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Blog

ToyconUK product selection/ordering information

Chris Booker

It's almost that time already! It seems like just a few months since the last Toycon, but here we are at year 4.  Just like last year I will be adding all product photographs here, along with titles/prices.  These will be available on the day (9th April) but just like last year, once we hit 4pm GMT you can email me to reserve remaining items.  I will be updating the list throughout the day as pieces sell, so you will be able to see in real-time if the piece you'd like is still available.

If you're attending this year, I will see you there.. If not, I hope this helps you to at least have a way of enjoying the event in some way. :)

 

You'll find me with Haus of Boz, at booth 5 (by the bar)

Available pieces

SOLD OUT

 

 

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Artoyz Interview

Chris Booker

I was recently asked to do a short interview for Artoyz in Paris, so thought i'd share it here for you all. The interview can be viewed on their website with pictures too. HERE

- Tell us a little about your work, what are your tools and your inspirations?

My work has changed a lot over the years as I've developed certain application methods and of course my work changes based on my feelings and mood. Right now I aim to create something that can be seen as peaceful, sad, tragic.. It really depends on the viewers interpretation. For me it is about the difference between what we feel on the inside, and what we allow the world to see.

I work mainly with acrylic paints and inks, on vinyl pieces, I couldn't live without my heat gun which speeds up drying times and saves a lot of waiting around. For sculpting work I use a combination of Super Sculpey and Milliput, with tools ranging from  wax sculpting sets, to tin foil (for complex natural textures)

When I first started out I was inspired a lot by anime, and artists such as Tado, who managed to bring those styles over to the west in such a unique way. As I gained confidence with a brush I developed my style into something more painterly, I think now I am mostly inspired by artists such as James Jean, Yoskay Yamamoto, and Yoshitomo Nara. I realy love their ability to create the work that looks so of the moment, yet still seems to completely ignore the way the world around us has affected of a lot of modern styles.

- When did you start working on art toys ?

I started working as a self employed artist in 2011 with the launch of my design in the Kidrobot 2011 Dunny series, however i'd been using toys as a platform for a few years before that, I believe somewhere around 2006.  Art toys were something i'd become a big fan of after seeing them originally on the old Kidrobot website, before they had started producing their own vinyl platform. I remember seeing the Eric So and Michael Lau figures and being totally blown away by the originality (and the prices) They were seen by me then as something unobtainable, partly due to the high cost, and partly because Kidrobot didn't ship overseas, meaning the UK was pretty much cut out of the whole 'scene' at the start.

Soon after that I remember Playlounge opening in the UK, who sold Qee's, which were my entry platform. I remember wanting to have my own piece produced so badly that I painted one myself, then the whole thing blew up, Dunnys were relelased and availability in the UK improved, because they were then something I could actually find without having to source them from abroad, it made using them as an art platform much more viable.  As soon as I noticed a demand for my work on toys, people actually wanting to purchase my customised pieces, this meant I could fund further purchases of DIY toys (as soon as they became available) As there was increased demand, with a growing commission list, and I was able to develop my sculpting skills, it was decided that I should at least give it a try as a 'job' It has been steady ever since, though I am going to be slowing down a little this year to ensure I have more time to concentrate on my original path as a designer.


- What was your last creation on an art toy ? 

At the moment I am finding a lot of time taken up producing work for ToyconUK in April so it's all moving very quickly, I have a number of pieces half finished at the moment, but the last piece I actually completed was a cute Shawnimals Dumpling.  I don't work in the straight clean cute style so much now but it was a nice change, and I know a lot of people prefer this to my current dirty style so I occasionally accept commissions like that. Hopefully my style will continue to evolve over the coming years, along with art toys themselves.

ToyconUK 2015

Chris Booker

As many of you may know, I will be attending ToyconUK this year and have a shared booth with Haus of Boz, this means I've been hard at work on a number of exclusive pieces for the event, which takes place at York Hall in London on April 25th.  I haven't started photographing work yet as I want to hold off until more is complete, however there is now a section HERE, which will hold images and price information about all of the pieces i'll be taking along. 

The Toycon section will be regularly updated, so please keep an eye on it, and don't forget, if you're not able to attend there are people out there who may be willing to mule for you..

Upcoming show at 'My Plastic Heart' - NY

Chris Booker

I've been reluctant to take part in many shows recently as I just don't often find the time to complete commissions and create releases for the store as well as show pieces, but decided last year that i'd agree to at least one for 2015. The first of these is taking place at My Plastic Heart in New York, from Feb 7th.  I believe there will be a preview list to allow purchases from the show, on the store website - www.myplasticheart.com  I hope you guys like how this one turned out, even eggs have a friendly spirit.

