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As a little kid in Orange County, Viet could be found drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when he wasn’t lighting things on fire around the neighborhood. In high school, his art teacher nurtured his creativity, and Viet worked to finish all of his requirements early so that he could just do art classes all day by his senior year (in addition to taking names on the football field). He earned several scholarships so that he could pursue his BFA at Otis College of Art and Design, and lived out of his car in the school’s parking garage to save what he could. In his last year, Viet won third place in a Mattel-sponsored competition for a girls’ toy line, and went on to work for Mattel for almost nine years. Now, Viet manages a team of boys’ toy designers at the Canadian company, Spin Master.

When he’s not designing toys or creating artwork, Viet nurses an avid motorcycle habit. He also likes to regularly increase his risk of mortality via mountain biking, climbing, racing, and consuming abnormal amounts of pork belly.