Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Website Redesigned and Blog MOVED!

Hey all!

I have finally redesigned my website and it is up and running! But it's still a work in progress; it's main goal is to display my work, be simple and clean and work well on mobile devices.  Please check it out if you can and let me know if you find any issues! Thanks!


Also this blog post will probably be the last one I do on Blogger, as I will be updating the blog on my new website.  So if you come here to read my blog, I thank you for your support and please go to my website to catch up on my latest news and updates.


I will probably add a redirect from this blog to my new one, but will leave this blog running for now just in case.

I hope you like it as I think it's a nicer improvement than my old one! Thanks!

Friday, August 24, 2012

What the Heck is Going On?

That's what I'd like to know! For those that do read my blog, it's been real quiet (sort of) for the past few weeks. My sister just recently got married a in August and had relatives in town, so I decided not to accept or do any projects till after everything is over. Then after they left, I got sick for 2 days, so now I'm sorta back on my feet again and ready for new things! And the first thing, the main thing I gotta do is revise my website - having created my own Flash website from the ground up was fun, but it's time for a change.

Why did I build a Flash site? Well if you really wanna know, I do all my vector drawings and designs in Flash - I find it a lot easier to use than Illustrator. I feel Flash has the complete package - you want animation? Flash can do it. You want vector? Flash can do it. You want a website? Flash can do it. It's a lot easier to work with it than to build it in Photoshop, slice it, code it, etc. Well at least for me.

Another reason was to see if I can do it and I did, which I was very proud of. I hate the fact that Apple doesn't want to support it in their products; I don't care what they think of it or this and that, if a large percentage of sites use Flash then support it! But anyway, that's a debate on its own...

I am tired though of having a Flickr site to post pics, Blogger for my blog, a separate website, store, etc. I want to have one site that contains my pics, blog, updates, store, etc. And for that reason, I need to rethink and redo my website.

So I will be exploring options in the CMS world and go from there. Other updates? Ummm...I may be working on customizing a figure designed by Matt Anderson that will be blind boxed and sold at his booth (sharing w/ Rsin, Tenacious Toys, Bad Applez, Inc, Kid Ink Industries).

I'm still waiting around to hear back from New Era regarding the New Era Introducing project and hope to get paid finally from some of my past projects! Honestly some of these clients don't recognize that I need $ to eat!!!

That's it for now - I'm still available for design/toy work! Peace!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

AW177 Circuit Death Custom 3" Dunny!

A cyborg circuitry warrior, based off my "Circuit Death" logo. This was a commission from a collector of custom 3" Chuckboy dunnys and I am happy to be a part of his collection.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

AW177 "Blossoming Koi" Custom Zukie

I really thought I was done customizing vinyl art toys but it appears I spoke too soon.  I was offered a chance to participate in the Zukie vs. the World custom group show at the Toy Tokyo Underground Gallery from July 27-29, 2012.  I had to customize a DIY blank Zukie figure, and I thought this figure was awesome - not to mention I know Miss Zukie and met her at the Tenacious Toys Candy-Coated custom show.  So I tried my hand at customizing a vinyl figure one more time.

Zukies are a blank vinyl figure and they're "Mysterious characters that do not talk; they have thought bubbles and facial expressions. Zukies are about color." Zukies also "intend to generate emotions through their visual thoughts."

I wanted to convey my "visual thoughts" by painting a colorful Koi jumping out of the water, surrounded by cherry blossoms. Kois represent perseverance in the face of adversity and blossoms represent living life to the fullest.  I hope my Zukie will generate this emotion in everyone.

If you get a chance to go to the show, check out my figure.  Opening reception will be held on July 27th, 6pm - 10pm at Toy Tokyo Underground Gallery.

Friday, June 22, 2012

AW177 x New Era Introducing!

New Era Introducing is a global creative project showcasing unique talent from across the world. The project gives creative minds of tomorrow an opportunity to make their own statement using a blank New Era 59FIFTY as their canvas. Those judged to show the most unique display of self- expression will go on to form a touring gallery exhibition and be published in a limited edition New Era Introducing book.

