This week I am proud to present to you the interview I conducted with none other, than the good Doctor… Phineas Waldolf Steel. For the yet to be initiated, Dr. Steel may not ring any bells.. But for everyone else, he is the mad multitalent behind World Domination Toys, and the possible future King of the World. Musician, Inventor, Artist, Filmmaker, Actor, Supervillain (?), he is definitely a man of many talents, and I am happy to get the chance to talk to him today.
Wesley: First, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do, for the readers that may not be familiar with Dr. Steel.
Dr. Steel: Ah, well I’m insane. I’m completely out of my mind, and as such I envision a world where the top priority of the people is to have fun. To this end I work to spread my propaganda, encouraging the masses to join my Army of Toy Soldiers so that together we might build a Utopian Playland; a sort of world “make-over” if you will. My main agenda is that of embracing one’s creative passions as the true purpose in life and making the world a better place through ingenuity, imagination. And robots.
W: Many artists (and inventors for that matter) have a point in their life, that really sets them on the path towards deciding what they truly want to do with their life. Was there a time in your life when you had an epiphany about really wanting to do what you’re doing now, and if so, what was it?
Dr. S: Yes indeed! There was a very specific time in my life when I underwent a sort of psychological and spiritual breakdown. This was a result of a series of impactful events, all leading to the inevitable options of continuing to repeat the past or to move ahead into a new field of existence. I experienced a sort of vision, if you will, an epiphany that allowed me to see the world in a different way. From this moment on I began to see myself as a canvas for my own work. A blank slate on which I continually paint.
W: How long does it usually take you to complete one of your Propaganda broadcasts, and what kind of work goes into each one? And how does the work that goes into one of your PSA’s or Music Videos differ from the work that goes into making the Dr. Steel Show?
Oh goodness, this is a difficult question to answer. Each project differs a great deal due to the limited resources I have at my disposal. The conceptualizing of each project is rather brief, and I must admit, the most enjoyable of the process. The planning, pre-production, scheduling and general organization of a project certainly demands an entirely different section of the brain. I am rather good at organization, though I find it less enjoyable than compulsory. The physical production of a project is often bitter-sweet since I am personally responsible for all aspects. This is something that I am currently working to overcome, by utilizing what I have created thus far to present to potential investors. It is time to obtain the resources that I truly need in order to expand into greater fields. Producing an entire web series should certainly not be done by one person alone. I look forward to the possibilities of the future, seeing the expansive scope of my vision blossom, as well as being able to allocate specific tasks to others who can perform their work far better than I could ever do individually, as I am doing at the moment.
W: Being a multitalent, how do you balance all of your different creative impulses? Your music is definitely what you’re known best for, so how do you do all of your different ideas justice when you’ve got so many?
Dr. S: I am truly obsessed with the creative process. I believe that creativity is the closest thing to a purpose in life, and I seek only to manifest inspired visions. Unfortunately, we live in a world where that desire is often considered trivial. There are many obstacles that one must overcome in order to find themselves in a position to be constantly creative. So, the balance of creating and building a foundation on which will support my future creativity is a challenging one. I have continued to create a wide variety of work in order to present the world with my vision. This serves two purposes, the first of which allows me to exercise my imagination in the creative process and the second being that of creating prototypes for future endeavors. By no means do I consider my current work, in any medium, to be my final product. Be it music, artwork, moving pictures, interactive media, toys, or any one of the many designs I have displayed, each one is intended to be improved upon and fully realized once the appropriate resources have been obtained. I am delighted to know that so many people have enjoyed these prototypes thus far, and I certainly do look forward to the creations of the future as they expand further into a much greater state of completion.
W: Much of your work has a certain aesthetic to it. Many have mentioned your work in regards to Steampunk influenced bands like Abney Park (and for that matter the Steampunk “style” in general). How would you classify your work, and why do you think you’re attracted to the certain aesthetic and style you’ve developed?
Dr. S: I try to steer clear of any labels as much as possible. Once you build a box around yourself, you’re trapped inside of it. I’m not interested in classifying myself. I have been in the fortunate position to receive a great deal of positive input from a tremendously wide variety of people. Classifications are for the marketing department, and I understand that is a game that needs to be played in the early stages, but I honestly seek to present my work to as many people as possible. Through that work, I would hope that my message of empowerment through play helps to ignite the personal talents inside a great many people, thus encouraging others to do the same.
W: You’ve worked very hard (or simply have been very efficient at taking out your competition) to get where you are, can you talk about your background, where you came from, and do you have any advice for fellow artists on what they could get themselves out there?
Dr. S: Dedication is of the utmost importance. There is a saying that talent is no substitute for hard work, and there certainly is truth in this. However, one must truly identify their sincere passions before embarking on this job. If your journey is going to be rocky, you had better be certain that what you’re doing is worth the effort. My road continues to be a very rocky one, but I do this so that I may build a strong platform on which to build my empire of creativity. ‘Tis the most important thing in my book, so I continue to move ahead in the ways that I feel are the most powerful. One must look at the events of the past as educational experiences, and not dwell in them but move ahead. To this end I seek only to continually evolve and look towards the future.
W: Your shows are full of fantastic props and creations of yours. Can you talk a little about how you created them, and if you have a creation that you’re particularly fond of?
Dr. S: Thank you for the kind words. Indeed, nearly everything you see in my world has been custom built for the sole purpose of populating my continually growing universe. There are too many techniques to list here, many of them being the result of trial and error. I am far from being the authority on any one medium as I simply dabble and experiment in order to manifest a particular vision. As for a particular favorite creation, I cannot list even one. I only desire to create something far superior each step of the way.
W: So what can people stay tuned to the Dr. Steel message, and keep up with what you’re working on next?
Dr. S: There are several places on this wonderful internet that serve as doorways into my world. The first being www.doctorsteel.com , a virtual tour of my island as well as information about my universe. Secondly, www.worlddominationtoys.com holds a great variety of prototype toys and clothing to be perused and voted on by the visitor. There are videos available on www.youtube.com/doctorsteel and for those of the MySpace persuasion; you can befriend me on www.myspace.com/drsteel . My brilliant Army of Toy Soldiers have joined forces to create www.toysoldiersunite.com , a one stop shop for propaganda, creativity and fun.
Much more madness shall be unleashed on the masses in the future, so keep your eyes peeled and your computers on-line.
Thank you very much! It was great talking to you, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up for you in the future. Now enjoy this wonderful PSA that Dr. Steel made on the topic of Creating, hopefully you’ll find it inspiring.