Thank you again for the opportunity to get to know a little more about the person behind the Michael Modish brand. To begin with, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your hobbies, interests or anything you would like to share with the community which cannot be seen from your social media accounts or website (something special behind the scenes?).
Some of my earlier followers would be able to tell you that I am a bit of a plant Dad. I am obsessed with indoor plants, gardening, and the idea of sustainable living. I find therapy in being in my garden and spending most weekends trying to relax at home. My professional career as a Medical Scientist comes with a lot of stress and long hours, so playing The Sims and being amongst my plant babies are a huge part of my own therapy.
Your Instagram account features predominantly modern to ultra-modern builds, I have also noticed you like working with squares as your main to-go shape for your builds, whether rooms, buildings, or decoration. Where do you get the inspiration and how did you define your go-to style?
I find that squares are such easy, convenient, and symmetrical shapes to work with. My mind can get so cluttered and busy, so seeing simple, minimal, clean, and symmetrical shapes and lines in architecture really appeals to my eyes and influences my design aesthetic. I love the idea of having minimal visual distractions, bringing focus back to the relationships of the people living in a space, being in the moment and only possessing items that bring you the most joy and happiness.
There are many simmers who have simstagram accounts where they post their builds, sims or anything sims related, yet very few have actually developed their page into a brand. What prompted you to develop your own brand, have you or do you study branding and design or anything related that inspired you to create a brand around the Sims game?
Honestly, I wanted to go in the direction of a more branded account for the reasons of being identifiable, being unique and engaging people in a way that creates excitement, interest, and a sense of community. I have never studied branding or design, but I have found creating logos and products in my spare time to be a lot of fun, so it is something I have invested some time into researching and exploring.
Are there any benefits and if so, what are they, in having a clearly defined brand? What advice would you give to simmers who also want to create a brand for their simstagrams but just do not know where to start?
For me, the only benefit I have found is that it has given me something fun to do, something new to learn and motivated me to step outside my comfort zones. My advice to creators looking at going in the direction of a brand would be to start it with the intention of having fun, but do not expect to make money, gain lots of followers or for everything you try to put out into the community to be a hit. I would start with a good memorable name, a unique logo that tells people who you are, and to work on building relationships within the community by showing support and kindness to your fellow Simmers.
In addition to being a content creator, you also have a website where you put up for sale the Michael Modish x Sims merch. What inspired you in the beginning to start your own merch line?
I wanted to have my own unique identity within the community and having merch attached to the name of Michael Modish seemed to give me a way of projecting an image and having a presence in a sea of amazing content creators. My merch is not there for me to make money, it is there to say this is me, this is where to find me, and this is the community you are a part of when you follow me. My merch started with a strong Sims influence behind it, but I am breaking free of that attachment slowly and have merch that is more unique to my identity as Michael Modish and the community I am making, the MODSQUAD.
Could you tell us about your experience in managing a merch store, where do you get the ideas of your designs or products to sell? Are your products research based – looking to find what simmers want or is there a different approach?
It has been a fun, interesting, disappointing, and eye-opening experience managing a merch store. Unfortunately, ideas for products have to be limited to practicality and feasibility, and by that I mean how hard is it to make, who is going to make it, what will it cost to make, how much does it cost to ship around the world, what is the price you are going to sell it at, will people pay that price, what is your profit if any and do you ultimately have the time and money to invest. The Sims originally gave me ideas and designs for products, but you must be careful not to copy their branding if going down the path of Sim-inspired products, hence my products have been finetuned and undergone many changes to become a more separate identity/brand. The best advice I could give someone wanting to start their own merch/products is to make a website using a provider like Squarespace and integrate a merch company like Printful to design, fulfil, AND ship your products. It is a good, cheap and easy starting point I believe.
Your Michael Modish eyeshadow palette with the Sims colour tints was a huge hit and has sold out in no time, are you looking to make more permanent product lines in the future or would you like to mix things up as you go along?
I was inspired by the creativity and expression in creating builds In The Sims to come up with a product that gave people their own way of expressing themselves, and I thought what better way than to dabble in the world of cosmetics. So, I made an eyeshadow palette with colours that reminded me of The Sims, shades of vibrant blues and greens. Funnily, I had no idea that only weeks prior to my palette launching The Sims and MAC cosmetics collaborated and created a Sims palette, which kind of flopped to my benefit as it did not have a single shade of blue and green, shockingly. So, I think my palette gave people what they missed out on. I created the company Modish Beauty Co. to assist in identifying the product as a cosmetic item but found it too hard to try to juggle two brands at the same time, so there are no planned product launches for the foreseeable future under that company and production for the eyeshadow palette has stopped, with some hidden stock occasionally popping up for people to grab. At the moment I don’t have any products I feel are permanent, I like change and experimenting, so definitely watch this space.
Now Michael, enough about business! Let's talk a little about Sims, how did you first come to know about the game and what part of it was most appealing to you? Are there any other games you play, if so what are they?
I was first introduced to the game at a friend’s house when I was a child. I could not believe such a game existed; it was so intriguing and unique. As someone who never fit in well at school, never had a lot of friends and experienced a lot of bullying, The Sims gave me the escapism and creativity I needed to survive my earlier years. Without being dramatic, I think the game really did save my life. I play other games like Cities: Skylines (a city builder game) and ARK: Survival (you get to ride Dinosaurs!) and used to post about them on my account, but never get enough time to invest in them properly like I do The Sims. I would like to become more of a diversified Gamer rather than a strict Simmer, and I think the community will see a massive change in what I post towards the end of 2021.
You are very talented in interior design and architecture, are you looking to pursue a career in this field in real life? When did you find out about your talents and more generally, what are your dreams for the future?
Becoming an architect has always seemed like a logical career path for me, but it never eventuated, I went down the path of Medicine and Science instead. I have too many commitments for the foreseeable future to make a life-changing career jump, so for now those dreams are on-hold, but not forgotten. My talents are attributed to my many, many years of playing The Sims. People say, “How are you so talented?” and I think well I would be worried if I was not half-decent at the game after all these years of playing. I have always been highly creative and good at Art and Design, so I think those skills along with playing the game for so long has really helped me to become the creator I am today.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to tell our readers and the sims community? Any exciting new products you are thinking about launching soon?
As always, have fun and be kind. Never be afraid to send me a DM with a question or if you just want to have a chat, I love to chat. No imminent product launches are planned, but you will be seeing some big changes this year, so be on the lookout. Thank you to my current and future MODSQUAD family, you are amazing! And of course, thank you to @laar.studio for the interview with SimmedUp, you’re the best!
Thanks so much for agreeing for a chat Michael! Was a pleasure!