Sunday, December 21, 2008

Final Custom Toys of 2008

Spade-Skull 3-inch DunnysHere are my last custom toys for 2008. I'm neck deep right now in a very large commission and I'm also starting to think over ideas for some upcoming shows in 2009, so I've been taking little breaks here and there by working on these two little guys. The one on the left has a pearl white base color, with red and gold. The one on the right is plain white, with Black and orange. I still enjoy working on 3-inch Dunnys and have some cool ideas for some non-totem and non-Spade-Skull designs that hopefully will see the light of day early next year. If all goes well I'll be starting on some more over the holidays while I continue on the commissions and show pieces. Most likely this will be my last post of 2008, so Happy Holidays to all and I'll see you in 2009. Cheers!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Design This Design That Issue 3

Design This Design That
Issue #3 of Design This Design That is out and focuses completely on toys. This is really nicely put together e-zine. There's a lot of cool pictures of customs, hand-made plush, production pieces, and some interviews with the various artists featured in the zine- one of those being with yours truly. To check it out click on the link above.

Through this project I became familiar with Issuu, which is basically a online publishing site that anyone can use- cool stuff. Below are some small pics of my interview. Once I get a pdf of it I'll set it up as a download.
Design This Design That
Design This Design That
Design This Design That
Design This Design That

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Totem Stitch

Reactor-88 Totem Stitch for the Disney’s Stitch Experiment 626 Project Custom Art Tour
Here are some pics of my custom painted Totem Stitch for Disney’s Stitch Experiment 626 Project Custom Art Tour. This toy was a blast to paint- Mindstyle has been really hitting it out of the park lately. I was quite honored to be asked to participate in this event. There's an incredible line-up of artists both local and international that are participating, and from what I've seen of the work so far everyone is bringing their A-game. Even better, all the pieces are up for sale with some of the proceeds going to charity. The tour starts this Friday in Hong Kong and ends in Hawaii. I don't have a full tour schedule yet but I'm pretty sure there's an LA stop- I won't miss that. For more info about the show, check out Vinyl Pulse.

Reactor-88 Totem Stitch for the Disney’s Stitch Experiment 626 Project Custom Art Tour
Reactor-88 Totem Stitch for the Disney’s Stitch Experiment 626 Project Custom Art Tour
Reactor-88 Totem Stitch for the Disney’s Stitch Experiment 626 Project Custom Art Tour

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Spade-Skull Mini Dunnys

New Spade-Skull Mini Dunnys
Here are some new 3-inch Dunny customs I just finished up. I like to paint minis once in a while. I use them as a way to relax while I'm working on other projects. I try to have at least one mini in progress while I'm working on various commissions and show pieces. They're so small I can turn them around a lot faster, which is nice when I'm consistently working on the same large piece for weeks on end. These four little guys have been in a various stages of completion since the beginning of summer. After I finished my custom Stitch, I decided to take a little break and finish these guys up. I was in a flocking mood for a while, so most of my recent minis have been flocked, and I followed suit with three of these four. The little black and white one was supposed to be a Halloween skeleton guy, but the 31st came and went really fast. Anyway, I'm already back plugging away at my commission list, but I'm hoping to turn out a couple more minis before the end of the year. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stitch Experiment 626 Project Tour

Disney Stitch 626 Experiment Project
No spolier pics yet, but I was invited to customize one of the new Mindstyle Stitch toys for this tour. I'm sure most folks can pretty much guess what my Stitch is going to look like :) For a bit more info about the tour, check out the post on Vinyl Pulse.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Friday I finished a hush-hush project that is my last major commitment of 2008, so now it's back to commissions for the rest of the year. I got back into it by finishing up this custom 6-inch Unipo this weekend. This little guy was essentially done early this year, but he got put on the back burner as my schedule of shows and things really got a bit overloaded. Thankfully the owner of this piece is one of the nicest folks I know, so she was cool with the wait. If all goes well I'll turn out a few more commissions before the end of the year along with some random minis that will be up for grabs- until then...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ougon Neko

Ougon Neko Miao
Since the Miao custom show preview went up a few days ago, I figure it's okay for me to post a full shot of my custom Miao (and Mousubi). You check all the customs out at Subtext's blog by downloading the pdf preview. And don't forget to check out the show this Friday if you're in the San Diego area.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miao Show

I just finished my piece for the custom Miao show at Subtext. Once again the line-up for this show is very impressive and from what I've seen so far the customs are going to be top notch. This show has been a little under the radar, but with all the artists involved I'd say this is another must-see show if you're anywhere near San Diego. At first I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with this figure, but then an idea hit me and I really like how it turned out. I've attached a little sneak peak here (sorry for the photo quality, it's pretty bad.) Once we get close to the show date I'll probably reveal the full Miao and Mousubi. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SDCC 2008 Customs

