About Me

I am a professional graphic designer and right now I am moon lighting as a toy customizer. Every waking minute outside of work I commit to painting and sculpting custom toys.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Indigo Vortex is in the mail

So I settled on the name Indigo Vortex. I got the suggestion of Vortex and it made alot of sense to me so I ran with it. Was up til 5 working on it this morning, but I had been up til 7 on Sat night and slept til 3 pm so it's not like I had been up for 24 hours. Packed him up in a giant box full of peanuts and shipped him off to COL. ODDLY enough, it was 13$ cheaper to send it Express than it was to send it Priority. This happens on occasion and I have no idea why. I will be sure to take a ton of pics at the show so follow me on IG @Nikejerk and I will post pics here as well.

And here are 2 of the final pics of the piece. I took some at my apt last night staged with all the scraps and junk leftover, but I did not have a chance to take any glamour shots on a white background.

The last things I did was add some black details to the face and the chest, as well as the arms and the spine on the back.

And I did his name on the back. The upside down Munny on the back turned out to be a great spot for his name and was sort of just a happy accident. I think it looks awesome.

I'm hoping that this piece is unique enough and done well enough to really stand out at the show. There really aren't that many artists showing so to have a piece like this... I really think there is a chance for me to stake a claim. We shall see what the other artists come up with.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Almost There

So here is the most recent pic of my BOX Munny. Still no decisions on the name yet. A new possibility is Indigo Vortex, but still not sure. I will decide by tonight. Amanda is out of town til Sunday so I will be working on things full tilt and I hope to finish this tonight to ship tomorrow, but if it got pushed til Monday that would be ok too.

All I have left to do is the left hand, and then outlining. The fist took quite a bit of messing with but I finally got it to where I wanted, and in the end the arms look great. They move great, they have interesting lines and dimension and ended up being a good length. I just hope I don't overdo it on the outlining.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The name??

Trying to come up with a name for my piece and similar to in the films I want to give it a name like one might give to a plane, or a tank...or a giant robot. Because of the color and because it sounds cool I decided to go with Indigo, but the 2nd word is still eluding me. These are the 2 I like so far:

Indigo Triumph or
Indigo Phoenix

others thoughts were

Indigo Pride
Indigo Victor
Indigo Fiend

What do you guys think? Any other suggestions? Nothing too long as I want to write the name in script on the back of the head guard.

Message me or leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The general consensus is to paint and I was always in favor of painting and most people that messaged me had the same feeling that it needs some definition because of the randomness of the existing color panels. Thanks guys.

I spent all last night working on the arms. Had a couple false starts but in the end I got something that I really like and I think it looks pretty cool. You can't really see it in this picture but I also spent much of the night working on the retractable sword that is in the right arm. I will grab some pics of that at lunch. I just need to make the fist that will go at the bottom of the arm seen in the pic, add a little more dimension to it from the profile side view and then making the other arm will go much quicker since I have the templates and patterns already made and cut. If you've seen Pacific Rim and remember the chain sword that was the inspiration for the retractable blade. The tip is visible and is secured with a magnet. Pull on the tip and it slides out about 4" and is then caught in a 2nd position by another set of magnets. It slides out just below that pink triangle at the same outward angle as the edge between the triangle and the blue part of the arm. In its retracted state it extends into the shoulder via a channel that I cut out.

I also had to change the 1/2" magnet for the arm out for the same 1" magnet that I used for the neck socket. The 1/2" just wasn't strong enough and luckily a had 4 left to use for the arms. That sucker holds awesome now and is strong enough you can rotate the arm and it will always stay in place. 

Here you can see the blade tip. and the back end of it in the opening at the top.

Blade extended. 

Here I added this green panel to the front. I'm slowing adding dimension and depth to the arm.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To Paint or Not To Paint

I will get the most recent pic up when I come back from lunch but the most pressing question right now is to paint or not to paint...concerning the Munny Box Mecha! My original plan was to outline the various panels in black and add some colored panels and whatnot to add dimension to the piece, but Amanda likes it the way it is so far. So what to do? Maybe you'll only be able to tell if you could see par tof it outlined already but if i do that there's no turning back. I personally think it needs a little more. It looks slightly unfinished and I really think the outlining will make it more striking as well as to help define many of the edges that tend to blend into each other because of the random color fields.

What do you think? Leave a comment or message me.

AND...I just got this today, the official flyer for the party. Amanda and I will be in attendance so hopefully I will see some of you there that can make it. And as you can see other than Scribe it's all up and comers so this is a good sign for what may come for me and the others involved.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Munny Box

Here is the most recent pic of the Munny box and I hate this pic because after seeing it it's a little blurry, and because of this photo I dropped my phone and it landed face down in my kitchen and shattered the screen....FUCCCCKKKK!!!!!! I am so pissed at myself. Goddammmn! At least the sculpture is coming along great! Onto the arms.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

9 days to go

 9 days to go til I need to finish my cardboard bot. Made some great progress last night. I decided to start from the feet and work my way up to the collar that I had already made. I showed the digital drawing that I am using as a go by but for something like this you kinda have to improvise as you go along and in that way it is slow going.... having to determine each panels side lengths angles and all the geometry. I will post a pic when I come back from lunch.

