Dig In Magazine interviews Justin Kerson, CEO of the artistically driven company ToTT Global. ToTT Global, headquarted in the city of San Francisco, California, joins forces “with the world’s top contemporary artists. ToTT creates classic games and novelties like dice, dominoes, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards & more. Founded with the simple belief that “everyone in the world can understand a smile,” ToTT aims to make fine art both accessible and interactive for everybody.” Some of ToTT’s featured artists include "Ron English, Mike Giant, Buff Monster, Tara McPherson, Mark Bode and Vaughn Bode. In the very near future…Claw Money, Shepard Fairey, Nate Van Dyke, Jeremy Fish." [Interview posted on July 17, 2011]
Dig In Magazine: What kind of company is ToTT Global?
ToTT Global: Tools of the Trade is, in essence, a designer game and fine art company. We like to see ourselves as putting art back into the hands of the people. We collaborate with some amazing artists on our games in order to make contemporary art easily accessible and fun.
DIM: What does the “ToTT” in “ToTT Global” stand for?
TG: ToTT Global stands for Tools of the Trade.
DIM: What types of products do you sell?
TG: Currently our product line consists of Dice, Puzzles and Playing Cards as well as Limited Edition Prints with much, much more being released this year.
DIM: Where is your biggest market?
TG: We tend to lean towards the Contemporary Art scene, which can be extremely varied. Tattoo culture, street art, cannabis culture, skaters, etc.
DIM: How did you come up for the idea for your company?
TG: ToTT came around due to my day to day hustle and respect for my peers and their creativity and drive. As I said before, I wanted to take the seemingly esoteric art scene and spread it out to a whole world that otherwise might not ever experience this art.
DIM: How do you choose the artists that you work with?
TG: Their style. Usually an artist will contact us or more often than not they’re introduced through a mutual friend. Either way, we check out their art, take a step back and think,”How can we take this art, the entire experience of it, and create an interactive version of it?”
DIM: Who are some of the artists that you feature?
TG: Ron English, Mike Giant, Buff Monster, Tara McPherson, Mark Bode and Vaughn Bode. In the very near future…Claw Money, Shepard Fairey, Nate Van Dyke, Jeremy Fish.
DIM: What style of art and artists do you represent?
TG: The majority of artists we work with are multi-faceted artists. They’re oil painters, muralists, graffiti writers, illustrators, screen printers, you name it. We don’t focus on any one medium. Tools of the Trade isn’t just our name, it’s our mind state. We respect everyone’s tools and how they use them in their specific trade.
DIM: Where are the majority of your artists based out of?
TG: Most of the artists that we work with are based out of the Bay Area; with others in L.A. and NYC.
DIM: What did ToTT Global do at Art Basel Miami in 2010?
TG: We had a pop-up gallery featuring originals from Tara McPherson, Claw Money, Buff Monster, Donny Miller, Greg Mike, Anthony Ausgang, Mark Bode, Mike Giant, Ron English, Oliver Black, and Nate Van Dyke. We also threw the biggest, best art party in the history of the world. It was in a castle. Seriously. The Overthrow’s Basel Castle party. We set up all types of interactive carnival style games based on the collaborating artists’ work.
DIM: How has your company been involved with Comic-Con in the past?
TG: We shared a booth last year with Kaiju Big Battle.
DIM: Will you be at Comic-Con this year?
TG: Our Distro Rep will be there, however we will not have a booth this year.
DIM: What are some of your most popular products?
TG: Right now our Dice and Card games are the top sellers.
Cindy Maram is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dig In Magazine. She is an accredited film journalist for Sundance Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival and CAAMFest, as well as writer, vlogger, designer, digital, online & social media marketer. She possess a B.A from UC Davis in Cultural Studies and an M.A. in Mass Communications [Film and Marketing] and Popular Culture Studies from Cal State Fullerton.