SDCC Customs Still for Sale
So I just got back a couple of my customs from this year's SDCC. I know a few folks were interested in these and I was telling everyone these had sold (which I thought they had), but it turned out there was some miscommunication on that and pricing discrepancies which caused these to end up back in the Reactor-88 display case for now. I've also got a couple of the SDCC minis (had those for a while.) Anyway, if any of you that contacted me about SDCC customs are still interested, send me and email and we'll talk.
SDCC Mini Dunny Customs For Sale

Totem Mad-L for Mad-L Citizens Show

Totem Mad-L
Totem Mad-L
Here's my custom 10-inch Mad-L for Lift's Mad-L Citizens show. This is being touted as "the" show of 2008, so I thought I'd go with one of my signature Totem designs. If you're in the Detroit area on the 25th, this is a must-see show. The artist line-up is basically a who's who in the custom toy world. I'm quite honored to be participating with all this talent. The show flyer/postcard is below:
Mad-L Citizens Flyer/Postcard
Mad-L Citizens Flyer/Postcard

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spade-Skull Poker Chips

Spade-Skull Poker Chips
This was kind of an odd project when I got the request, but I think it turned out pretty cool. I was approached about using my Spade-Skull logo on some poker chips a few months back. The client found it by googling "spade" and "skull" thinking some cool card/gambling related artwork would pop up, and low and behold my logo caught their eye. At first I wasn't sure about it, but this was a small personal project that wasn't going to be used commercially or anything, so I figured it would be cool. It could have been really easy for this person to just grab a pic of my Spade-Skull logo off the net and use it without my permission and I'd probably never know, so I thought it was pretty stand-up that they contacted me and asked my permission, etc. Anyway, I got the samples in last week as you can see by the pic. Now if only I was a poker player I'd be making my own set now :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Custom Kanser

Reactor-88 Custom Kanser
It's been a really long time since my last entry- more than a month now. I promised myself I'd have at least one entry a month, but seeing as how I only blog about my artwork (for the most part), that means I need to have something to write about every month. That can be a tall order at times. Anyway, looks like I'll hold true with the unveiling of my latest finished commission- a custom ToyQube Kanser. I had this guy started at the beginning of the year, but I had some serious show commitments so all of my commissions had to be put on the back burner. Once I got through the bulk of my shows for the year and went on a much needed vacation, I started thinking about commissions again and figured I should just spend a little time and finish this little guy up. Now that it's done, it's back to finish up my pieces for the final two shows of the year- the much anticipated Mad-L Citizens Show at Lift Footwear in Detroit, and the Miao Custom Show at Subtext in San Diego. Once they're out of the way, I'll be back on the commissions- with the goal to knock down my waiting list a bit and get out one big job before the end of the year. Wish me luck...
Reactor-88 Custom Kanser

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spade-Skull Skate Deck

Spade-Skull Skate Deck
I finished up this skate deck over the weekend for the "All-A-Board" show over at Monkeyhouse Toys on Saturday, August 23rd. It was really a last minute decision. I've really wanted to paint a deck like this for a long time, so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity. Anyway, if you're in the Silverlake area on Sat, I highly recommend swinging by Monkeyhouse and checking out the show.

Friday, August 8, 2008

8x8 Show

8x8 Show at Pinkghost
I was invited to participate in the 8x8 Show at Pinkghost, curated by Janice and Nathan Lumm. The show gets it's name based on the the premise that all the art was to be created on 8x8 canvases. I kept with the totem theme and painted two canvases for the show- a Totem Dog and Totem Cat (seen below). I think the neatest part about the paintings are the backgrounds- I tried to simulate a really varied wood pattern with a lot of contrast. It's hard to see in the photos, but there's a lot of metallic gold in the wood texture that definitely ads to the paintings. There's a pretty nice write up over on Vinyl Pulse about the show and a few samples of some of the other paintings. And a bonus- there will also be free pie! Yes I said free pie- the Purple Pie Company will be providing delicious samples for the show. So if you're in the Ft. Lauderdale area on August 16th, make sure you stop by to check out the cool art and eat some yummy pie!
Totem Dog
Totem Cat

Sunday, August 3, 2008

ToyQube 4th Anniversary Show

ToyQube 4th Anniversary Party/Sharky ShowToyQube is celebrating their 4th anniversary with a party and custom Sharky show at the Sullivan Room in NY on August 18th. I was invited to customize a Sharky for the event, which can be seen below. There is an incredible lineup of artists for this event, so it's a must see if you're in the area.Totem SharkyTotem Sharky

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Haida Hair Girl

Haida Hair GirlI just finished up my drawing for the Get The Lead Out show over at Black Maria Gallery that opens next Saturday, August 2nd. I decided to stick with my usual "totem" art theme, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. So I came up with the idea of rendering a girl's face and having a totem pattern layered on her hair. Since I'm not very good at reproducing a realistic human face/form without reference, I based my piece on a photo of a friend of mine. I did take a few stylistic liberties though, really minimizing the facial detail and stylizing the hair a little bit to work with my design. Anyway, I'm very happy with the way the piece turned out. And as usual, picking up this medium again after so many years has got me excited to keep it up and do some more drawings. But alas there are too many other priorities I need to attend to right now...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reactor-88 x StrangeKiss @ SDCC

