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Forgotten Domains 6: Artificial Duck

Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Dave!We've just arrived at the penultimate episode of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. This time we're going to work...


Yesterday I told the riveting tale of my venture into the digital video business but, before there was Critical Duck Films, there was Artificial Duck Company. And before there was Artificial Duck, there was Wind-Up Duck Screen Printing. And before there was Wind-Up Duck, there was Big Duck Studio... as you might have guessed, I've got kind of a "duck" thing going on here. I honestly don't know why, but it probably has to do with the fact that I find ducks to be funny. Make of it what you will.

Anyway, if you've read my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) you might know that I am a graphic designer by trade. But my career path to becoming a graphic designer was not without complexity. So here, for your reading pleasure, are the duck-related bits from my wild work history.

THE EARLY YEARS: I've always loved to draw and paint, but I never thought it could be an actual job. So when "Personal Computers" were introduced to my school, I knew where my future lay. By the time I was a high-school senior I had already started accepting programming work for local businesses, orchardists, farmers, and even computerized the attendance records for my own high school. Programming a computer was something I was good at, seemed to pay okay, and was in demand, so I naturally thought I had found my vocation. Big Duck Studio was born...

Big Duck

For better part of my senior year I was a student by day and Big Duck programmer-for-hire at night (though most of my friends called it "Big Dick Studio" - ha ha). I was learning a lot, having fun, and making a little spending money. It was all good. At least it was good until one Saturday night I suddenly realized that I was hunched over a computer debugging code while all my friends were out partying. At that moment I decided I did not want to spend the rest of my life glued to a computer monitor, and Big Duck was dead.

GETTING ARTISTIC: After graduation I had no idea what I wanted to do (though getting work so I could afford to go to college the next year was a high priority). I found a part-time job as a janitor but always in the back of my head was the desire to have my own business again (though something not involving computers). Then one day a friend asked me to design a T-Shirt for his family reunion, and everything just clicked. I would partner with a screen printer and do T-Shirt designs in my spare time! For reasons I can't recall, the name I chose for my new endeavor was Wind-Up Duck Screen Printing...

Wind-Up Duck

I think the name came from an old toy frog I found that would hop around if you wind him up (by turning a key that stuck out his butt). Since I found ducks to be hysterical, the wind-up frog became a wind-up duck. It was a good idea, but the guy I was working with kept raising his prices until pretty soon I couldn't make any money at it. I had thought about shopping around for another printer, but I was getting ready for college and decided I'd just quit the business altogether.

SEMI-RECENT HISTORY: After wasting a few years of my life in a drunken stupor while attending college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Eventually I accidentally stumbled into graphic design work (which neatly combined my love of computers and art), but it was still part-time and I needed a way to make some extra money. Screen printing, which used to involve spending hours hand-cutting stencils, had become high-tech and much faster, so I thought perhaps I'd resurrect "Wind-Up Duck" and get into the biz again. Only problem was that the name sometimes confused people (they thought "wind" was like "gusting wind"), so it was time for an entirely new duck. Artificial Duck Company had a nice ring to it...

Artificial Duck

But eventually my job went from part-time to full-time, and there was never any space in my schedule to do any work for Artificial Duck. I bought the domain name with the intention of hiring partners and putting up a web site to get business, but it never happened. So, while I do some work under the "Artificial Duck" banner from time to time, the domain itself has been all but forgotten (why advertise something you never have time to do?).

Even so, I love my "Artificial Duck" logo, and it makes for a popular T-Shirt design that I can hand out to people.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Dave2 says:

    P.S. I am posting this early… 7am Sydney, New South Wales Australia time… just for Kazza, since she is probably the only one who even cares what “Artificial Duck” is! And I did promise in yesterday’s comments I’d explain it, so here you are.

    (Oddly enough, all seven of my “Forgotten Domains” entries were written weeks ago over the holidays to save up for a time I couldn’t think of anything to write about!)

  2. The Ref, LGC says:

    I want one of those t-shirts!!

  3. Ben says:

    Hurrah for people who also dwell in that time zone, and while not being the person that the gesture was intended for, can still benefit, albeit illegitimately.


    I love the third logo. I’m a sucker for green.

  4. kazza says:

    heh, yup saw this first thing this morning, tho saw the comments just now. Nice to know where that mysterious articificial duck came from :):)

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