Art Toys News: toy maker

Back from ToyCon UK 2019

By Oasim Karmieh

Back from ToyCon UK 2019

I can't even describe how great ToyCon UK was, The people, the vibe the atmosphere was just so cosy and friendly. I got to meet some of the fantastic Toy sculptors and toy designers that I have been following for years now, I had the chance to see the toys that I sculpted for other artists, and it felt good to have your art appreciated by so many people especially people in the same industry and collectors who love designer toys.


Spent four days in London talking almost non-stop about toys, toy design, sculpting, techniques, resins, paints and everything designer toy related.



My haul of toys wasn't huge; I found that my taste in Designer toys has changed since I started sculpting, painting and creating my toys. But I did buy a piece which I cherish, I also got to meet the artist that sculpted and created this gorgeous piece, and yes you guessed it we spent hours talking about toys. The artist's name is Matthew Roby also known as Pickled Circus you should def check out his Instagram account; his works are just gorgeous.


Being my first time at ToyCon UK I didn't have time to make too many toys, but I did finish Hellbaby in time to take the Prototype with me to ToyCon, and I was so lucky to send the little fella to his new home.


What's coming next, well I will be spending the next month working on all the Hellbabies that got ordered, then I'm planning to release the new Foxpresso: Silver Fox Edition, I have a couple of new toys in the making, BOBO FATE: DEAD FATE, Scarlet Hood, Georgie, WaSmash, Mochas, Foxy Latte.

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Making Designer Toys: Sanding, painting and Repetitive work

By Oasim Karmieh

I have started making designer toys, art toys, figurines, sculptures or whatever you want to call them, every artist or collector I talked to had a different name for it about four years ago.

This year (2019) I had the chance to share a table at ToyCon UK with my best mate and one of the Artists that I love Liam "2PetalRose" Scriven, it was a double dream come true for me, and it kinda snowballed into a hat trick (more about that soon)

Let's get back to making toys and what do you do when you spend 6 hours a day sanding, cleaning, prepping and painting. Most of the discussion subjects at ToyCon after all the (Your work is impressive, I can't believe I finally got to see your work in person). It was either about sanding, painting toys, what kind of paint do you use, what resin do you use, what sealer do you use, what technique did you use to make that and so on.

The most repeated subject was sanding toys and especially when you talk to amazing artists like Muffinman sculpts, (have you seen how F***ing clean his sculpts are? have you?huh?) I have been admiring his epic work for over a year now, and I heard about him from my clients. And I had to check his work for myself, and I was beyond impressed.

Well. This year I got to meet the man, the legend and while we went over lots of oh my god and so on, we reached the sanding part, and one of the questions was what do you do when you sand? Cause sanding is sculpting, but it's a super repetitive task that takes hours and hours. He told me he listens to many Podcasts and I used to do the same, but I noticed that I couldn't keep a rhythm with podcasts when I'm sanding or painting designer toys. 

Even if the host has a beautiful voice that you are used to its rhythm the guests are always different, and that change of voice throws off my rhythm, I told him that I used to listen to podcasts, but I can't focus as good as I do with Audiobooks. Don't get me started on music I cannot listen to music while I work, I used not to be able to do any work without music, but maybe I'm getting old, and my brain is not that good anymore. Reminds of this cartoon, Milt Kahl's was one of Disney's nine old men, a genius of its time.

 

 

I don't think I would be able to clean, prep, sand, paint my sculpted toys without Audiobooks, I would def go insane, each designer toy takes about 8-10 hours of clean-up sanding, prep and paint. When I release a new toy with a run of 10-20 pieces, I estimate the time in audiobooks hours.

Here is the list of books I read in the last 2-3 years and In my entire life till the moment I have started making toys, I didn't read 10% of the number of books on that list, not even when I was in Uni.

I mostly like Sci-Fi but there are a couple of Business books and a couple of Selfhelp books (yup...I'm human, F*** off).

