Be sure to enter our GIVEAWAY where 3 lucky winners will get a set of 6 Day Drankin' adult coloring books! Jan. 18-21, 2018.
Meet Ryan Jett, publisher, creator, and writer of Day Drankin' Press, which puts out hilarious adult coloring books including HATER CATS and CELEBRITY MUGSHOTS.
Can you tell me about yourself/selves? Where do you live, where did you grow up?
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Let me preface this by revealing that I am fourteen years old. I turned fourteen in 1990, and never bothered with fifteen or twenty or any other age because things that are fourteen-funny are the best, so I chose to remain in that headspace for the duration. Ergo, I give you the adult coloring books of Day Drankin’ Press! There are actually four of us. Me, my wife Shannon, my sister Leanne, and her husband Jeremy. It’s truly a family affair. My sister and I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, the son and daughter of Czech gypsy folk lyricists who enjoyed watching us joust atop our Mangalica pigs as kids. If you’ve never seen a Mangalica pig, they’re an animal that looks like a pig but with the wool of a sheep, which is good to cling to if you’re a 5-year-old with a small jousting spear in one hand and the sounds of Jozin z Bazin ringing in your ears. Our early years were pretty confusing.
What got you interested in adult coloring books?
I went through an adult-kickball phase and thought adult coloring books must be fun as well. They were much more challenging than I had expected, but very calming which was helpful as my wife had just started work as an auctioneer and insisted on talking like that all the time for practice. It was very stressful.
What made you decide to do the types of books you do?
We felt that adult coloring books needed to be much more… seriouser. If people have TOO much fun coloring…well, that’s when things start to get freaky and whole societies can begin to unravel.
How did you start Day Drankin' Press books? Where does the name come from?
We all took a beach vacation together where the idea was born. We really only go “day drankin’” when we’re on vacation, right? Well, maybe not all of us. But it’s that carefree state of mind. My brother in law, Jeremy came up with it and we all loved it. Don’t Be Hatin’… Be Day Drankin’! (We’re also really into apostrophes as a means of punctuation) Our first win was in approaching AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com with the idea to create their first official adult coloring book. They saw our artist’s work and were up for it. That was a really fun project and was in complete alignment with our sophisticated highbrow leanings. Then we did one for PeopleofWalmart.com and Dogshaming.com. All of those guys were amazing and great to work with.
Do you feel you have a mission with your books? If so, what is it?
Our only mission is to have fun and to laugh a lot. Which I like because I can accomplish it each day. Hmmm, maybe I should be dreaming bigger?
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake at 4 am and bang on my anvil to '80s Billy Ocean songs in order to craft my own gardening implements. I’m obsessed with both metallurgy, and of course the greatest artist of his generation... Billy Ocean. Then I fill my mouth with birdseed and feed the thrushes and bluebirds that build their nests in my gutter spouts. To feed birds from your mouth, you have to stand REALLY still, so that can sometimes take up most of the day.
Are you funny in day-to-day life?
Much like my toughness, it’s at a higher level when I’m at a keyboard. And even then as I’m sure your readers will readily attest, it’s a level of funny best described as… "Whaaaa?”
Do you write and illustrate the books yourselves, or do you find artists and writers? if you find them, where do you find them?
We aren’t artists ourselves but were lucky enough to find the find great Davor Ratkovic, a proud son of Serbia, who by day, works on our books in his crypt and at night performs in an all vampire, falsetto barbershop quartet on the mean streets of Belgrade. They mostly do early Elvis stuff. Davor is amazing at 3 things…illustrating, singing, and being a vampire, although he’s pretty terrible at everything else, the poor guy. But he’s an integral part of our team.
How do you get your ideas?
I’d love to say that we all get together and drink absinthe in the woods around a fire, or that we have an underground idea bunker somewhere with no windows and chalkboard walls covered in manic scribbles and scrawlings that are barely decipherable but the truth is that simply perusing the Amazon listings will often trigger inspiration.
Who or what has inspired or influenced you the most? (Doesn't have to be coloring-book related.)
I know that my brother-in-law and sister are so inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer who survived for 5 months stranded on the ice but never lost a crewmember during his ordeal in 1914... that they gave their son ‘Shackleton’ as a middle name which is a mammoth moniker. Myself, I’ve probably been more influenced by the series of books entitled Walter theFarting Dog, by William Kotzwinkle. Yes, that’s his real name and an actual book…in fact, it’s the same guy who wrote E.T., the famous '80s movie about a boy and his alien friend! “Phone home…” How’s that for versatility? My wife is inspired by riding horses, but I tell her that’s only because she’s never ridden a pig. Once you’ve done that, there’s just really no need to ever ride anything else again.
Do you have a favorite Day Drankin' book?
It’s probably a different answer for each of us, but for me…it’s either CelebrityMugshots, or Hater Cats. Celebrities are people too, and we’re all flawed… but for some reason when they screw up royally, it can be especially funny. But I’m not completely without empathy. And there’s something magical that happens when you combine the cuteness of kittens with zany insults.
What are some of your favorite adult coloring books done by others?
I’m really impressed with the Harry Potter adult coloring books as well as Unicorns areJerks by Theo Nicole Lorenz.
What challenges, if any, have you faced as a coloring book publisher?
Coming up with ideas is fun and the production process is as well. Promotion is always the biggest challenge so we really appreciate opportunities like this interview!
Do you connect a lot with the coloring book community/your fans? If so, how do you connect--online, in person?
We LOVE connecting with those who enjoy our books! We mostly do that at our Facebook page, at this link.
Do you have a project you're working on now?
I’d love to give you some juicy inside info here, but while we do plan on producing several more books this year, but we yet haven’t decided on exactly where we’ll start. We need to get to the idea bunker ASAP!