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10 Questions with… Grey Williamson

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Grey Williamson
Toy Submission: Renegade Obama Bust, Val-Mar Bust & Apollo Bust
Instagram: @carbonfibreme

1. Where are you originally from?
Brooklyn.

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Impossible to narrow it down to less than a couple of thousand…

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Chess… I’m not sure that’s what you're asking but… think about it… maybe…

4. What's your most prized collectible?
Brother’s Worker “Robber”

5. What was the last film you watched?
The “MAGNIFICENT SEVEN” remake.

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
There was a time that I did both, but I am no longer a “collector’. So that means, I think, display in the future.

7. What was the last book you read?
SECTORS by Harule Stokes

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Although Im not deeply invested in either, I would probably lean toward TREK, as that franchise acknowledges the presence of non-whites a little more convincingly, with a little more agency within its culture.

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Be in it, but not of it.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
I could tell you, but then…

10 Questions with… Taylored Curiosities

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Taylored Curiosities
Toy Submission: Bad Dream, Neglect, Fretful Nag, Healing Rock: Lapiz Lazuli and Huoli: Worry Warriors

1. Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in a little seaside town called Weymouth in Dorset (UK).

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
I am a HUGE fan of Kandinsky’s work and also probably Quentin Blake’s biggest fan.

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
I was in love with the original Kenner ‘Littlest Pet Shop’ toys. I had the big pet shop carry case and a whole variety of little critters that lived inside. I still have them safely in my old toy box.

4. What's your most prized collectible?
I have one of every Tamagotchi release since the original was launched. Some are used and others are new in their boxes.

5. What was the last film you watched?
I saw the Justice League film. Loved it! Those Amazonians are a truly inspiring bunch of women.

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
It depends what it is. Toys that are interactive or are tiny enough to live in my handmade dollhouse are unboxed. I have a few big pieces that are safely in their boxes still.

7. What was the last book you read?
I have just finished the third installment of Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet titled ‘A Swiftly Tilting Planet’. They are ‘teen fiction’ but the language is advanced and the scientific thinking that you need to try and understand within them is mind blowing.

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
I like both, but I really enjoyed watching the original Star Trek series with my dad when I was little and I love the recent Star Trek films.

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Be nice. It doesn’t cost and it could change someone’s day.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
Most of my work has a strong link to mental health awareness and wellbeing. Whether it is characters that actually represent emotions or characters that encourage adventuring and freeing up inner creativity and spirit.

10 Questions with… Kenya Danino

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Kenya Danino
Toy Submission: Animini Series: My Hero Dragons: Tsuyu, Ochako, All Mighty Trio
Twitter: @kdfoxx
Instagram: @kenyadaninoart

1. Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Queens, New York.

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
I dabble in a variety of media because I like experimentation in creativity. Recently, I've gotten back into sculpting and learned how to make silicone molds to cast resin copies. On the regular, my favorite tools of the trade are bristol papers/ cardstock, oil color pencils, premium inks and Copic markers as I often use these in my comic work.

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
When I was younger, I didn't really have a favorite toy line, but I did have an eye for well made figurines of my favorite characters.

4. What's your most prized collectible?
I love the manga Soul Eater, so my prized possession is Square Enix's remake of their Maka and Soul static arts figure.

5. What was the last film you watched?
The last film I've watched is Wolf Children. I'm an animation nerd.

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Theres not much space to inbox every figure I have for display, so I usually keep them MIB.

7. What was the last book you read?
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Album. It's and enchanting story about the history of music that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars because I was familiar with it first.

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
I stand at the door of my own cave mere inches away from where I once thrived willing myself to have courage- because to stand in the brightness of day at the risk of showing my scars, is better than becoming a beautiful image in an ugly place.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
I am a very picky cartoon watcher. Lately, I've seen a instant craze surround this new Anime called "My Hero Academia." The kids I work with at my school are aware of this show/manga and find deep value and inspiration in the characters motives to use the powers they were born with for the purpose of helping others. I gave it a watch and loved the instant theme of self-introspection I was hit with. There is a saying in Japan on Children's Day, "that a karp who swims upstream against the current will one day become a dragon." The characters' growth of courage in the series are tracked since they were 4 years old. I decided to depict some of my favorite MHA characters as dragons in these resin sculptures. The characters show the most intense want to destroy preconceived notions of people with powers (or "quirks") in their world to prove they have what it takes to be a useful force for good and not destruction.

10 Questions with… André LeRoy Davis

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: André LeRoy Davis
Toy Submission: Operation
Twitter: @ALDreDay
Instagram: @aldreday

1. Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn.

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Norman Rockwell and Ernie Barnes

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Mego and Shindana toys.