Spade-Skull 8-inch Dunny
Well now that it's almost here, I get to show all the customs I've been working on for the Simple Pleasures show at the Strangekiss booth- happening during the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) this year. Now, I'm not really sure if you'd consider this a typical "show" show- I think it will be more of a general display of customs and art from a handful of artists within the confines of the Strangekiss booth, but it's still pretty cool. I'll have a total of ten customs, six being brand new for SDCC (8-inch Dunny, Mad-L, Munny, Mini Munny, 2x 3-inch Dunnys), two from a few smaller shows in the years past (10-inch Icebot, 5-inch Labbit), and one (3-inch Dunny) from earlier this year that I decided to hold onto just for this occasion. You may have noticed that didn't add up to ten, as I forgot to take pics of my custom Spade-Skull Buffmonster toy- oops... Anyway, hopefully everyone that makes it down SDCC this year will swing by the Strangekiss booth and check out all the cool customs and art by all the great artists they have on display. If you can't make it down, at least you can see my stuff here in this post- well, everything except the Buffmonster toy...Spade-Skull 3-inch Dunnys
Spade-Skull Mad-L
Totem Mini-Munny
Totem Munny
Totem 3-inch Dunny
Spade-Skull 10-inch Icebot (older piece)
Spade-Skull 5-inch Labbit (older piece)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

iPhone Background #3

Spade-Skull iPhone Background #3
I've been in a grungy mood lately, so I decided to carry that over to my third iPhone background wallpaper. I dug up an ancient photo I took back in the day when I was into 3D- I used to take pictures of all kinds of interesting textures with the idea of building up my own nice library of textures to apply to my 3D models. Anyway, take one rusty metal pic, some cool Photoshop "grunge" brushes, apply some layer modes and voila- iPhone Spade-Skull Background #3.

Totem Tunes

Totem Tunes
So I painted up this LP a good month ago, and I guess I neglected to post about it here. So anyway, here it is- aptly titled "Totem Tunes"- how original... I enjoy branching out and painting on things other than toys sometimes- I'd been wanting to paint a record for a while, so when this project came along I jumped on it. This will probably be the last unusual item I paint for a while though- the rest of my commission list is pretty much filled with toys and a canvas here or there. Speaking of which, I just finished up a HUGE show commitment, so I'll be getting back to commissions for a bit- yay for all you folks that are still so patiently waiting...

Monday, June 9, 2008


Mega Munny
I've been kind of busy with shows and a pretty big special event coming up soon, so commissions have been on the back burner for a bit. Needless to say I'm finishing up some stuff right now, so I should be back on commissions very shortly. To get back into the groove, I went and picked up the piece I'll be working on next- a Mega Munny. I haven't painted a Mega yet, so I was excited when the client mentioned he might want one. After some discussion we both agreed it was the way to go. I know this thing is going to take forever and ever, but I really think it will be sweet when it's done. Seeing it is giving me some extra incentive to finish up a lot of loose ends right now so I can get to it. Until then, it will stand guard next to my work area.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Totem Lucha Qee

Totem Lucha Qee
Here is the 16-inch Totem Lucha Qee- nemesis of the Dragon Lucha Qee I made a little while back. This bad boy is headed off to New York for a Qee show at APW Gallery at the end of this month. I don't have many details on the show yet, but from what I heard the line-up should be pretty solid. So if you're in the area you should definitely check out the show. More pics of the Totem Lucha Qee can be found on my flickr page.
Totem Lucha Qee

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Toy Site Coming?

Toy Site Design Comp
So my Reactor-88 site is almost two and a half years old. In internet years that's like dinosaur old. Granted it's gotten a few updates, but for the most part the design and code have stayed pretty much the same. There was the migration to XML to dynamically generate my gallery sections, but that was probably more than a year ago. So it's been in the back of my mind since last year to start thinking about updating "the reactor." I started working on some comps a while back, but got more interested in general cleanup and code optimization. Since I've been in a "code mood", I'm thinking about the structure and code requirements I'll need for the new site, but I'm still far off as far as the design and direction I want to go. In the meantime, I've decided to take on a smaller project to get myself in the proper mindset. This smaller project happens to be a subdomain "site" for just my toys. The pic above is a comp that will most likely be what the final homepage of the site will look like. Like it's older, bigger sibling- it will be all Flash/Actionscript. I thought about doing a full CSS/XHTML site sprinkled with some Flash, but now because of some of the feature ideas I had, I think it will have to be all Flash. But as usual, I have about a zillion other priorities right now (shows, commissions, freelance work, and that pesky day job), so it will be a while before this sees the light of day.

iPhone Background #2

iPhone Background #2
These are just too much fun...