Saturday, August 23, 2008

Italian toy show

A couple months ago I got an email from LAB81, an Italian design company trying to break into the ever-so-popular PVC toy market. They asked 40 artists and designers to do these toys for a show that will be traveling around Italy. It sounded fun, and new, so I said yes. Everything went smoothly until I got to actually painting the figures (meaning that drawing out my ideas of paper went well). They're made of clear PVC(vinyl) and are slightly flexible. I wanted to write a blog chronicling the process, but I ended up running into so many problems that I forgot what I did. Mostly, the acrylic paint wouldn't stick at first, I just thought it was the material, but now I'm wondering if there was a lubricant on them to ease release from the mold. So I spray painted them with primer, and it just remained endlessly sticky. The acrylic I put over it too, it just wouldn't dry. So every time I touched them with paint on my hard it stuck, and if they touched anything else, it stuck. the paint also rubbed off at the slightest touch. I painted one, then the paint started cracking so I had to start over and strip off the acrylic with rubbing alcohol, then the spray paint with turpenoid. I painted these things so many times; really frustrating. Also, my roommate's cat decided to gnaw on one of them. I tried to repair it, but you can still kinda tell. This was a difficult challenge and I learned a lot, but think I'll stick to 2-D for a while. One thing I leaned is that there's a huge community of toy artists and toy collectors out there, I didn't realize the scope of it. People are dead serious about it too, they even commission artists to paint toys for them.

The theme of the show is love and hate. I decided to make the hate figure have a little love and vice versa because I don't believe in those kinds of absolutes.

P.S. Sorry for the crap photos!

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