In the first of our shop featurettes (to give you some excellent Christmas pressie ideas of course) I caught up with Darren McDaid of A Beads C Start. Take a look at these beauties which you can get on his Etsy shop.
Darren, great to meet you at the London gaming market! Please tell us about your company and what you do.
My company is called A Beads C Start. I make pixelated pieces mostly from retro videogames and pop culture but I also make bespoke pieces upon request.
Great name for the company by the way. How long did it take to come up with?
It’s one of those it just came to me moments, like Ray from Ghostbusters “It just popped in there”. I thought the cheat code from Sonic the Hedgehog was fitting due to being more of a Sega head.
I had my eye on a rather lovely Sonic picture frame which I let slip through my fingers. Which are your favourites and do you do commissions?
One of my favourite pieces is a Sonic framed piece of the Green Hill Zone (we want it!!!! – Ed). Most orders online I take are commissioned pieces. I love making new things especially after five years. I can’t tell you how many Mario or Sonic sprites I have made, definitely in the hundreds!
Is this your full time job?
It has been for the past few years but I plan on getting a full time job soon and have the beading on a more part time basis. It’s been a great five years but as much as I love it there are other things I want to do with my life.
What’s the London gaming scene like compared to others round the UK? Where have you visited to promote the business?
I have attended conventions all over the UK and Ireland. The gaming scene seems to be the same everywhere, very popular (that’s good to hear – Ed).
Any tips for any wannabe “beaders” out there?
Always be attentive to colour, shading and detail. Never do a job half assed.
What’s your favourite retro console and games to play on it?
The Sega Mega Drive has to be my favourite! The games I love most on it are Sonic 2, Fantastic Dizzy, Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe and Shinobi 3.
If you could go for a drink with any video game character, who would you choose and why?
Hmm that’s tough… A retro character I would like to have a drink with would be Simon Belmont and a modern character would be John Marston as I’m sure they have plenty of great stories they could tell!
We agree with you! But we’d be afraid of having them in the same room… Thanks for stopping by Darren, we look forward to seeing what masterpieces you come up with next.
Readers, swing by the A Beads C Start Etsy shop.