Although I have been making art toys for years, somehow closed off in my own little world, it wasn't until the last year or so that I became involved in the Art Toy scene. Since a door opened up to the realisation that there was a world outside myself I have found the scene to be incredibly welcoming, open and supportive. You always hear people referring to it as a "community" and that is exactly what it is.
I think one of the best aspects of such a diverse yet niche genre is that everyone is so passionate about the work they and their peers are producing. Artists and fans support one another in so many different ways, giving you the feeling of being part of something much bigger than yourself. This is a very refreshing feeling to me, given that I started life in applied arts, and thoroughly confused everyone with the strange figurative work I was producing.
|Some work from 1999 to 2006 ish!|
Another major and core part of this community are the blogs: Toysrevil, Tenacious Toys, The Toy Viking, Jeremyriad, Spankystokes, Trampt, Toybreak, Clutter, Tomopop, Tic TocToy to name a few. They all offer something different to the art toy, pop-art lover and maker like myself. There is a constant wave of creativity and these people strive to keep us informed of what is happening all over the world - they also support the small, self-producing people like myself.
So when I released my first toy into this market I wanted to do something a little special with it, to honour the people and blogs that enrich my everyday life. (And obviously Megaseth gets a blatant plug!) I made three custom one-off Seths for the following people:
When I first started looking at toys online Toysrevil was kind of the mecca because his international coverage was so extensive, it seemed if there was anything to know he knew it. Andy Heng is a 24/7 blogging machine! He brings daily worldwide coverage of toys, movies and pop culture. I can go to his site morning noon or night and there's something new to read. His blog is a hive buzzing with all the latest news. So when I tentatively submitted my first custom works to him and he featured it I was astounded! He supports the new people like myself, using his passion for toys to help us become established.
Trampt is amazing. What more can I say. Keegan and Blake have built this amazing site that is the hub of everything art-toy related. In addition to a blog with current toy-related news and a live feed much like Facebook where you can follow people, there is the beyond-extensive library where artists and collectors and artist/collectors alike now have a place to go to share their creations and collections. Every new piece from big releases to one off customs will be up to date on Trampt. Any registered user can add to the site, and I think I have only beaten Keegan to uploading a new piece of mine maybe once. In my experience I have literally just released images online, I head over to upload to the Trampt Library and said piece is already there...like I said, amazing. If you like toys, art, then you have to join.
"Incase you're wondering, Toybreak is your weekly internet show featuring news and reviews all about the wonderful world of toys.." I watch Toybeak religiously every week...I have learnt so much from the show hosted by Ayleen and George Gaspar, it's like hanging out with them. I always watch while I'm working, making toys and watching people talk about toys is my happy place. The special thing for me about Toybreak is you feel like you know the hosts and guests, the toys they review you are actually getting to see in real life, rather than just still images. Seeing something in it's box and being opened up, imagining the smell of new vinyl that Ayleen describes so well (smellovision) and seeing the piece being held and handled in relation to a person.
And here they are all together before jetting off to different parts of the world and to their rightful owners.
So, thankyou for the support and the inspiration!