Sunday, July 31, 2011

AW177 + Tenacious Toys "Rise of the Dragon" Custom 5" Toy2R Mini Qee

Hey all!

Benny of Tenacious Toys ( was kind enough to give me 3 Toy2R mini Qees to customize. Taking the iconic Toy2R Bear Qee to work on first, I created a new Chinese dragon on the front and the words Good Luck on the back. It has a monotone paint scheme of black, white and grey, but with a touch of bright red in it. I also coated it in a matte varnish, when I usually do all my custom toys in a gloss varnish.

I wanted to step away from my usual style of brightly colored, 'all over' complex designs and just step back and do something a bit simpler.

Some more pics can be viewed at my Flickr site: AW177 Flickr

This will be sold on the Tenacious Toys website at AW177 Rise of the Dragon so if you're interested in purchasing it, go over there! Thanks all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

TOYSREVILs *I Like Toys* Blog: Circuit Death Package from AW177

TOYSREVILs *I Like Toys* Blog: Circuit Death Package from AW177: "Scored a swell package from AW177 aka Allen Wen this sunny Monday morning - featuring his new ' Circuit Death ' tee and a variety of pa..."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gripes about being an artist at times!

For those that catch up on my work and read up on my blog about my latest news, I thank you for that. It's definitely an honor that you come to my blog and take time to read about my news. So to those that like my art and work and support me, I thank you very much. Please do not hesitate to contact me just to talk, chat, ask for advice/help, etc., whatever you need, I'm more than willing to be here for you!

Aside from that, I don't usually gripe on my blog but lately being an artist can be quite annoying. Sometimes you'll have streaks of really cool stuff to work on, then you can get nothing, then back up again, then nothing, it's like a roller coaster ride. At times I'll get asked to design a toy and be really excited about it and throw my all into it, only to either have to wait and wait and HOPE it'll be made one day or used at all. Or get rejected by just saying 'it was not chosen'. Art is so subjective at times who knows what these companies want? I just keep doing my thing and if they ask me to submit designs, I'll do so but if they don't pick them, well it is what it is. But it just gets really frustrating.

Sometimes I just want one chance to show what I have and I just seem to hit a brick wall every time I do so. An example, a company contacted me to design some iPhone cases for them since they said they saw my work and like it. How cool, so I did some research on the company, they seem legit, the contact person is nice, so I submit 2 designs that I think would fit their products and their clients. They had a specific request that it not be too detailed since it had to be converted to something else (can't give specifics).

They contact me and said my designs, although great, were not 'their style' and that it's not 'creative' enough. They are not challenging me, but one of my designs was too traditional and want it more 'creative'. Ok I find it funny that a company who saw my designs and wanted my designs have the balls to tell me it's not 'their style' and that it's not 'creative' enough. I am aching to tell them to kiss my ass, but basically told them that that's my style, I stick by my style, I'm not going to redesign my work over and over until you feel it's your style and 'creative' enough for your products. And to make matters worse, they send me some reference pics of what other designers made, and basically those designs, at least to me, are not very creative! A mouth? The astrological signs? A 'love' and 'hate' theme that's very Ed Hardy-ish?

I don't want to bash those other designs and designers, but just felt this company was not a company I want to work with. Do any other designers out there get this type of treatment or is this just an isolated incident? I'd love to hear some feedback on this. I can be totally wrong and I'd love to know if that was the case. Please post some comments if you can, I'd love to know.

People always tell me to just keep plugging on, to keep doing what you do and things will happen. I'm trying, believe me, I'm trying. I may be a different type of artist since I don't really think I have a style that I do over and over again. Sometimes I'll do animals, sometimes circuits, sometimes characters; but that's because I get bored doing the same designs over and over. Is that maybe my problem? Should I find one style and just stick to doing it over and over? Would that help my chances of perhaps getting a toy done w/ me?

Sorry I just had a lot on my mind tonight and wanted to push it out there and see what others think. I'd love some feedback. Thank you to those that read my entire blog post!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

AW177 in Japan Cinema Presents: Creative Interviews Vol. I Magazine!

I was proud and honored to be a part of the first Japan Cinema Presents: Creative Interviews Vol. I magazine! Creative Interviews Volume I is a book that features interviews with Creative individuals who have been featured on This volume is packed with all the advice you need to forge a successful career as a creative professional. Straight from the horses' mouths, from taking those first steps to promoting yourself effectively, and managing your time and money - it’s all here. From photographers, comic book artists, contemporary artists, printmakers, and models -- this essential book is from the makers of, the essential website for Asian culture & art.

Look for my section on art/toy/dunny customization in the first Japan Cinema interview book! Kidrobot, I think you owe me another one!

You can order yours here!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chinese "Rice Bowl" Custom 3" Dunny!

Hey all!

I've been away from the toy customizing game for a while now, think the last custom toy I did was back in October of 2010 for NYCC! However, I was invited to join a 30th Anniversary Dunny Trade, in celebration of artist Tim Munz' (aka timself) 30th birthday. Artists participating in the trade included:

Gomi aka Another-Waver
Ian Ziobrowski
Igor Ventura
Simon Walter

and myself.

Seeing this roster of artists and the caliber of their creativity, I was quick to sign on and created this custom 3" Chinese "Rice Bowl" dunny, based on the design of a traditional Chinese rice bowl:

This was a new experience for me as I never dissected a dunny before (cut off the head and ears) and used Super Sculpey to shape the head bowl. I also used different painting techniques to achieve the design I was looking for, and gave it a glaze to give it a more porcelain look:

Accessories: it comes with a small bag of rice, 2 types of chopsticks (1 traditional brown, 1 fancy matching colors), and a holder that fits into the left hand of the dunny and the chopsticks stick to it via velcro:

I hope whoever gets my dunny likes it, if not, I'd be glad to keep it in my collection! More pics available at my Flickr: AW177 "Rice Bowl" Custom 3" Dunny

You can view what the other artists did so far at the Kidrobot forums: 30th Anniversary Dunny Trade

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Win a FREE Limited Edition "Circuit Death" T-Shirt!

Hey all!

In celebration of the release of my limited edition "Circuit Death" t-shirt, I've decided to give one out for FREE just for liking my AW177 Facebook page!

Here's how it works:
1) Go to Facebook/AW177
2) Click the "Like" button
3) In a week or so, I'll select a random winner and send out a t-shirt package!

Simple no?

So let's do this! I look forward to meeting you all! Thanks so much!