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Toys & Tech of the Trade: Stephen Brooks/Rubber Onion Animation


I have had the pleasure of knowing Stephen for quite some time and we became acquainted due to our MMA fandom, which lead to an appearance on MTR Beyond The Mic. It feels like only yesterday when we discussed the birth of the Rubber Onion Animation Podcast. Stephen is an incredibly talented artist, animator, and podcaster and I am thrilled to have him share his Toys & Tech of the Trade.

Who are you and what do you do?: My name's Stephen Brooks, and I'm an animator.

Base of operations a/k/a home: I'm from New York, moved to England this year (2015) and work from the apartment.

Current mobile device: Nexus 4

What do you like/dislike the most about your current mobile device?: It's simple and gets early android updates, but it doesn't have 4G and the USB connector is a little fickle. I bought it from Google because it was affordable without a plan.

Three mobile apps you can't live without: Any.do, Dropbox, and My Work Clock

Show us your home screen:

Current Laptop or desktop: Laptop = Wacom Companion 2
Desktop = Custom built computer from Puget Systems (7 years ago)

Most used program/programs on laptop/desktop: Adobe Flash (soon to be Animate CC), Photoshop, Chrome, Sony Vegas

Show us your desktop:

First place you go when you open your phone or computer: Notifications on my phone, Chrome & Outlook on the computer.

One website you recommend to people often: RubberOnion.com!

Favorite piece of tech besides your phone/computer: BOSE noise reduction headphones

What's playing in the background while you work?: Anything really (depending on what I'm doing) – TV shows/Movies, Podcasts, but if I need to focus I have 8-bit game run-throughs without narration (Legend of Zelda and Metroid are favorites). It's like white noise, but better.

Gamer?: Not since the 90's

What are you playing?: I play Clash of Clans on my phone and periodically I'll play retro games from NES & Sega on my Ouya. I also have a Wii on which my wife and I play Guitar Hero and Mario Kart (but since I got 9999 on my character I've “retired” it from online play).

Last gaming purchase: Probably the Ouya Kickstarter. It's a nice little system I only use for emulation since I couldn't bring my NES or Sega + cd/32x to England.

What item have you purchased recently that is less than $100 that has made your life easier or more enjoyable: Blackwing 602 pencil.

I know you are a hardcore TMNT fan. What TMNT toys or collectibles do you own? Way too many to name but basically I own a ton of the original toys, the sewer playset and the Turtle Blimp!

Who would you like to see featured in a future Toys & Tech of the Trade column? I think this is a great idea because I'm a bit of a data hoarder so I'd like to see anyone featured in this column… more input!

Where can people find your work and connect with you?: RubberOnion.com is the hub – on social media, I'm “rubberonion” everywhere (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, Patreon, Newgrounds, Tumblr…you get the point).

I have a podcast called the “RubberOnion Animation Podcast” which I release weekly that I encourage people to check out on iTunes!

And if you're interested in animation, I have a tutorial book coming out in March 2016 through Focal Press currently called “Tradigital Flash: 12 Principles of Animation in Adobe Flash” (that's how you can preorder it on Amazon, but it is being updated to include Animate CC in the title and internal text soon).


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