 

1. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan, Narrated by Jim Gaffigan

 

Dad is Fat one of the first Audiobooks that I read; I got this book when my wife was pregnant with our daughter Emma-Rose, and after listening to a couple of "parenting books" which I hated. This book was beautiful; I was terrified that I will be a dad, and you can't imagine how much this book helped me.

 

2. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi narrated by my all-time favourite audiobook narrator the one and only Will Wheaton (yup, Wesley Crusher, I know right!!) his voice is impressive.

 

 3. Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull, Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.

It is a hard book; it's about business, tech, art, animation it goes to show that creating animated movies or anything creative that has tremendous success is not that simple. (Artist that think, that only the art is essential to sell a good story, will not like this book)

 

4. Lock In (Book 1) by John Scalzi narrated by the kickass Will Wheaton 

This book is so good; I will not reveal anything about the stories from the books that I share. And I will only tell you what I liked about it; I will not share meh books. 

 

5. Redshirts by John Scalzi narrated by Will Wheaton (I know, I know it's John Scalzi and Will Wheaton, well I read all his books because they are just amazing)

First time I listened to this book I did not like it at all. I stopped around chapter 2 or 3. But then I gave it another go after a couple of months, and I really couldn't stop. Here is the thing about Audiobooks if you are having one of those days where your inner voice is trying to figure out lots of shit in your life it's super hard to focus on them, maybe that's just me.

 

6. Old Man's War Book 1 to 6 by John Scalzi, narrated by William Dufris.

About this series, it's an excellent sci-fi series with epic battles, humour, great characters, love, parents, war, politics, and it's soo good. (I'm not a book reviewer, not sure if you can tell)

 

 7. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor 

The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

 

8. Give and Take by Adam M. Grant PhD

A Revolutionary Approach to Success

 

9. Contagious by Jonah Berger

Why Things Catch On

 

10. Leap First by Seth Godin

Creating work that matters

If I would choose a couple of "Self-help/business oriented books" this would be one of them the 2nd one is next in line.

 

11. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

If you like this book make sure to read The War of Art, every artist beginner or senior should read this book.

 

12. Anything You Want by Derek Silvers

40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur.

 

13. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

 

14. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

 

15. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

 

16. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

 

17. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Narrated by the fantastic voice of Duncan Steen

This book is significant to me, cause it helped me through some bad times, the book is impressive, and the voice makes it that much better, I think I read this book at least six times now.

 

18. Start with Why by Simon Sinek 

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

 

19. Childhood's End by Sir Arthur C. Clarke narrated by Eric Michael Summerer

 

20. We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bobiverse, Book 1-3

This book is one of my favourite Sci-Fi series; it's soo good, and the level of humour in this book is just so smart.

 

21. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi narrated by Will Wheaton

What can I say I love John Scalzi and his books are so much better with the voice of Will Wheaton

 

22. Dune by Frank Herbert 

This book feels like a movie when you listen to it, the music the Audio effects makes it so immersive.

 

23. Artemis by Andy Weir 

And narrated by the beautiful Rosario Dawson, man I love her voice.

 

24. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi narrated by Will Wheaton

It's nothing like any sci-fi book that I have ever read, such a good listen.

 

25. Head On by John Scalzi  narrated by Will Wheaton

The 2nd book the Lock in Series.

 

26.Altered Carbon Series by Richard Morgan

 

27. The Singularity Trap by Dennis E.Taylor Narrated by Ray Porter.

 

28. Red Rising by Pierce Brown and narrated by the bloody amazing voice of Tim Gerard Reynolds. 

I have to say something about this series, cause it's fucking amazing. I have laughed when reading books, I have been sad while reading books, but I was never Angry, rightly pissed off while listening to a book, at what was happening in the story, it's gorgeous, I cannot wait for book 7.

 

29. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (the father of Sci-fi)

The only thing I can say about this book, I can't believe how good it holds up today and how modern it feels keeping in mind this was written in the 70s.

 

30. Armada by Ernest Cline narrated by THE Will Wheaton (Oh yeah!)

This book is soo much fun!