So this is the 'platform' that has been stumping me that I need to customize next: a blank New Era cap for the New Era Introducing project (http://neweraintroducing.com/). I was lucky enough to be one of the 100 finalists chosen to advance to Phase 2 - custom a cap.

I can go in and do all this crazy stuff, but I'm just going to do what I do best and put some of my artwork on it and hope that it makes it into the top 80. Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

AW177 x Ghostface Killah: Wu-Tang Ice Cream Logos 2012!

I've been a big fan of Wu-Tang Clan since I bought a mix-tape on the street back in 1992(?) and it contained "Protect Ya Neck" and fell in love w/ the group ever since. Chinese kung-fu flicks and hip hop? Awesome.

Recently, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime - to try to redesign the Wu-Tang ice cream logo(s) for an updated 2012 look for Wu member Ghostface Killah.  In case you don't know the song (but how can you not???) "Ice Cream" by Wu-Tang Clan (actually it was on Raekwon's first solo album "Only Built for Cuban Linx" but you get the idea), go look it up on YouTube.  This is one of the finest Wu-Tang/hip hop songs in my opinion - I used to play this track over and over again (and still do).

Some of my concept sketches took a long time to come up with. And it's ironic that the one that I did up in 5 mins on my sketchbook at 1am in the morning was the one that ended up being picked by Ghost and his people.

The full line of logos are available: French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe, Caramel Sundae and now: Asian Persuasion! Go cop yours here to support Ghostface, Wu-Tang, and me!

Props to Ghostface for the opportunity!

Last note - it's funny sometimes, you lose one opportunity, another one that's even bigger and better comes along - but you have to look for it and push yourself to do the best you can, regardless of how you feel.

French Vanilla:

 French Vanilla (with French flag-was not used):

  Butter Pecan (Rican):

Butter Pecan (with Puerto Rico flag):

Chocolate Deluxe:

Caramel Sundae:

And now introducing: Asian Persuasion!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quitting the Game...?

For those people that actually read my blog and enjoy my posts, this will be somewhat different. I'm going to lay it out there and say I am very close to quitting the custom/art game.  Without going into too much detail and drama, let's just say that with many rejections, delays, wasted time and efforts, it's enough to put a toll on anyone and make you lose some of your passion and drive.  This is how I've been feeling for the past few weeks; at one point I want to continue to create and push myself, but at the same time I find myself wondering if there is a point.

I may take some time away to focus on myself and explore new options. We'll see what happens.  If you do appreciate my work, I'd love to hear some comments. Thank you all for following and reading my blog!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Eyes of the Dragon" Mystery Machine in Action!

Just a quick post -here is a short video of my "Eyes of the Dragon" Mystery Machine in action! Just put a few gumballs into the head, insert a quarter and turn - gumballs come out! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

AW177 "Eyes of the Dragon" Mystery Machine for the Tenacious Toys Candy-Coated Custom Show!

I was invited by Benny of Tenacious Toys to be a part of their first custom toy show, the Candy-Coated Custom Show. The show was held on April 21, 7-9pm at The London Candy Company, 1442 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10128.

The theme of the show was either candy or something British; I decided to focus on doing something totally different than my usual work. I wanted to create a piece that not only would allow people to view it but also had them play with it. After much deliberation and trial-and-errors, I decided to concentrate on making a real working gumball/mystery machine.

 This was created using a 10" Mad*L and incorporating parts from a gumball machine into it. There were many obstacles in making this:
- getting the base of the figure to hold the slot/wheel
- getting the wheel to work correctly
- getting the quarter to fall into the correct place in the back
- getting a way to get into the figure to grab the quarters and locking it
- getting a way to put gumballs into the head - getting the head to have the gumballs fall into the base correctly
- etc. etc.

At the show, the idea would be to put a quarter into the slot, turn the wheel and catch the gumball that comes out. I placed 2 marbles (the "eyes of the dragon") inside with the gumballs and if you were lucky to grab one of the marbles, you would win a prize (one of my "Circuit Death" t-shirts).

Throughout the night, people were popping in quarters and only 1 person won a shirt!

See what you can win w/ only a quarter? Congrats to Barb for winning my shirt! Enjoy!

