The +Company: Daniel Graf
+ Title: Production Coordinator
+ From: Los Angeles, California
+ Currently living in: Bushwick, Brooklyn
+ Studied: Film and Television, Boston University
+ With Trollbäck for: 7 months
+ Instagram: @greasepencil
What brought you from Los Angeles to New York?
I’ve been coming to this city since I was born, and I knew ever since I was a kid that I wanted to live here one day.
Where did you work before joining Trollbäck?
I freelanced in production for 5 years. I did commercials, music videos, photo shoots, and fashion shows.
What is the motivating factor that drives you to create?
I think it’s just an internal restlessness that any creative person has. Creative energy builds up and you simply need to let it out.
What inspires you the most?
I’m inspired by the hilarity of what surrounds me. In this city we have so much going on all around us, and if you open your mind you can see that most of it is actually pretty humorous. I think it’s really important to laugh at ourselves, our industry, and our friends. Keeps you grounded in life and keeps you thinking creatively.
What tools/software do you enjoy working with?
I use an old-fashioned pen and notebook for the things I write. I think the act of physically writing something down acts as a better conduit for your thoughts than typing them out.
In your experience, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of the design process?
Well, I can only speak from the perspective of someone who makes 2-5 memes a week, but it can definitely be frustrating when things aren’t syncing up like you want them to. The best things I’ve produced, mainly jokes and memes, have been “perfect” ideas; they immediately worked and never had to be tweaked. That’s just a magically rewarding feeling.
What are some books / blogs / publications that inspire you?
I am obsessed with Clickhole and The Onion. There are also some incredibly creative meme artists out there: Gangster Popeye is my all-time favorite (kinda NSFW and not for the faint hearted!). Namaste At Home Dad is awesome, The Content Zone, Cory in the Abyss, Da Share Zone. So much undiscovered genius is out there in the weird corners of the internet. I really mean that. As for a blog, I really only look at photography blogs, but a fantastic place to start is Slate’s (now defunct) Behold blog, the archives of which I still look at often. I love challenging literature. Some of my favorite books are American Pastoral, Tinkers, Crime and Punishment, and White Noise. I’m also getting more into nonfiction and am currently reading a book about astrophysics by Lisa Randall.
Who are some of your favorite artists and why?
I love old school hip hop, some of my favorites are Nas, Wu-Tang (especially Ghostface and GZA), Mobb Deep, UGK and Gang Starr to name a few essentials. I also am enamored with the newer voices in hip hop, like Gucci Mane, Future, and 2 Chainz. I get a lot of my inspiration from music, and my interest knows no genre limitations. Just yesterday I was listening to ’70s Brazilian music all day.
Aside from music, Louis CK and Zach Galifianakis are underappreciated as comedians and storytellers. I think Dave Chappelle is still one of the best of all time. Those comedians are absolute masters of the overt and the subtle. There are so many incredible comics and musicians these days; we’re very lucky.
Some of my favorite visual artists create very stark work like Jenny Holzer, Hayley Eichenbaum, Cory Arcangel and Lauren Greenfield. I like their work because it doesn’t need context to be immediately understood and their work comments on our modern experience.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I do standup comedy at least once a week. I love the outdoors and spend as much time outside as possible. To clear my head, I like to go on long, fast bike rides. Like all Brooklynites, I love getting out to see live music whenever I can. Also, I bleed Dodger Blue and love going to ballgames. My girlfriend and I love (and of course, also hate) politics, and I am a massive consumer of newspapers, magazines and podcasts.
+ Favorite Movie: That’s a terribly difficult question; I majored in film! 2001: A Space Odyssey, Apocalypse Now, In The Mood for Love, True Stories, Repo Man, A Serious Man, The Godfather, The Big Lebowski, There Will Be Blood, Friday, Swingers, The Room, Taxi Driver. I could go on!
+ Favorite Museum: There is a tiny museum about the history of whaling in Sag Harbor that my girlfriend and I are obsessed with. OK… for a real answer, my favorite New York City museum is The Whitney.
+ Fun Fact: If you need directions anywhere in Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan – I know the city better than anyone from years of driving for productions. It’s a skill that comes in handy quite a bit!
. . .
For more staff profiles and our pursuit of Beauty + Logic, follow us on Medium.