Chris Riddle, the official Halloween transponder for American Greetings, a major national manufacturer of Halloween party supplies and cards, has earned himself the nickname of “Mr. Halloween.” He has been a featured guest on HGTV, Fox News, and his Halloween Trend Observations, has been quoted in Time, USA Today, and The New York Times. We sat down with Chris to learn more about his cool job, his Halloween tattoos, and some of his favorite holiday memories. (You can also listen to this interview here.)
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Jason: Tell us a little bit about your job, what you do, and how you got to be known as Mr. Halloween.
Chris: Well, Mr. Halloween has followed me since my childhood. Being an artist I was always drawing, and it just so happened – this is a funny story – that way back, I want to say fourth, fifth, sixth grade, all the way through high school, they always had contests in Ohio where you would actually paint the outside of a business in any given city.
And so we’d start school and I was always sketching Halloween pumpkins and witches and all that. From fourth grade all the way through my senior year I won the contests for the school, and I was always out there painting Halloween stuff.
But I also have to thank my mom because she loved Halloween. Looking back on all the pictures that I have of the family, she was always the one that was most in-costume, with the biggest smile, encouraging us to carve pumpkins and make our own costumes at Halloween.
So, as you see all the time on TV with athletes, I’ve got to thank my mom. You know, it’s one of those things where it was real important. So that kind of followed me then when I started my career at American Greetings. Everyone found out that I was actually collecting Halloween antiques and that I had quite a history of that, and I have a couple tattoos that are Halloween tattoos.
It’s kind of weird. I like to play the scary one, so it’s been that way for a long time. In a sense, even though I started as an illustrator on the board at American Greetings and kind of worked myself up to an art director and all that, because I have such a love for the holiday and such an interest, they said, “Well, why don’t you help every year with trends? Think in terms of a year out, where we want to be in the way of color and subject matter. Work with as many of the staff as you need to to come up with new ideas based on a proven subject matter.”
So it was just the matter of then going out – it really starts about the end of August – and looking at a lot of different aspects. Mostly women’s fashion, because 95 percent of our products are bought by women. So you’re kind of looking at color.
We also have some color organizations in New York City that we are members of. We fly out to New York and look at the colors a couple years out at that point. But then you’re just projecting where you want to be the following year. I have a group of artists that do that, and it’s just wonderful to work with such creative people, but to also do something that is a part of your passion as well.
Jason: That’s cool. So what tattoos do you have? Continue Reading →