Neo Eyezon !

I was very excited the last time I was in Japan, when at the Kaiju Comrades art and toy show, Yajima-san of Dream Rockets came up to me and showed me a nearly completed figure he just sculpted of his take on my Kaiju Eyezon figure. Wow, my jaw dropped, he’s kept most of what makes Eyezon, Eyezon, but obviously has tweaked and added his taste to it.. he dubbed it Neo Eyezon ! Neo or new Eyezon indeed !, what a thrill and of course I totally gave my blessings .. so here we are weeks away from San Diego Comic Con and Wonderfest in Japan, and Neo Eyezon will make it’s Global debut at both events ! Each event will get it’s own colorway, Yajima-san will paint the Japan one, and I will ( fingers crossed I get them in time ) paint the one for SDCC 😉 Talk about fun .. this is what I live for in the toy world .. mixing and matching ideas, making toys and best of all having a great time in the process. Don’t forget you can meet Yajima-san in person as well as Ichimiya-san ( Sun Guts ) and Matt Walker for our group show at Double Punch called Kaiju Invade San Francisco – Beikokuten ! in December 12th, 2009.
so besides the thrill of seeing other artists interpret my characters of course my other love is doing art.. so below is the process I went thru on this header card.
I actually made a mistake and used a board that was not the one I usually do, same maker but this inferior board was awful to use, and actually tore the paper in a few places that i had to repair (!) .. well it’s times like this that my years as a illustrator pay off, I’ve got so many tricks in my bag from those years .. painting with one day deadlines or making last minute changes on the fly really help when stuff like this happens.. oh ya for the young folks out there this was BEFORE Photoshop 😉
While I do use Photoshop now to make the final header cards I never use the computer to make the painting .. for me there’s only one original piece of art, that has my DNA and creativity in it and thats the original painting.. yes, Old School for sure …

the finished piece, ready for final varnish.

almost done, just working on the edges of all the elements, softening, adding highlights…mostly brush work at this point …can you see the torn parts of the board ? ugh …

add some spray to the figure and eyeballs…

hand painted in darks and med tones with paynes grey acrylic paints to figure…

so I forgot to take pics of the eyeballs and back ground.. oh well, used airbush and hand painted work.. mostly hand painted, glazed acrylic colors over the penciled base.

the start,I fully pencil all my work and lightly seal with spray fixative. Than mask off areas as i go along spraying in major colors or small details.. I will go back as seen above to tighten up areas or fade areas in our out as needed. Since this is a small piece, about 8×10 inches, and will be used as a header card for one of my toys, the design is simple and straight forward, nothing too complex since that would be covered by logos and text in the final piece anyways… I thought the idea of Eyezon flying was a no brainer, the floating eyeballs I’ve wanted to do for some time.. but was stumped about the back ground .. hmm, black , or dark blue with space stars etc .. hmm, no I’ve done those and didn’t really make sense.. of course the wife takes one look and says, do a Twlight Zone swirl thingy … Eureka ! of course … anyone who’s married out there, you know the wifes always right ;-P

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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