On a side note, is it just me or are the boards super dead lately? Noone is really talking about anything intriguing or interesting. There aren't even any of the typical bitching or cyclical nonsensical threads from noobs. It's kinda disappointing to see the boards in this state. The typical arc for most collectors is they move onto different things after finding out about KR but at this point it seems like there isn't much of an influx of new intelligent collectors or else they just aren't saying anything. I find it a bit annoying that the type of person that bails on KR for other boards that are considered "cooler" tend to have this elitist attitude about whatever it is they collect. Some of these other boards have a gestapo mentality. If you're new, Fuck you, and if you don't follow the unwritten rules, fuck off. KR might be annoying sometimes but for one reason or another I gravitate back there and right now seems to be the dullest and least active it's been since I joined almost 6 years ago.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Top Secret

So I'm working on something that is top secret...well, in the grand scheme of things that doesn't mean all that much, but what that means if you're reading this is please don't re-post this pic anywhere. The project is for an upcoming event that I have told a few of you about but will remain nameless for now, but what we have here is a Mega Munny sized mech robot made completely out of recycled KR product boxes. You may be aware of my affinity for cardboard already and that is where this idea began. I originally wanted to make a box hero KR Mascot head that would fit onto a Mega Munny. I'm currently working on a 7" Box Hero Munny for a friend that is way overdue so I know it looks cool but I couldn't come up with a concept AROUND that exact idea that made me happy. THEN I saw Pacific Rim. I loved the movie despite its many hiccups. Plain and simple I loved watching massive robots beat the shit out of massive monsters. But on top of that the tech was amazing and it got me thinking that it would be sooo sweet if I could build a box hero suit for a Mega, and then it evolved to just making the suit so the presence of the Mega is merely implied, then it evolved to making the robot out of the very thing the toys come in...their boxes. I like this idea because the majority of people see these boxes as garbage but as a whole toy collectors keep the boxes as they hold a degree of value with the toy itself, so I like the relationship between that and making an actual figure or sculpture out of boxes that inherently have no value.

I need to finish by the 25th and I'm on track to do so as I have the head finished and have started in on the body. Here is the first pic of the figure which also reveals the makeshift skeleton that I made for the body. I made this to act as the support for the figure but then I'm going to wrap it with the cardboard mech so that none of it will be visible but the weight will be on the central support and not the skin. The head is held on with a giant 1" disc magnet and the arms will eventually be secured with magnets as well. Once the skinning is done I'm going to go in and some color, texture outlines and painted details to give it more personality but at no point will I obscure the fact that the whole thing is made from boxes from their own products.

He is roughly based on Gipsy Danger from the film

Hope you all like and please, as usual any feedback is appreciated.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Can It Be More?

I've been giving this alot of thought and because of the scale of the question I really haven't come up with any ideas. It would be like predicting the weather and then somehow making it happen to actually forecast the trajectory of the scene... but I've been asking myself if and how designer toys can be more than toys? I know there are early pieces in the Moma but as a whole the scene is still incredibly small and because of the novelty of the medium is it possible that someday some of the giants will be considered as masters? In an age when there are so many possibilities for artistic expression there seems to be castes creating an invisible hierarchy and what I desperately want is to figure out a way to throw the whole scene on my back and scale that ladder. I briefly mentioned this problem of mine to a friend and we were both completely void of ideas. The only artist that I could reference that has been able to transcend his humble beginnings is Kaws, and beyond attracting fans with money and fame I don't see a way to replicate his success. Then the question becomes how do you develop a fresh perspective and then put it in front of the people that can help you? The problem with the arts is that every artist or movement has solved the problem in a different way and once that solution has been found it is no longer a viable one. The equation is constantly changing and morphing, evolving if you will, with the passing of time and growth and decay of humanity, so the way Kaws did it won't work again. I know where I want to go but how to get there... that's what I'm trying to figure out.

