DesignerCon Report

Whew!  I’m finally back in town for a couple of days before heading to NYC on Wednesday.  I can’t WAIT until all of this traveling is over.

Just got back from the DesignerCon show in Pasadena.  I was pretty unprepared so I didn’t do very well there.  My intention was to split my booth between selling Sweet Meats and promoting my custom plush services.  Not knowing the set-up or having enough time, however, I lacked the appropriate signage and display materials to make this apparent to the attendees. I could have used some kind of collapsible shelving and a banner or two, or at least a second table.  As it stands, this is what my table space looked like:

Pathetic, no?  How the hell was anyone supposed to know what I was there for?  Well, they didn’t, and it was sort of a mess all around.  People kept trying to buy the things that were not for sale and they seemed surprised that I was the designer of all of the toys on my table.  Maybe for WonderCon I will make some huge buttons that say “I AM THE ARTIST. I am not the girlfriend of the artist.” and hand them out to the other artistic ladies there.  I will also make a giant banner to hang behind me that says something like “Custom Plush Toys from YOUR Character!” and shows a drawing of someone’s character next to a photo of some plush toys I made of that character.

DesignerCon was also the first stop on the Custom Yoka show’s tour.  I brought A.’s Yoka down but mine didn’t make it.  Oh well.  I will mail it to DKE for the show’s next stop at Black Maria Gallery.

All in all it was a good learning experience and a (relatively) cheap way to prepare myself for WonderCon in April.  I definitely need to get my name out there a little better and make sure I have a well-publicized “exclusive” for sale at the show.  Those exclusives seemed to be the main focus at DesignerCon.  Sure, some people were interested in the toy giveaways, artist signings and live painting on bikini-clad girls, but the lines really formed for the exclusive toy releases.  This designer vinyl business seems to be a serious investment strategy for a lot of collectors.

Some show highlights for me included meeting Ze Frank (to whom I gave a Shapin’ Bacon), being asked to sign a customer’s deli-wrapped Hambone, and being interviewed for Electric Playground.  I also sold enough to pay for the trip, so I really can’t complain.  Now if I can just catch up on my sleep, I’ll be all set.

Studies

Sorry my posts have been so sporadic lately. In addition to prepping for holiday sales, I’ve got two art shows coming up in November that I haven’t finished the work for yet. I’m working with sort of childhood theme — lots of bright colors and repetitive geometry — and I’ve done a couple of studies, but no finished pieces yet.

The first piece I’m working on is a custom Yoka vinyl toy for a show at DesignerCon on November 21st. A Yoka is a cute, jointed, vinyl toy bear. Mine is only 3” high.

yokafront

I was kind of surprised at how many people have made custom-decorated Yokas. Check out this one by Phu! This is a 10” but he’s also got a 3” in the DC show.

With such high-caliber work to contend with, I want to make sure my Yoka isn’t jankity and represents my strengths/style as an artist. My first thought, of course was to make a plush Yoka, but Alisa Ross already did that.

Then I thought I would put silk pins into it and wrap the pins with colored string, like the string art projects I did in summer camp. I pictured a delicate, multi-colored scaffolding that was same shape as the bear, but floating about a centimeter off its body. You’d just barely be able to see the white toy underneath through its gossamer shell. But when I actually tried this on a little foam model, the threads all slid down to the bear’s body and he just ended up looking like a coloring-book version of Hellraiser.

yokastringstudy

I thought about trying to hold them up with those tiny orthodontic rubber bands but that’s just too bulky for such a small toy. Now I think I’ll just embroider the designs directly onto the toy. Not as cool as a floating rainbow exoskeleton, but still pretty sweet.

The other project I’m working on is a set of mandalas for The Lab’s Postcard Art Show Dec. 4-6. They’re small pieces (about 6” squares) and made with sticker shapes I drew. Here are some of the stickers.

stickers

Ideally I’d make the whole mandala set with stickers I drew myself but that’s a lot of time spent cutting tiny shapes and I don’t have much time these days. Depending on how quickly the first few go, I will either make them with a combination of my own stickers and stickers I’ve bought (of the Mrs. Grossman’s ilk), or I will just make digital prints of the mandala patterns I’ve mocked up in Illustrator. Here’s one from yesterday:

mandalatest

Apologies in advance if my posts are widely spaced until the holidays. Wish me luck!