10 Questions with The Toy Making, Sticker Wielding Shawn Smith AKA Shawnimals

On a regular basis we’ll ask a new sticker artist a series of 10 questions. To keep things simple and to engage in a deeply philosophical, long term case study of the scientifically complicated “Sticker Artist’s mind,” we’ve decided to leave the questions the same every week.

Shawn Smith rules. So does his highly accomplished & uniquely inspired character design studio Shawnimals, a thriving company that he and his wife Jen created and co-founded over 10 years ago.

In that time, over 450 colorful, highly personal characters have spawned, bringing together kids and adults, toy collectors, pop culture enthusiasts and anyone that enjoys the occasional stuffed ninja.


Over the years, Shawn’s (stealth-hugging) Ninjas and other characters have morphed from hand made plush toys to an empire of rad merchandise, including vinyl toys, paintings & original art, posters, magnets, die cut stickers, keychains, calendars, pins, and even successful video games and iphone apps.

Shawnimals characters naturally translate perfectly to silkscreen stickers. In fact, collectors savvy enough to be enrolled in the Ninja of the Month Club, may or may not have received one of our stickers every month, with their new Ninja plush toy.

We’ve been working with Shawn for years and we can attest to his unparalleled awesomeness. So, This week we asked Shawn Smith AKA Shawnimals to answer 10 Questions…


1. what makes a good sticker design?

Keep it simple, stupid. Or really, really detailed. I think focusing on either end of the spectrum works best. The middle ground can end up coming off boring.

Moustachio Stickers, Shawnimals


2. what do you do with stickers anyways?

Usual spots, really. Mainly Trapper Keeps and school lockers? No, actually I like to put them in not-so-easy-to-see-spots. Like you’ll only see it from a certain angle in a mirror. It’s like a surprise that way.

silkscreen shawnimals stickers


3. if you could hand one of your stickers to any one person, who would it be?

Any kid with an imagination and love of ninjas.

shawn, lifer.

i think it’s safe to say that Shawn has been working on this for a long long time…


4. silkscreen or digital?

99% of the time, silkscreen. 1% of the time digital if it’s for a really straight-up, non-awesome purpose.

summer ninja sticker


5. mp3 or cd?

Vinyl, man. Then cassette single. Then mp3. Then CD since I use them to make robot costumes.
ninja party!


6. what is the last book you read?

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Meh… it’s ok.


7. tell me 3 artists you like

Dehara (video)
Philip Guston
– and I shit you not, this dude…


8. tell me 3 websites you like


Animal Spirit Ninja!


9. what would you like 1000 of?

Come January, probably diapers. For now, I’ll take 1000 thousand-dollar bills.

1000 Dollar Bill


10. what are you working on now / what’s next for you?

Every time I think I know, something pops up and the course changes. But if I had it my way, we’re putting together this new project called Legends of Ninjatown which will spawn all sorts of new tangents. Oh, and always building on Ninja Builder and Trees of Doom! (we told you he was prolific…)

ninja builder

ninja town

Here is a gallery of stickers from the the highly prolific Shawnimals, “Ninja of the Month Club” – All stickers are Available Here.

Sticker Robot Custom Stickers