Doodles & why.

Chris Booker

Bolo by Chima Group.

Bolo by Chima Group.

In a post about the 'My Final Breath' release, on blog TheToyChronicle, it was mentioned that people buying a piece later today will be extremely lucky to be getting hold of a drawing by me as I 'don't like doodling' so I thought i'd share a few thoughts on this and the reasons why I'm so reluctant to do such things at conventions.

Squink will also be placing random doodles in with orders, just for a little something extra for his fans and he doesn’t like doodling not even for The Toy Chronicle (so yeah you’re in for a treat ) These will be randomly placed in with orders you lucky sods.’
— The Toy Chronicle

I love drawing, in fact it was little doodles that got me into art in the first place, my grandparents would draw me pages of random shapes and i'd attempt to turn each one into a unique character, this is something I think played a huge part in me being where I am right now. The problem arises when I'm handed a sketch book or vinyl figure by someone, and asked to 'just draw anything' - being notoriously introverted, spending a whole day meeting fans, is hugely draining (though I love meeting you guys, I do find it extremely difficult, I'm still shocked every time I sell a piece of work, and find it really hard to take any compliments) So with a pen thrust upon me along with a sketchbook usually filled with gorgeous drawings from such a wide range of artists, I suddenly feel like i'm lost in pitch darkness, with a thousand eyes watching from a distance.

I don't know how other artists do it, but i'm always amazed by the quality of their 'on the spot' drawings. The point is however, the reason I sometimes turn down doodle requests is not to save myself this feeling of 'rabbit in the headlights' but simply to avoid a poor and shaky addition to such collections of artwork.  This is not to say that quick drawings I do here in the studio as giveaways will be works of art, but I hope they're more direct reflections of my thoughts, than a wonky face produced under (mild) duress.  I did cave at ToyconUK and do a few sketches for people, but the whole time thinking 'oh god, now what?' and when I'd finished I felt nothing but guilt for what i'd just done to such lovely sketchbooks.


The reason i'm doing these for this release, is because I do want you guys to be able to get hold of doodle like pieces from me, but i'd much rather you have something i've thought about, produced on nice paper, with the opportunity to throw away mistakes and not pass them on to you. The same reason I wouldn't send out a piece with damage, or filled with surface bubbles.

Quality control, you all deserve that. Have a great Thursday!
 

My Final Breath release day tomorrow..

Chris Booker

After a rare day off on Saturday, the last few days were spent back in the studio preparing the first series of 'My Final Breath' for release on Thursday. I've created 10 different colour variants for this one, most of which are one off versions. I'll be placing random doodles in with orders, just for a little something extra for you guys. If you're going for one of these, I hope you get the one you're after. There will be no more of these released until a new mould is made and commissions are complete.
 

Well..I just made a fresh batch of coffee, and have 9 more doodles to do before photographing the series colourways, look out for those later today. Have a great Wednesday!

Back to sculpting

Chris Booker

After a few days break, this weekend I was back to work on a new sculpt, this one in particular has had huge amounts of care and attention put into the sculpt work, to create a finish as seamless and smooth as possible. There is a ridiculous amount of sanding, sculpting and priming (repeatedly) involved in this process, but I think the time put into finishing really shows in the end result. Although working in this way means you all have to wait a little longer for me to reach you on the commission list, rather that than a rushed piece with no heart put into it. For now, this one goes into a short slumber while I venture out for some colour palette inspiration (this stage is also very important) It's a nice sunny day and as everything blooms, perhaps something a little less monotone this time.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

New beginnings.

Chris Booker

Welcome to the new Squink website.  I decided something a little brighter, cleaner, and easier to navigate was necessary to start off a new tax year, you'll also notice the absence of exclamation mark from the Squink brand, a change that removes all unnecessary elements. A lot of new work for 2014 should reflect this peaceful, minimal feel, especially now that I've drawn a line under my 2011 'Ken the Mysterious Tiger' production Dunny design that so many people requested hand painted versions of.

After seeing so much great work on offer at ToyconUK, and having inspiring chats with talented folk such as Muffinman (who has a talent for clean sculpts like I've never seen) I want this year to be about developing my skills with polymer clay + epoxy, and putting a little more time into creating original pieces from scratch rather than having so much focus on applying paint to existing platforms.

After doing this for over 8 years, I'm still learning a lot about the desires of collectors as well as my own, and I hope to be able to bring you all some artwork that makes you feel something, and in the process put out some pieces which are close to my heart too. After all, that's what art is all about, right? 

Wishing you all the best, none of this could exist without your support, and for that I'm eternally grateful.