Getting to Know Mike Duman

Title: Executive Vice President, Co-Creative Director
Here since: July 1, 1986

Try to explain exactly what you do at SKAR.
I guess you can say I’m an artist who gets to create as well as oversee the creative product that comes out of SKAR. It’s always exciting to see my team nail a concept or design. Very rewarding.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in design?
At a young age, really. My twin brother and I would like to create things when we were kids, and our favorite class was always art. It was the only class I really looked forward to.

Name a favorite campaign you created.
It was a print campaign for Goodwill. Goodwill’s marketing director at the time was great and really let us be creative with headlines. “Drop Off Your Old Bag,” “ Look Into Our Shorts,” “Tell Us to Stick It,’ “Paint Satrick’s Say Dale” were just a few.

If you had a ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Italy. My mom always wanted us kids to go there. She spoke of it often. Yes, she was full-blooded Italian.

Word on the street is that you possess a famous spaghetti sauce recipe. Explain.
See above question. My mom had a recipe handed down from generation to generation. When I make it I usually make enough to feed an army, because it’s so involved and takes all day to get it just right. It has to cook for hours … that’s the secret. She wrote a copy for all of us kids and I still use that same handwritten recipe to this day. You can’t get that online.

What do you do in your spare time?
Cook. I love to eat so I love to cook … while watching ESPN, of course. Nothing like having a TV in the kitchen!

Any hobbies?
I like to work out. As a matter of fact, my brother and I built a gym in my house. We named it Twins Gym. T-shirts are available for a small price. I’m not kidding.

What makes you madder than a wet hen?
Drivers who are texting and not paying attention to what they should be doing. PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Or someone backing out of a vacation … so annoying.

Do you ever watch anything besides ESPN?
Occasionally I’ll switch to ESPN2. With 10 TVs in my house, it’s hard not to watch!

What major changes have you experienced in the art world through your career?
Well, I started out when there were no computers, if that says anything. An airbrush wasn’t a tool in Photoshop; it was an actual airbrush. Believe me, I’m not complaining. On a more recent note, I think the kids in the field of art are so much more prepared for the real world these days. Teachers are being smart and really making an effort to reach out to professionals in the business to find out what our true needs are. That’s a wonderful thing.

What superhero strength would you like to have?
I would love the ability to make myself invisible. Think of all the things you could get away with!

What was your fastest time as a track superstar at Kearney State?
Not sure what my time was but I think my best race was in the anchor leg of the 4×400 relay at my last conference meet. I ran against this guy back in high school, and he would always beat me. I passed the guy in the home stretch of the relay. Very satisfying.

Name a TV show you watch that’s kind of embarrassing to tell people.
Does “Catfish” count? I watch that in the mornings when I’m getting ready for work … it’s always such a train wreck. Is it so wrong to see people’s hearts get ripped out?

What would be your advice to college students looking for a career in design?
Have a passion for your work and let that passion and enthusiasm show through when you make that next step. It’s always exciting to see someone who loves what they are doing and is not just going through the motions.

Try to think of something interesting about yourself that people might want to know.
I built a bar in my house. Not just a bar in the basement; it’s a pub that used to be my dining room. It’s called the Bulldog Pub, named after my bulldog Mona. T-shirts are available for a small price. I’m not kidding.