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.

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.

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