4. What's your most prized collectible?
An autographed Julius "Dr. J" Erving basketball and a signed Red Philadelphia 76'ers Starter Jacket.

5. What was the last film you watched?
Thor: Ragnarok

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Both... or I usually buy 2..

7. What was the last book you read?
Encyclopedia of Black Comics

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Space 1999

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Make 'em laugh, make 'em think...

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
The so called President and the Game he's playing with he world!

10 Questions with… Selina Briggs (The Jelly Empire)

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Selina Briggs - The Jelly Empire
Toy Submission: Rusty Robots from The Jelly Empire
Instagram: @thejellyempire
 
1. Where are you originally from?

I'm originally from the UK, from a small town called Chapel-en-le-Frith. It's about an hours drive from Manchester, but I've been living New York for about 12 years and absolutely love it!
 
2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Oh wow! This question is a tough because I have so many. I don't really have a all-time favourite but I can name some of my current faves. I've always been a massive fan of Quentin Blake since reading Raold Dahl books when I was little; his illustrations make me happy. I'm also in love with Camilla d'Errico's neo-manga art style, Matt Dixons adorable robots, and a more recent discovery Camille Chew's mystic/mythology inspired artwork!
 
3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
I played with any toy that was from a favourite cartoon.  I have 2 younger brothers so it was a lot of TMNT and Thundercats!
 
4. What's your most prized collectible?
I don't think I really have one. Recently I've started to get into buying more artwork over collectibles. The walls of my apartment are looking a little empty!
 
5. What was the last film you watched?
I think the last movie I watched at the cinema was Dr. Strange, but the last movie I watched at home was (for the 100th time) was Hot Fuzz!
 
6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
I have no will power to leave MIB. Unbox everything!
 
7. What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows' but the last comic book was a really funny graphic novel called 'Rat Queens'.
 
8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Don't make me choose!  I love them both!
 
9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Goonies Never Say Die!
 
10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
I really love textures, especially weathered metals. The idea that time and environment can change the colour, and the feel of something, can be so beautiful. I wanted to apply that to my robots. Fresh out the factory they were probably shiny and clean and looked state of the art, but when neglected, forgotten about and left to the forces of nature and time, that shiny exterior decays and this transforms the robot itself into something else. It sounds sad but to me it's not. They evolved and became unique in appearance and continue to function amid all the stresses of time 🙂

10 Questions with… Nelson Asencio

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist: Nelson Asencio
Toy Submission: Chuki in Paper Tales... A Trump Tragedy
Twitter: @NelsonX
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nelsonx71/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nxasencio 
https://www.facebook.com/chukifriends/
https://www.facebook.com/Storybox-Ink-Studios

Deviant Art: https://nelsonx.deviantart.com
Website: www.storyboxink.com
www.chukiandfriends.com 
http://nelsonasencio.blogspot.com

1. Where are you originally from?  

I’m originally from ENY Brooklyn and my parents are from Ecuador.

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?  

I have many but my top three are Frank Frazetta, Art Adams, and Katsuhiro Otomo.

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child? 

My favorite toyline was definitely the first Star Wars line. My amazing Aunt Nancy gave me the entire line and the Death Star station playset for Christmas that year. My Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle takes second place for sure. lol

4. What's your most prized collectible?  

Hmmm I kept some cool one of a kind prototypes from my Art Asylum days-a 12” Borg Drone we sculpted for playmates and Eminem one shot would be on that list.:)

5. What was the last film you watched? 

The last film I watched was “War of the Planet of the Apes” which I loved.

6.Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?

I like to keep MIB because I realize that I don’t play with toys anymore-lol

7. What was the last book you read? 

Do comics count? LOL If so, It would be Batman White Knight by Sean Murphy-highly recommended!

8. Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Both lol I love Star Wars for its fantasy aspect but I love Trek for its level of maturity and realism.  I am loving the new Discovery series and its main character Michael Burnham.

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by? 

Carpe Diem!  Need to do this more often.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show? 

My inspiration for my piece was to reflect on the state of our political system and the people we appoint to represent us.

10 Questions with… Asaf Harari

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist Name: Asaf Harari
Proper Title of your toy(s): Zion's Action FIgures
Your toy/submission: 4pack - 4 Israeli statesmen - Golda Meir, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Yitzhak Rabin, and David Ben-Gurion
Facebook: Piece of History
Instagram: pisathistorya
Website: www.piece-of-history.com

1.Where are you originally from? 

Israel

2.Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)? 

Jean Arp

3.What was your favorite toy line as a child? 

Ninja Turtles 

4.What's your most prized collectible? 

I don't collect

5.What was the last film you watched? 

The Arrival

6.Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?

I don't collect 

7.What was the last book you read? 

To long ago to remember...