This was probably my most ambitious and first functioning custom vinyl toy. I chose to not do too much paint work on the figure and keep it more to a mystery machine. Character on the front says dragon, one on the back is my last name. My piece will be up for sale here: http://www.tenacioustoys.com/The_Candy_Coated_Custom_Show_s/176.htm

Also at the show, I tagged up Benny's poster, along w/ some of the other artists and non-artists (mine's at the bottom left hand side, power skull ninja):

And a great shot taken of all the artists by Matthew Siegelbaum for Strongtree Images Photography (I'm in the middle w/ the blue jacket in between Mike "Nemo" Mendez and Sucklord):

I hope people enjoyed my machine because I'm not sure if I would tackle something like this again! Props to Benny & Steph of Tenacious Toys for putting a great show together and allowing me to be a part of it!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

AW177 x RAWRS Custom Dragon Lunar New Year Bitsumo!

A collaboration effort between AW177 (Allen Wen) and RAWRS (Dai Tran), this is a one-off custom Dragon Lunar New Year edition Bitsumo resin figure.

Bitsumo is a hand casted 4.5" tall resin collector toy. He has 7 points of articulation and a hand-tied mawashi. Metallic gold dragon painted on the back and completed with a slight gloss finish.

Dragon Lunar New Year edition Bitsumo will be on sale at the RAWRS store: www.rawrs.bigcartel.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

AW177 x SoSo Happy x Toy2R Custom MonQ - Mar10 Template

For those that are curious of my design process, this is the template that I designed and used to create my custom Qee.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

AW177 x SoSo Happy x Toy2R Custom MonQ - Mar10

I was one of the lucky artists invited to customize an 8" DIY Toy2R Qee in the fashion of the SoSo Happy (http://sosohappyonline.com) theme using my style/look.

The SoSo Happy folks will take the customized Qees on tour to different locations/conventions for display. There is also the potential opportunity to have some of these Qees made into production.

I chose the character Mar10 from the Kiibots line. I added a few of my signature Chinese motifs, including the double happiness character in the back. Circuitry lines for the arms and legs and larger animated eyes. Gloss coat as a finish since this is a robot!

I would love to have this become a production toy, so if you like it, please let Toy2R/SoSo Happy know!

You can click to enlarge the pics or visit my Flickr.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

AW177 "Dragon Ninja" Custom Play Imaginative/Disney Mickey Mouse!

I was asked by Play Imaginative to custom one of their 6.5" Mickey Mouse vinyl art figures. This piece will be displayed at shows by Disney/Play Imaginative and will be up on their website (http://www.playimaginative.com/disney_custom.html#page=page-1).

To celebrate the year of the dragon 2012, I made Mickey into a "Dragon Ninja", complete with equipment belt, shurikens, pouches for gear, striking/climbing knives, dragon claws on feet and hands, and nunchucks! You can place the nunchucks into the back for storage. Dragon symbol on the upper ear, black outlines to give it a more animated/cartoon feel.

This custom is based on one of the designs I submitted to Play Imaginative/Disney for possible production, so if you like to see it made, please let them know!

Click on the images to enlarge or view at my Flickr.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

AW177 x Bad Applez "I'm a Bad Apple"!

This is my custom creation for the "I'm a Bad Apple" online group custom show presented by Bad Applez Inc. Going live on February 14, 2012 (Valentine's Day), the show will feature over 30 artists customizing 3"-5" plastic apples that were picked up at a local craft shop.

My custom concept came from the idea of "sticking" good into something bad, or "throwing" some good into bad - I don't really have a direct explanation for my piece, it's pretty much what you make of it. I wanted to try something new and different, something metaphoric: the apple is rotten and bad and the shuriken is gold and good.

The shuriken has the Chinese character of "good" on it (both sides) and the apple has the word "bad" on it (both sides, hard to see).

The apple was pretty light (made of plastic/Styrofoam), I decided to weigh it down by cutting it in half and filling it w/ a little Super Sculpey. The shuriken was made from Super Sculpey as well. Spray paint was used for color.

The show will be hosted at http://www.badapplezinc.com and every piece will be up for sale.