so you might try it at your place of employment.

With a little slight of hand and some creative finagling (and carefully doled out pieces of chocolate), I was able to infiltrate the bookkeeping office and arrange an ingenious ploy to get paid for coming in and doing this stuff. That’s right, every two weeks I secretly manage to have real money transferred from their account into mine. That’ll show ’em who they’re dealing with. Shhh — this will be our little secret. (And if you are not well-versed in finagling, don’t try it without protection.)