 

 

31. Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer 

If you call yourself a nerd or a geek you've got to listen to this. I listened to the first three books while I was working on my Hellbaby designer toy.

 

 

I'm going to end this list with one of the best books I have read ever in my entire life so far. The last couple of years have been a bit hard, I went through some difficult times emotionally, mentally and physically. I first heard about this book in an interview Tim Ferris had with the CEO of Shopify, and I had to check it out, the title was just too exciting, I'm not exaggerating when I say this book changed my life and the way I see life and people around me.

 

32. The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi

 

I hope you find this list helpful, if you read any of those books, or have read them already I would love to hear your thoughts. And for those who think I got paid by Audible to create this list, you can rest assured that it's true and I'm living in Bali writing this blog post and enjoying my ginger beer. (in case you didn't get the joke, I haven't been paid by audible, I love using Audible if anybody at Audible reads this I could use a couple of free credits).

 

 

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Designer Toys that will enrich your collection

By Oasim Karmieh

Designer Toys that will enrich your collection

Handcrafted Art Toys

As all artists since the beginning of time, we always search for masters and mentors to look up to,  whose work speaks to us on a spiritual level, those artworks that touch our hearts or engage our minds or maybe even enrage us. So, when I started my career as a Toy Designer, I needed to find beacons to light up the toy crafting path ahead.

“Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?” – Gabrielle Roy

2PetalRose

handcrafted toy

His nickname is just perfect and incapsulates the beauty of his art toys: 2Petalrose, aka Liam Scriven from London UK, is one of my all time favourite toy designers. His handcrafted toys are just exquisite, his style is so unique and so detailed that you could spend literally hours just gauging at his gallery and instagram account, just to make sure you don’t miss any of his hidden details. One of my favorite posts on instagram was when he showed the sole of one of his beautiful resin art toys with the comment “I know you won’t ever see it but…”; that kind of commitment and effort shows you the amount of love that goes into each piece of art that he creates.

2PetalRose

Foolsparadise

designer toy

The art toy that I fell in love with designed by Foolsparadise (Alan Ng) was Keiko. I was hypnotized by the twisted vibe that these art toys emanate. And to be honest I didn’t know why I felt they had that twisted ooze, until I had a talk with my friend Trustpigs (aka Nick Curtis) and he told me that in fact the founder of Fools paradise created the main characters of his handmade toys series as inmates of the Fools Paradise asylum, which specialized in people who thought they were human-animal hybrids. Thus we later got the interpretations we now know, which were how these characters see themselves… like Keiko as a bear-headed vixen.

Foolsparadise

THE Jason Freeney

collectible-art-toys

If you haven't heard of Jason Freeney or at least seen one of his famous art toys, I'm sorry but you must have lived under a rock. His works are so deep, literally and figuratively, his dissected toy are the most famous ones — from the balloon poodle to the dissected lego figurines. Lately he released a toy collection of dissected super heroes with Mighty jaxx which I absolutely love.

Jason Freeney

KOZIK

art-toys

Frank Kozik's art toys are so badass and so in your face; some of them are political and all of them are non-apologetic, they have the right amount of juxtaposition. The more you learn about his work and about his personally, the more you love his art toys and you will end up like me buying at least a couple of copies for your personal art toy collection.

Frank Kozik 

crackedhatchet

designer toys

His style is a mixture of clean shapes and dynamic poses, with a handmade feel, and in my opinion that mix is what sets his art toys apart from everything that is out there. And on top of being a great toy artist, he is a machine when it comes to the amount of toys he can create, all handcrafted, hand cast, hand painted. He is an amazing dude, but you can already tell from how awesome his Art Toys are.

whereschappell's Instagram

Plasticell

handcrafted toys

The first art toy that I saw made by PlastiCell was the famous Tupac shakur figurine, and I gotta tell  you, the way these guys where able to capture the essence of Amaru, from the beautiful peaceful pose, to the amazing hand painted details on the bandana… Don’t get me started on the tattoos that look soooooo badass. The amount of work that goes into each figurine is just mind-boggling. You have to follow the guy on instagram, so you can see the amount of love that goes into all their beautiful handcrafted  art toys.