8.Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Neither

9.What motto/creed do you try to live by? 

Expect nothing and appreciate everything

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show? 

Although statesmen figurines are not something new, the figures which I've created are the first statesmen figurines in Israel, part of the Middle East, probably one of the most deadly conflict zone in the world. 

This dissonance between the pure purpose of the objects (toys) and the the narrative they represent (the old and ongoing fight for the state of Israel) makes you wonder about questions of identity, nationalism and the modern merchandising.

10 Questions with… Tara Nakashima Donahue

Co-Curator: Tara Nakashima Donahue (also Vs the Bad Guys)
Toy Submission: Senbazuru (1000 paper cranes)
 

1. Where are you originally from?
New York City, United States

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Mashiko - sculptor, silkscreen, book artist, medallic artist, curator, gallery owner

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Paper balloons from Japan

4. What's your most prized collectible?
Original LUTHER comic strip by Brumsic Brandon, Jr., dated 11/23/1971

5. What was the last film you watched?
The Conversation

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Unbox and display

7. What was the last book you read?
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Both

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
If not now, when?

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
My contribution of senbazuru - 1000 paper cranes - will be folded over the course if the exhibit and was inspired in several ways. Growing up with a Japanese mother, origami was an important part of my childhood. Folding patterns exercised imaginations, and taught me to value patience, process, and memory. It taught me that practice becomes skill, and that through stillness, deliberate movements can yield results. 

10 Questions with… Onjena Yo

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Co-Curator: Onjena Yo
Website: www.ethyr.me
Toy Submission: Multilingual Alphabet "What's on your fridge?" faux fridge & poster

1. Where are you originally from?
My Dad was from Pittsburgh and served in the Air Force. He met and married my Mom in South Korea. I was born in Texas but raised in Ohio (military brat).

2. Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?
Grey Williamson, creator, visual artist, sculptor, writer

3. What was your favorite toy line as a child?
Barbies and Transformers

4. What's your most prized collectible?
Renegade Obama bust by Grey Williamson & Kilroy III

5. What was the last film you watched?
Turner & Hooch

6. Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?
Unbox and display

7. What was the last book you read?
Sectors by Harule Stokes

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Trek

9. What motto/creed do you try to live by?
Be kind, bring peace and protect the vulnerable.

10. What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?
The idea for my submission was inspired by working through the shame of having forgotten how to speak/read my mother's language. My siblings and I were semi-bilingual as kids but when we began school, our mother wanted us to focus solely on English, a decision she now regrets. The Multilingual Alphabet “What's on your fridge?” is a bite-sized and ordinary way any busy adult or child can start to learn a new language or six. The accompanying poster features alphabets from six languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean & Spanish.

10 Questions with… Reactor88

I'll be posting 10 Questions with... a number of artists who are taking part in the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change Toy Show , presented by Medialia Gallery & The Ethyr and taking place November 4-25 2017 in NYC.

Artist/Toy Maker: Reactor-88
Toy: Mini Maori Misfortune Cat
Website: www.reactor88.com
Twitter: @reactor88
Instagram: @reactor88
Facebook: www.facebook.com/reactor88art

Where are you originally from?:
I’m born and raised Los Angeles.

Who is your favorite artist (any artist, any medium)?:
There’s so much great art out there spanning many mediums past and present- it’s way to hard to pick just one. Historically I’m a big fan of the Italian Renaissance, the Dutch Masters, as well as anyone that passed through the Hudson River School (Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, etc.). As far as more contemporary art, I like Ed Ruscha, James Turrell, and Murakami. I’m also a big fan of all the Disney artists like Eyvind Earle and Tyrus Wong.

What was your favorite toy line as a child?:
That would be a toss up between Lego and Star Wars. Side note- I still have all my original Kenner Star Wars toys from when I was a kid.

What's your most prized collectible?:
A box set of vintage Walt Disney mini-card games from the 1940s

What was the last film you watched?:
The last big box-office movie I saw was Wonder Woman (I don’t get out to the theater that often…) I do watch a lot of random movies via Amazon Prime while I’m painting or doing something else productive. The last thing I watched on there was the series Tin Star.

Do you unbox and display or keep MIB (mint in box)?:
Unbox and display of course!

What was the last book you read?:
Vessel by Andrew J. Morgan

Star Trek or Star Wars?:
Star Wars

What motto/creed do you try to live by?:
“One day at a time..."

What was the inspiration behind the piece that you produced for the Aim, Destroy, Transform: Play for Change toy show?:
My piece was inspired by Ta Moko (Maori facial & body scaring/tattoo). I’m a big fan of the art and design of Ta Moko, so I wanted to pay tribute by creating my own stylized representation of it (keeping with the general design cues), that would fit with the Misfortune Cat form.