Thursday, 31 May 2007


Thursday, 24 May 2007

Photoshoot Results

Some pictures from the photoshoot today. The square ones are possible proposals for the pod.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Backing Board

On GTS's suggestion, worked on some ideas for a backing board (224x122cm). I'm leaning strongly towards the neon street because it ties in with the Brighter theme, and gives a great trompe l'oeil impression of Tokyo without overwhelming the machine. The photo was taken by Alex Watson (a London based journalist). It has a Creative Commons license and can be used for non-profit purposes provided credit is given (yay!). The image of the two Harajuku girls have all rights reserved, and I'm running out of time to chase up copyright issues. I've been in contact with Letraset who can hopefully print the image for me before the show.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

T-shirt Designs

Some ideas for possible t-shirt designs to promote Momiji. Waiting to hear back on which style(s) it should be narrowed down to.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

DIY Mass Production

Been working on my figures...have decided to go for semi-relief magnets out of polymer clay. The relief gives it a 3-dimensional toy feel, polymer clay resembles plastic in consistency and weight and the magnet ensures that it won't get damaged or bashed about. Facing the mammoth task of making 200 figures by hand. After a lot of trial and error, this is the method I developed:
(Simon Cowell has volunteered for the demo)

1) Cut out card templates for each character, and various body parts. Relevant shapes are cut out of polymer clay and 'stacked' to create a rough relief.
2) Edges are smoothed down using a rubber shaper and various other tools. This completes the sample model. One sample is made from scratch for each character (26 altogether).

3) Character is heated for 30mins at 130 C to harden the polymer clay. (My temperamental fuse-blowing oven makes this stage a lot more precarious than it should be.)

4) Fired figure is covered with Siligum, a silicone moulding putty. Took a number of tries to get it first attempts had too many air bubbles which made the mould useless.

5) Siligum hardens after 5 mins and figure can be released from mould.

6) A soft piece of polymer clay is pressed into the mould and pulled out.

7) Extracted figures are given some finishing touches and then fired.

Stages still to go include sanding the surface of all 200, painting with acrylic, transferring facial features with Safmat film (Letraset film for inkjet printers), varnishing and sticking the magnets. Also sourced a bunch of tiny magnets for Britney Spears' wig and Swarovski crystals to decorate Paris Hilton with.

Desk shot halfway through moulding:

Friday, 11 May 2007

Hello PR

I've been in contact with RedSignalPR and they're interested in marketing me as an 'up and coming' designer :D. RedSignal have handled campaigns for Sanrio (Hello Kitty) and are also in charge of the Momiji Dolls. I've sent them a broader spectrum of my work (everything from manga to RSA) and I'm really looking forward to an interview on Monday. They're very interested in promoting the degree show as well so I've given them all the details I could find.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Tins done

This is the first version of the tins...they've been sent to the factory in HongKong and we're hoping to get a few samples before the show. The grey colour represents unprinted areas of the can, forming a contrast between matte paint and silvery metal.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Full Steam Ahead

Finished all 4 toy cards, this is the same arrangement that they be displayed inside the machine. The longish format conforms to shape of the vending units, which curves abruptly inwards so you only really see the square portion at the top. Went to Forbidden Planet (comic shop) on the weekend and took pictures of their gashapon machine to see what sort of info is written near the bottom, then altered it slightly to make it relevant to the project. Multitasking with the Momiji stuff...done 5/6 tins and preparing to arrange a photoshoot when the second set of samples arrive from the factory.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Tin Progress

Been busy designing the tins so they can be sent to the factory as soon as possible. There might be a chance of getting a sample tin in time for the show. Each doll will have her own tin with a customised design reflecting her personality or style. The design process was an interesting challenge because I had to take colour limitations, print finishes, and the three dimensional product into consideration. Resorted to cutting and folding to see which designs actually worked as a tin. The tins will be kept deliberately varied so they become desirable items rather than just packaging (and tempting people to buy more than one!)