TADO is Mike and Katie, two hard working, tired-eyed, happy folk living and working together in Sheffield, UK. TADO began in 2001 whilst the pair were still at university, after graduating they set up their own studio and began working feverishly to carve a nook for themselves in the terrifying world of freelance.
Their work revolves around a few simple ideas – enjoyment and conveying good feelings to the viewer. This has proved a very successful formula as the pair have a pretty impressive list of happy clients and have exhibited their demented artwork around the globe!
If the movement known as the cute vectorism movement suddenly came to an end; would you change your style?
We like to think that we’d adapt our style and keep it current! When we look back at our own work from one and two years ago we can see quite a few differences in style, so we guess we’re shifting and tweaking our style pretty much constantly. One month we’ll be into pretty swirly-gloopgloop shapes, the next month it’ll be dry, cracked zombie mushrooms with maggots coming out from their heads. We get bored very easily with our own work so this tends to push us in new directions anyway. If the cute vectorism movement were to die a horrible death we’d probably just go with the flow and see where it took us… or we’d just go work at the Tesco next door. We’d probably get paid more there too…
How many toys do you own and do you play with them?
Far too many. We’re pretty sad really – we don't even have enough room to display them – we have to rotate them now! And yes, we do play with them!
I read a few of your older interviews while researching TADO; Lounge72, Pixelsurgeon, Toytastic, YNTGOM and Vinyl Abuse. After completing my research I came to the conclusion that your working relationship seems too good to be true. So, do you ever argue and more importantly have you ever fallen out?
Haha – Yes! Of course we argue! We tend to squabble a lot about work stuff – but never seriously. We know each other too well so have become each others harshest work critics! We’ve never fallen out though and we’ve never had a ‘proper’ argument despite living and working together 24-7.
How much would it cost me to hire you for 24 hours?
Wotcha got? We’re open to cold hard cash, bribery, good food and offers of holidays.
Apart from illustration what other things are you into?
Hmm… we have very boring lives we’re afraid. We enjoy trundling up to Leeds to go see bands play with our friends, mountain biking, looking after our fishtank and restoring our stupidly small Japanese Honda car.
Who are your favourite artists/illustrators alive today?
We like so many different people for different reasons and our fav’s change constantly! We’re rubbish at naming names but long term inspirations whom we always look to would be people like Chiho Aoshima, Chinatsu Ban, Murakami of course and all the other KaiKai Kiki artists. In terms of designers and illustrators, we’ve always loved Genevieve Gauckler’s work, Geoff Mcfetridge, Friends With You, Nathan Jurevicius, Devilrobots… the list could go on forever.
Does Jon Burgerman smell?
We’re happy to say that Jon has been a good chum of ours for quite a while now and we’ve never noticed anything particularly pungent about him, even after hanging around him for several days at a time. We were astounded by how spotless his snazzy house is actually!
Although he did get a rather nasty and now legendary case of the bumbums in Dublin recently, the real smell test will be in a couple of weeks when we’re off to Paris with him. Fancy food, a few cans of fizzy pop and all the excitement of an exhibition opening in a small crowded place. Who knows what might happen!
Are you involved in any collaborative projects at the moment and is there anyone you would like to work with?
As we just mentioned we’re off to Paris very soon for the opening of a show we’ve been working on with Mr Burgerman. The show is called Immature Miniatures and will have lots of snazzy things in it. We’ve been working on a fun animation recently as well with some friends of ours from Portsmouth called Kinetic Mesh. They're proper clever and made our evil mushrooms dance!
Who would we like to work with? We’d like to work with Honda to develop one of them mental concept cars – like the one Murakami did with Nissan! Or perhaps Sheffield City Council. We reckon we could do a pretty fun job of sprucing up some of our cities less utopian areas! Or Hard Gay (Razor Ramen) in Japan. He’s our hero. We’d love to design a costume for him! Hooooooooooooooo!!!!
Have you ever considered creating a feature length animation?
We’d love to do something like that one day. We’re not sure if we’d have the patience for it though! By the time it was half way through we’d probably have got bored and wanted to change the beginning bit. A friend of ours has been working on a large scale animation for a loooong time now so we know how much time and painstaking work goes into such things. It should be pretty incredible when it's finished though!
What’s next in the pipeline for TADO?
We’re off to Milan in April for a big MTV schindig out there which we’re pretty excited about – it’ll be the first time we get to properly meet a few of our buddies too! We’ve been working hard on some new toy projects too with both Kidrobot and our friends Dan&Dan so these should start appearing pretty soon. Some fun clothing collection stuff as well from Kidrobot and Nike.
In the bits in between we want to get fit again (too much time sat infront of screens – haha!), and finish off our little car!
Mars bars or Snickers?
Snickers for Mike, Mars for Katie please!
Jook Jook or Pang Pang?
Both of course!!
Popeye or Bluto?
Bluto we’re afraid!
Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to talk to LCSV4
Thank you very much for having us!
You can see more of TADO’s work at