Q&A with Don Clark from Invisible Creature

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Invisible Creature has been a well known illustration and design company for over a decade now. If you are in the design industry you have known of them for sometime. If you are not, you have probably still experienced their work in your local Target without even knowing it. From in-store graphics to the gift cards they’ve created and possibly you’ve even purchased.


They have done so much work in the music industry that you probably have a CD with their designs as well. Bands/artists such as Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, Alice in Chains and Lecrae to name a few.


Or perhaps you have used these stamps from the USPS…


They also designed some posters for NASA including “The Grand Tour” poster that is framed in our offices. This poster lead to a call with Don Clark to discuss the possibility of a collaboration. One year after our first phone call we were excited to release the Creepy Scrawlers, the first collaboration project for Retro.



R51: Would you consider yourself a “pen” person? Have you ever received on as a gift?

DC: You know, before this project I’d have to honestly say no. I wasn’t familiar at all with “pen culture” since I essentially only use a stylus and pencil for drawing. I have some cool brush pens that I use on occasion but my work is created almost entirely digitally at this point. (Cue sad trombone sound here). And I think like most people, we find ourselves writing less and typing much more these days. We have a few ball point pens around the house but don’t give them much thought. This project with you guys was enlightening in many ways and made me think of pens in a whole new light!

R51: Did you know about Retro51 or the world of pens before this project started?

DC: I did know there were nice writing pens out there, but had not hear of Retro 51, sadly.

R51: Do you use a pen in day to day life? Doodling ,note keeping etc.

DC: I would say yes, I definitely do use a pen every day, but mostly it is to jot down a phone message at the studio or for a quick sticky note. I wish I had more time to doodle these days. I’d say 100% of my drawing time is for a client or specific project we are working on. If I am experimenting or sketching, that would usually be done on my Wacom Cintiq with a stylus.

R51: Did you find designing on the pen was difficult? or did it come together really well?

DC: Actually, it did present a few challenges that I enjoyed figuring out. Namely when it came to creating something that was going to be printed so small – and on a curve. Since we had so many characters featured on the pen (and the holder), I needed to make sure that certain elements didn’t become too tiny or obscure. I had fun playing around with stroke widths and sizes to determine how small I could go with things.


(Original Sketch)

R51: Do you have a favorite monster? or favorite 5?

DC: That’s like asking if I have a favorite child! Ok, Ok, it is hard but I think maybe this guy? He just looks soooooooo guilty.


R51: Did you ever surprise yourself with one of the Scrawlers you created? Like you look back and think “that’s crazy.”

DC: Well I do think it’s a little crazy that I haven’t counted the amount of monsters yet … I should do that. 

(R51: there are 17 monsters on the pen and 69 on the packaging)

R51: Did you name any of them? For some reason I felt like this guy’s name would be “Igor.”


DC: I haven’t yet but I think the guy above should be named “Benny.” He looks like a “Benny.”

R51: Do you think you’ll add onto these “Creepy Scrawlers” in any ways? Another poster or t-shirt perhaps?

DC: I’d love to do another series of all new creatures in a completely different color way sometime!

R51: If you were to design another pen theme what would you want to do?

DC: Yes. Birds! 

R51: Would you consider yourself a “pen” person now?

DC: Can I be a Retro 51 “person”? If the answer is yes, then I am definitely a pen person now.

R51: Big thanks to Don for working with us and taking the time to give some insight on this project! We hope you like your Creepy Scrawler as much as we do. To see more of their work check out their website. For help finding a dealer with these still in stock please contact us.


What is your favorite Scrawler?


Do you want to see more collaborations?



Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “Q&A with Don Clark from Invisible Creature

  1. Barry Rubin

    A great collaboration.

  2. Scott

    I have always loved IC designs and I am thrilled to see the collaboration with Retro 51! I would ABSOLUTELY love to see more collaborations in the future including a pen and pencil set!!!!!

  3. MintGreen

    I have seen The Grand Tour image before, and loved it. Now I know the name of the artist. I downloaded an image from somewhere else, and use it as the image on my lock screen sometimes.

    I also bought the dragon stamps, and gave some to my brother. Glad to see his talents are so versatile to go from poster size to an attractive pen.

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