Plastic Cell 

Playge

toy designer

Dangerous Badass Cuteness — the characters these guys create are just too hard to describe, cause when you tell somebody that they are the most badass and cute toy you have ever seen, they look at you as if that’s not possible for an Art Toy. The juxtapose of cuteness and badassery is just awesome; combining the cuteness of their goggly eyes, with their shotguns, bombs, chemical weapons, bazookas, and most importantly the gas masks. And did I tell you that they are wearing real clothes? And that it comes with tons of accessories— make sure to check the pockets.

Squadt

 

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Which part of the Art Toy making business you enjoy the most?

By Oasim Karmieh

Which part of the Art Toy making business you enjoy the most?

Today I shipped my 23rd handcrafted Art Toy.

I have started this Toy Design studio 9 month ago and I’ve done so many stupid decisions that I stopped counting, but in a weird way I really enjoyed all this hard process. But as we all know, Mistakes are for learning.

handcrafted art toys

 A friend of mine kept asking me which part of the whole process of the toy making I enjoy the most. I used to answer with “I love all the stages” and I heard amazing Toy Artists say that they enjoy the concept or the hand painting, or the casting (actually I don’t think anybody enjoys resin casting). Frank Kozik says that the best part is "Making the deal, the rest is just busy work”.

But, after shipping my 23rd art toy, I finally have an answer to the question “Which part of this Art Toy making business you enjoy the most?” Best part of starting a toy design studio is when I ship the Art Toy , the moment I hand write the thank you note to all my clients, the moment I wrap it up in bubbles, the moment I put the figurine that I spent so many hours from concept, to digital sculpting to 3d printing to cleaning, sanding, priming, air brushing, hand painting and glueing, shipping the product is the moment you know it’s out of your control, you can't tweak it, change it, polish it. The moment I drop off that package, the art toy is out there to be admired, cherished, loved and judged.

karmieh toy design 

I’m going to leave you with this beautiful quote by Seth Godin, whose books have helped me so much in this new journey:

 

Sign your work...If you're not proud of it, don't ship it. If you are, sign your work and own the results. We'll know who to thank. If you work for a place where work goes unsigned (internally, in particular) it's worth asking why. Seth Godin

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BATSY Superhero toy – WEST LIMITED EDITION BY KARMIEH

By Oasim Karmieh

BATSY Superhero toy – WEST LIMITED EDITION BY KARMIEH

Superhero Toy

"Romania based designer Oasim Karmieh is back with another version of his cute super hero toy BATSY! A project which is a tribute to none other than BATMAN. All  designed, sculpted, 3d printed and hand painted by himself. Batsy Adam West is a handcrafted resin toy, that has been sculpted, hand cast and hand painted by Oasim Karmieh. This edition is an homage to the best Batman of all time. Takes us right back to the Oasim’s OG BATSY we fell in love with all the way back in March when we first found Oasim’s work. The OG sold out almost instantly so this WEST version shouldn’t stay around too long."

You can read the entire article here:

http://www.thetoychronicle.com/news/batsy-west-limited-edition-by-oasim-karmieh/

 

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Karmieh and Zortrax M200 Reshapes Handmade Toys Design

By Oasim Karmieh

Karmieh and Zortrax M200 Reshapes Handmade Toys Design

HANDMADE TOYS

I purchased my first 3d printer 18 month ago and since then I learned as much as possible about this technology, handmade toys and how to change my workflow to fit this new opportunity, although the answer was starring me right in the face it took me a while to know exactly what I wanted to do and in which direction I want to take my business into. Being featured on the Zortrax blog is a huge achievement for me, they created a great machine that I love and it helped me become a toy designer.