By no means was I one of the first customizers, nor was I even in the first wave of people to start using toys as a canvas... but since I started the number of people that dabble has gone up exponentially. It seems to be the natural arc of anything popular. We can really blame the flood on ourselves. The more work we do the more people we reach and the more people we inspire to pick up a brush but then those people become our peers and essentially our competition. But it's not like we're all jockying for the same position or something but it's hard not to see our friends and comrades this way. With all these new artists how do you make yourself stand out above the rest? It's really 2 parts of the same question. How do I make myself stand out amongst so many amateurs, and then how do I convince the world that my art is as important as something on a canvas? Maybe because the scene has roots in street art and graffiti people can't wrap their heads around it being fine art even though street art itself has become more main stream. The same question could be asked about graphic design. Because it IS art for commercial purposes the value of it is very fleeting no matter how good it is. Very few designers have been able to reposition their work as fine art and those that have find it hard to exist in both the fine art and commercial art world. Can all of these different cliques coexist and merge to be that 1 time solution that I'm searching for? Can I make toys for the average person, wealthy art collectors and design an ad that will end up in the garbage tomorrow, and still be considered a fine artist? I don't know.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm Back

It's been almost a month I think since the last time I posted and I'm sorry about that. I was all crazy with getting ready to leave for comic con, then I was at comic con and ever since I got back work has been nuts and I have been trying to decompress from the whole thing and I've finally got back into the swing of things. I will be starting and shipping Horseman heads very soon meanwhile working on all the current commissions that I still have out which are many. But first  here is a little taste of what went down at comic con. I took a bunch of pics on my phone, and took some with my new Go Pro so I will gradually be posting what I have. And, I hope to get around to editing the Zombie Escape footage I took because that was badass.

I got into San Diego early on Preview Night so we had some time to kill. John and I went and ate at this place called Bubs @ The Ballpark, which was basically right next to Petco Park where the Padres play, and it was a great place. It's just a sports bar but they had a ton of beer on tap, good food, and some cute girls worked there too. We had this sandwich, that we had each of the 3 times we ate there, that was chopped chicken, bar-b-q sauce and honey mustard mixed, with melted cheese and mushrooms. Sounds odd, but it was fucking amazing. I drank this beer from Saint Archer Brewing Company in SD the whole time I was there, a Blonde Ale, and it was great. I always try local beers when I travel and this one was good.  Anyway, so we went and got our badges and then shortly after that got in line to go in. I had so much shit to mule but the first thing on my list was my Super7 Reaction Alien figures and this was the goddamn line I faced as soon as I managed to get over there.


This line is wrapped to the other side of the block perse of booths that were adjacent to Super 7 so you cannot even see their booth in this pic. There are about 35 people in front of me and this line was barely moving. I waited over 2 hours in this line. Good thing too because they sold out of the 2 pack prototypes the next day and the lines were nuts almost the whole con.

The Alien figures brought in a ton of new fans that don't collect Super 7's typical fare. Old school action figure fans and fans of Alien came out of the woodwork. 

For signing up on the mailing list you got one of the foot stands seen here in this pic. They were free but this was the only way to get them. Amanda now receives emails from Super 7 as well and I have 2 stands, 1 for each of the prototype figures seen here. These things are going for like $250 on ebay right now but mine are not going anywhere.

I also ordered my set of 5 which came with a cardboard stage just like a Star Wars set from back in the day. As you can see these figures are certainly retro and I believe are figures that were developed back in the early eighties and were never released.

These super freaking sweet cups just were up for pre-order from Super7 but I didn't get a chance to order them yet. Plus I have too many cups at my house anyway. I believe they will be widely available in September.

This is the stage that came with pre-ordering the set of 5. Hit a bunch of other places the first night, got a number of things I needed to mule and then we went and ate. It was a pretty hectic first night but it was awesome. Plan for the next day was to get up real early and try and get in line at Hasbro.

We got up at like 5:30 AM. Our hotel was right on the Bay directly next to the convention center so we walked over and we were there in like 5 mins. Little did we know that there were already like 1500 people in line and most of them were in line for Hasbro. It was INSANE. They had a separate inner line once they started letting people in and literally about 90% of that line ended up in the inner line. We just said screw it at that point because they had already capped the line.

Then I tried to find Hallmark which was in the Lucas Films Pavillion. I got to here and just plain couldn't find it. I wandered around for a while in the area and finally stumbled into Hallmark only to find out all the items for the day had sold out and if I wanted a chance I better get in line as soon as the floor opened the next day.

I eventually ended up in the appropriate line and was in time to buy and got the U.S.S Kelvin and Rancor ornaments for a friend of mine. All I actually got was a free Star Wars button.

Most times I started the day with Mondo depending on what was dropping. I ended up getting The Kevin Tong Pacific Rim variant, both Ash Thorp Pacific Rim posters, both Ken Taylor Aliens prints and the Ash Thorp Predator variant. After all the purchasing was done for the day I wandered around for a while and headed back to take a closer look at all the customs. These were some of my favorite pieces from the Dragatomi booth. Mike Die, Ardabus Rubber, and the Southern Drawl Voltron piece which is amazing.

Then I saw BLAKE!!! He was doing a Mishka photo signing thing at Toy Tokyo and I was just happy to see him. I didn't need an autograph. But I did score a free sticker that should have cost me a dollar. :) I got the hook up. 

More to come.