Friday, December 5, 2014

Depression is a Real Thing and I struggle with it

I don't often get terribly personal in my posts here, but today I'm going to.  It seems like the universe has converged somehow, and a number of people I respect (both famous and not-so-famous) have been talking about dealing with this kind of thing, and it made me want to add my voice.

Also, I totally understand that this kind of stuff isn't interesting to everybody, so I'll put a cute picture here the rest of it behind a jump cut. Click below if you'd like to continue!


Stranger Factory's annual Winter Salon group show was last night, and I just realized I never posted images of what I made for it! I had promised them an exclusive edition of Zombie Bumbles, so that's what I made.

Bumble: Dead Honey edition had faded, more grungy patterns printed on the fabric, and a sort of pale face with individually applied cracks and scratches, to make every single one unique, despite being part of an edition. The wooden antennae balls have a cracked texture, and I handpainted all of the eyes to have a subtle golden-green shimmer over the black that shows up in direct light.

They are lightly scented with natural lavender oil.

There were 22 Bumbles that went to the gallery, and any left over from opening weekend will be available for purchase this coming Monday, December 8th - they have information up on their website, click HERE.

Friday, November 7, 2014

DesignerCon 2014: Preview and Information

Almost finished packing up, and ready to board a plane this evening for a trip to sunny California! If you're in the southern California area, I strongly recommend this convention - it's always a blast. It's an inexpensive way to get up and personal with SO MANY talented artists and designers, as well as see exclusive and brand new toys, plush, art, and apparel items.

Here's more information about DesignerCon:

You can find me at the Circus Posterus booth (booth #700 on the convention map). I will probably be walking around some of the time (I want to see all the cool stuff too!), but I'll always have the CP booth as my "home base".

If you are wanting to get any of the Circus Posterus exclusive items (including my stuff), the first day of the convention is always a trainwreck of people trying to get what they want, so the CP staff has implemented a protocol to handle this - see someone at the CP booth and they'll explain how it works! You'll need to get a raffle ticket, and sales will begin 45 minutes after the doors open. This is only for the rush of Saturday morning, any other time is normal.


Chris Ryniak and I will be doodling and signing together from 12 noon - 1pm Saturday and Sunday.


This is what I'll have at the table this year:

Spool Pipsqueaks (6 available, $100 each)
Hand-painted Pipsqueaks with painted glass eyes, sitting atop handmade "antique" thread spools, with custom label.

Poppyseeds (12 available, 3 colors, $175 each)
My newest resin figure, handpainted with a cute antiqued collar which can be removed.

One of a Kind Dust Bunnies (3 available, $550 each)
Original, handmade Dust Bunnies. Hand sculpted and painted face with porcelain teeth and glass eyes.

Clear-bagged Pipsqueaks (50 available, $18 each)
FIFTY Pipsqueaks in clear bags - no surprises, just pick the color you like best!
(Colors shown below are just an example, not the specific colors available)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October Online Sale: Information and Preview

Wednesday, October 22nd, at 3:00 pm, EST, my shop will open for a small sale before Designer Con.

The shop is here:
Note - The items will not appear in the shop until the time of the sale.

Not sure what time this is in your time zone? Try this site with a handy time zone calculator. I am located in Ohio, USA, which has the same time zone as New York City:

These are the items that will be in the sale:

Grape Soda Pipsqueak: $18 (50 available), one per customer please.
Clear purple resin with purple glitter.

Pipsqueak Cauldron 2-pack: $38 (10 available), one per customer please.
Contains one Pumpkin Orange Pipsqueak, and one Glow in the Dark Pipsqueak with tinsel glitter. They come in a plastic cauldron with purple paper confetti and wrapped in a gift bag.

Some sketches and drawings will be available -  are all approx. 5" x 7" image size (though sizes of paper may differ), and in the $65 range.

Note that there is a small stain in the upper left corner of this one...I don't know what it is, and didn't notice it when I was drawing.  It could be easily hidden by using an oval frame.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pocket Sideshow: Development to product release!

The first painted colorway of my first sofubi toy, "Snowshoe".
For nearly a year now, I, along with Circus Posterus artists Chris Ryniak, Kathie Olivas, and Brandt Peters have been working on developing a four-figure sofubi vinyl set with Mr. Shinji Nakako of Tomenosuke-Syoten in Japan.

The idea behind the figures was to make them "chibi" versions (exaggerated, baby-like proportions) of our characters, at a small size, and the heads can all fit on the all the bodies, so if you'd like, you can have a Dust Bunny head on Kathie's tentacled girl body, or maybe Brandt's Skelve skull on Chris's monster body. Lots of fun.

Concept turnaround sketches, late 2013.

We started finalizing drawings in December of 2013. The sketches for mine that you see here are actually the fourth iteration of my character's design. Of all of the characters, mine was actually the most problematic - because the heads had to be swappable, that meant that the neck joint for every figure had to be exactly the same. That was not so difficult to accomplish with the other three figures in the series, but mine caused headaches. The reason for this is the overall shape of my characters - the other characters have a very clear division between head and body, with a specific area that is a "neck", which is something all my characters lack.  Dust Bunnies are basically stretched-out gumdrop shapes, and if they have a skull/neck/spine anywhere in their anatomy, it's hidden under many layers of padding and you can't really see it.   So the neck size issue was really making mine NOT work at all, which actually almost resulted in it not being produced at all.

Luckily for me, Chris Ryniak (thank you Chris!!!) stepped up to the plate and offered some different approaches, including the one you see here - a Bunny in a snowsuit with a big parka hood. The oversized hood gave his upper section the right silhouette to balance against the other big-headed characters, and the area where it cinches around him creates a neck joint, while still allowing me to keep the proportions of my Dust Bunny characters.  It's a perfect solution! Plus, I get to see what my guys look like when they're all bundled up for winter expeditions - pretty dang cute.

Youhei Kaneko's final sculpt of my chibi figure, ready to go to the factory.

After we got all of that sorted out, it was time to get master sculpts finished. Our sculptor for this project was the incredibly talented Youhei Kaneko. Youhei has a really interesting way of sculpting, which is very different from how I work - it's a mostly reductive process in which he carves the figures from a solid block of rigid material, and then builds back up when needed. He had to do many changes as we went through a nearly three-month revision process. It was a lot of work, but we all wanted to make sure the figures were just right before they went to the factory.

Waxes, made at the factory.
After all revisions were done and the sculpting phase was finished, the sculpts went off to the factory for preparations to be made for the molding and casting process. The molds used for these figures are made of metal, which is electroplated around wax versions of the toys. What you see above are the waxes, and the cylindrical shapes on both head and body will allow pour spouts in which liquid vinyl can be poured into the molds, as well as a flange on the head piece, which will fit snugly down into the body and hold it in place.

The figures will be available soon as a set from Circus Posterus. There are lots more colorways to come as well. It's been a really exciting journey from concept to finalization!

More information and lots more pictures in these blog posts too:
From the Tomenosuke blog - Part 1 and Part 2.
From the Circus Posterus blog - here.

The final figures, unpainted, in black sofubi vinyl.

Final set in the first colorway.