You can read the entire article here:

https://zortrax.com/stories/blog/devils-3d-printed-details-zortrax-m200-reshapes-toy-design/

"Exaggerated big shiny eyes, even larger head and an emotional, often explosive, character, all in a cute, chubby, tiny package. Does it ring a bell yet? If manga or anime characters sprang to your mind, you’re dead-on. The characteristic, Japanese chibi style of picturing characters started to gain popularity in the 80s and 90s, when manga and anime settled themselves in western pop culture for good. The chibi style also inspired Oasim Karmieh, a 3D artist and toy designer, to create some special caricature figurines that combine the western and eastern cultures."

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Louis CK art toy Featured on SpankyStokes

By Oasim Karmieh

Louis CK art toy Featured on SpankyStokes

ART TOYS

Oasim Karmieh is back in the drivers seat once again for an awesome new art toy release, and this time, he set his sites on something a bit more funny, and by funny we mean a comedian! Introducing 'Luis', an homage to stand up comedian Louis CK! This Artist Proof(AP) edition is a handcrafted art toy that has been sculpted and hand painted by Oasim Karmieh. Standing around 6" tall and coming packaged in a wooden case. These have an expected shipping date of the 1st of December... and they are up for pre-order HERE right now!!! Another home run for Oasim... we love seeing his work and can't wait to see what he has planned for his next release!

 

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Making of Louis CK Collectible Toys

By Oasim Karmieh

Making of Louis CK Collectible Toys

Collectible toys

This project start out of pure love for Stand up comedy, I actually only sculpted the bust of Louie CK at first just as a sculpting exercise.

I 3dd printed this guy as a Birthday gift for a good friend who is a huge Louis CK fan, I really wanted to get him something awesome for his birthday.

And I'm going to walk you through the process of creating Louie CK Figurine. As I said it all started in ZBrush this is the software I use to create my characters.

collectible toys

Once the digital sculpt is done the cleaning process starts, and making sure all shapes are clean and nothing is overlapping in a weird way that will cause some printing problems and also keeping in mind that this Louie CK toy figurine will be split into multiple parts to 3d printed.

Stand up comedy toy

Once I'm sure every ZBrush subtool in the 3d model is ready to be split I start adding Keys that will make it easier for this guy to be assembled once the 3d print is done.

Louis CK comedy toy

And almost every-time I would check out how would it look like as a bronze statue.

toy Louie ck

Alright, now that I have split the model into different parts it's time to send those parts to be sliced on the 3d printer software to prepare each piece for 3d printing

3d printed louis ck

I usually don't print all the pieces at the same time, because if the printer fails to print one model you will loose so much time and material and also because I don't print each piece at the same resolution, for example for the head and arms I want the highest resolution, but for the pants, shirt and shoes I don't want that much resolution because I want to embrace the texture the 3d printer is creating to add some nice texture to the jeans, smooth objects are not always great ideas, I have written about this in my Count Dooky Study, Sculpt and 3D print article.

Here is the head, usually I start printing the parts that need the most detail to see if the scale that I chose for the art toy is good enough for all those details that I sculpted will be visible. 

Below you can see the Head Torso and one arm 

3d print louie ck

3d printing for toy design

And here are the pants and the shoes

Louie CK collectible toy

 toy design tutorial

Once I have all the 3d parts 3d printed I start sanding them to clean up the big lines that support from the 3d printing usually leave on the model, then I go with a finer grain and start sanding all the tiny lines until I get a smooth surface, if there are any big error or gaps in the model, especially in areas where the 3d printed model is sitting on the supports that are generated by the 3d printer, you might need to use some type of filler to fill those gaps. Keep in mind that sanding is sculpting so don't rush it, take your time cleaning each part.

 Now it's time to add some paint, for this toy I decided to hand paint the whole using brushes and no air brush, cause I wanted it to have that hand made feel and brush work can add some nice details and textures to skin. 

Louie CK toy

Also using the brush I was able to get this nice jeans effect, I used Vallejo paints Air and Model for the entire toy, and finally sealed the whole thing using Vallejo Matt varnish.

Toy design tutorial

And Finally assembling this toy and giving it a proper photoshoot, I used my canon 550D to shoot the photos, I used one soft box and some bounce cards.

Louie CK toy design

 

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