Back to my Roots !




I’ve been doing quite a few new paintings of late ..back to my roots so to speak .. I was an freelance illustrator prior to my toy making days of late… i’ll show some of the ones in step by step process over the next few weeks as they progress .. this one is for a collector .. I usually do not work this large ( about 30×40 inches ) mostly because I have no room in my studio ( all those darn Ultraman toys ! ) so sometimes for the penciling stage i’m forced to use the kitchen stove as a makeshift easel 😉
Soon I’ll be moving to new digs which will allow me to have room for a proper easel set up .. as well as breathing room for the Collection .. but more on that later … this particular piece is nearly done in the pencil stage .. from this point I’ll spray a light coat of workable fixative and than wash in an under painting of sorts .. I’ll post those images next …

but while working on this one I have another going at 20×30 inches for next years Mark Nagata and Kaiju Comrades art show in Japan at the Design Festa Gallery … for those making advanced plans that will be March 13th and 14th, 2010. Following on the theme of Kaiju destroying the Galleries we use ( ha-ha ) this time Drazoran steps in to take the center spot .. like the piece above this stage is simply pencil work, laying in all the values …I’m only about 25% done in this picture.
I’ve got quite a few customs requests on the bench, but decided to take a break from those and get back into my first love of drawing and painting .. oh and on top of all this started sculpting this new project .. will reveal about this very soon ! 😉



Not sure if folks notice at all, but each time I do a collab with another artist, I try to put a twist on what we’re doing .. instead of oh here’s my toy paint it and we’ll sell it .. try to make the project a bit unique .. I guess that makes each project more challenging in concept, but that is how I think it should be .. as an artist pushing what we do or what can be done with Toys as Art. Again nothing wrong with the normal painted toy, I have to make and sell those, too .. but if I’m approached to do a collab it has to be more. So far my collabs have been very successful all around and I have to say it’s a thrill to see what my fellow artists can do with my characters.
Whats Up with Max Toy Company and Mark Nagata for the rest of 2009 ?!!!
With San Diego Comic Con coming in July I’ll have to turn on the afterburners to get some custom toys done for the show plus look for a special SDCC exclusive Max toy release, plus there will be a special Wonderfest – Japan release as well, all in the same weekend !
Look for the release from Collins Designs (Harper Collins) of the Ivan Vartanian’s Killer Kaiju book I contributed artwork and toys for this book and in the Fall Toy Karma 2 at Rotofugi in Chicago. And to round out the year something VERY special at Double Punch in December, marking my first Max Toy show in San Francisco along with 2 VERY special guests flying in from Japan 😉
Hmmm, who can they be ??? Stay tuned …. !
And as I mentioned above March 2010, will be back in Japan for Kaiju Comrades 2, and the Summer .. hmmm, well can not say too much now but Summer of 2010 will be something incredible .. I want to say but some of the pieces still need to come together, lets just say Kaiju will venture into uncharted waters .. in what i know will be one of the most talked about Kaiju shows yet (!!)

About toykarma

Over the years Mark Nagata has collected thousands of toys and a fair amount of titles. The man behind San Francisco-based Max Toy Company is widely known as: Toy Collector. Illustrator. Magazine Founder/Publisher. Toy Designer. Artist. Author. Husband. Father. But the one description that might fit best is an unofficial one – Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. In the Japanese-inspired art and toy area, as well as throughout the larger toy collecting community, Mark is welcomed and recognized for his personal passion and commitment to supporting artists all around the world and the unique works they create. Beginning as a collector in his youth, Mark has had for years a keen eye for great art and a personal interest in collecting that he has spread through a variety of outlets. Trained at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Mark honed his skills working for himself and for some of the most notable businesses in the country. As a freelance commercial illustrator, he completed works for such prominent companies as Lucasfilms, DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, IBM, Sony, and numerous advertising and design firms, both national and international. Mark’s colorful style graces over 40 cover paintings for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series – Give Yourself Goosebumps. After hundreds of assignments, Mark made the decision to move in another direction, and that choice has led to whole new career as a successful businessman. For four years, the owner of one of the largest Ultraman toy collections in the world co-published Super 7 Magazine showcasing the finest in Japanese toy collecting. “I’d been collecting Japanese toys all along and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them,” Nagata says. Mark’s devotion to presenting collectors with a selection of original figures inspired by classic Japanese toys from the 1960s and ‘70s as well as new versions of licensed Japanese characters is at the heart of Max Toy Company. Named for his son, Max Toys specializes in custom and limited editions of “kaiju” (Japanese monsters) toys and artwork. Many of the original toys produced are hand painted by Mark, a tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers of the past. “Since our target is the soft vinyl Japanese toy collector, which is a very small niche, our runs of toys can be extremely small,” Mark says. “Runs range from 500 pieces of one toy to just one for a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind custom figure.” Through Max Toys, Mark has taken great pains to widen the reach of his two passions – toys and art. He played a significant part in the development of the first group kaiju show in the United States. Held at the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, the “Toy Karma” Show featured detailed work from artists from Japan, the U.S. and South America. Participants marveled at the custom-painted toys and art on display. “Toy Karma” led to Mark being asked to be one of the artists spotlighted in the “Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The October 2007 show, held jointly with the Los Angeles Toy, Doll and Amusement Museum, marked the first time – in a museum setting – that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored. The exhibit featured more than 30 of Mark’s original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection. Mark continued to be at the forefront as interest in Japanese-inspired art and toys expanded in 2008. Prestigious art houses Philips De Pury and Christie’s in New York and London sold Mark’s hand-painted custom kaiju toys in its auctions, spreading this unique art and toy movement into new and uncharted areas of the art world. In 2009, Mark once again took his love of toys and art overseas this time to a receptive and welcoming audience in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Mark curated the “Kaiju Comrades” Art Show, once again bringing together artists from various aspects of the kaiju toy realm in this first-of-its-kind toy art show. The following year found Mark in Barcelona, Spain co-curating with Emilio Garcia “Kaiju Attack,” the European country’s first kaiju art show. As the growth of kaiju art and toys increases worldwide, Mark continues in his unofficial role of Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. He has written and had his artwork and toy designs included in several books and magazines, both domestic and international. In 2010, Mark served as guest lecturer on kaiju and the toy-making process at the Morikami Museum in Florida. The San Francisco resident and his art can also be spotted in the first volume of the “ToyPunks” DVD and the “Toys R Us” DVD, while the video for the number one song by Owl City “Fireflies” featured Mark’s popular Kaiju Eyezon character. During this same time period, Mark has spearheaded the “Toy Karma 2” and “Kaiju Comrades 2” shows and has plans for future shows both in the U.S. and overseas. “Max Toys allows me to produce original artwork, new toys and work directly with a lot of talented artists,” Mark says. “Max Toy is a synthesis of toys and art, both life-long passions.”
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