Friday, 27 April 2007


Thought it might be interesting to document the earlier stages of work instead of only posting up finished pieces. I always sketch and ink by hand, then scan and colour on the computer. These are the current drawings lying around on my desk...some tin designs and more gashapon characters (London Stereotypes).


The dolls will be packaged in metal tins like these. (Image shows the Valentine version that was sold in Paperchase earlier this year). I'm currently coming up with ideas for 6 different tins. I've been given quite a lot of freedom with this and won't need to stick with the existing layout. The client has commissioned the same illustrator to do some drawings of my dolls. I'll be doing some illustrations as well and we'll see which ones work best on the tin.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Momiji Dolls - Live Brief

Went to visit a client today for a live project I've been working on since January. The brief was to design a set of six japanese street fashion dolls and provide 2D diagrams for the sculptors. I thought it would be an interesting avenue to investigate since I'm mulling over ways to make the toys for my FMP. I was incredibly pleased to discover that the sculptor translated my drawings identically into 3D. Unfortunately he's based in Hong Kong and the production process would be unfeasible to use for my FMP. I did try to research the process to see if I could DIY similar methods for my gashapon toys. These figures were sculpted from clay, moulded and resin cast (heavier than plastic), then hand painted. As a result of the meeting I've been given another brief to design the packaging.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Found Objects?

Considering the option of using found objects, which reflect some aspect of existing collections. I've also thought about merging both ideas and have the character illustrations printed on stamps. This could either enhance the notion of collecting or unnecessarily complicate the project. Thoughts?

Pair Up!

This was done in response to feedback that politicians may be a bit dull to collect. An excellent excuse to dive into Celeb-land! I created them in pairs to enhance the satisfaction of completing a set. Imagine the thrill if two consecutive capsules contained the 'correct' couple (or the disappointment to have spent two hard-earned pounds on Peter Andre and K-Fed).

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Gotta catch 'em all!

One idea for a toy capsule. A reflection of gashapon series which relate to manga, anime or video game characters....usually eagerly sought after by 'otakus' (geeks in said areas of entertainment). By using universally well-known figures, it should give everyone a sense of being an 'inside expert'. Also leads to pressing questions including: Is Saddam worth more or less now that he's dead? Would you be happy if your first capsule contained a 'baddie', or would you keep buying until you get one of the 'good guys'? Would critics of western politics want the collection for subversive means? Does the Bin Laden ball really exist or did I just put it on there to get more people buying capsules?

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Why We Collect

As a functional machine, the contents of each gashapon need to entice visitors to spend a pound (or more) buying them. Anything too cheap, dull or badly made will defeat this purpose. Another issue is whether the items should appeal to existing 'universal' collections (stamps, coins etc) or invite people to start a set of completely absurd items (like plastic turds)? I found a philately (stamp) site which contains some very interesting points on the pleasures of collecting. The majority of these don't just apply to stamps, they are general hallmarks of what makes a successful collection. I'll be referring back to these as possible criteria for the gashapon content.

* They are aesthetically pleasing
* They are miniature works of art
* Desire to complete and arrange a set or collection
* National pride, we tend to collect stamps from our own country
* They have historical value, they show our Kings and Queens (or presidents)
* Intellectual stimulation
* Nostalgia, the good old days, memories of when I was young
* Hoarding and sorting instinct
* Sorting stamps to find a valuable one
* They might become valuable one day
* To avoid the wife
* Your Grandad gave you his collection
* I want to be the world expert on the 1d red
* To gloat over my collection
* You enjoy stamps - you have the stamp 'bug'
* You have an attention to detail
* To spend some time during a winter's evening
* You want to do philatelic research
* A financial investment