Japan trip 2012 KONATSUNAGATA art show part 4

Here’s part 4 about my recent trip to Japan, for my 2 person art show with artist Konatsu and Max Toy stuff.
Its Sunday and today will be the last day of the show. Most of the sales are done, but we expect more friends and artists to stop by to say hello. Also a live painting demo is scheduled .. well I’m not painting however Konatsu will be and I guess I’ll just doodle as my demo.

Ah, the trailer for the new Ultraman movie  😉 Cool ! I’ll be seeing that the next day … but time to get going to Design Festa Gallery !

I’m unfortunately first to get started so I start in .. about an hour later this is the result ;-P Copic markers on bristol board. To my horror the piece is put up for bid in front of several collectors who have gathered  ;-P It sells for 7000 yen … more than I thought !

Of course the main attraction is artist Konatsu, who is use to such demos and has a board and easel at the ready ! What unfolds over the next 40 minutes is a classic example of what a very talented artist can do ! But seeing is believing .. so i did this quick video of her process .. it’s about 12 minutes and sorry for the not so great angle .. but you get the idea .. she’s a pro !

Konatsu uses Japanese ink on rice paper that has been mounted to a wooden board with various Japanese brushes. I thought it was interesting that you could hear a pin drop for the whole demo .. it was so quite ! In the US, I don’t think it would be so quite … !

The end result is this amazing art of Kaiju Negora battling Big Fish ! I’m so happy to say that she gave me this artwork !!!! It’s on it’s way back from Japan and I already have a place for it in my living room !
Honored to have the President of Medicom Toy to stop by the show despite his very busy schedule .. here we posed in front of the amazing flowers he had sent for the shows opening !
The day went by so fast and soon the last custom Negora i did finally sold and the show was over.
We have to pack up and clean up the gallery. After a year of planning I think we had a very successful show but I was very glad to be moving on .. to dinner ! Haha … I bid Konatsu farewell and artist Tulip arrived as did Makino-san, so we all went out to grilled food .. by this point my pants and hoodie will forever reek of grilled food !

I have to say this particular dinner was one of the better ones I had while in Japan .. too bad you can’t smell or taste it ! Sorry to my veggie friends .. but it was so good.
I forgot to mention the night before there was a earthquake in Tokyo, too ! As I was watching TV a small red graphic appeared in the corner of the broadcast … I was thinking hmmm is that an earthquake warning ? Sure enough in about 30 seconds the room started shaking .. not too bad .. and I’m use to them living in San Francisco .. but thought how cool that they actually had a few seconds warning ! Although being on the 7th floor of this hotel, I wouldn’t be able to do anything … so lets recap, cracked airplane window, earthquake, no spare pants and …..
Lucky me there was a Typhoon headed towards Tokyo, too .. by the time we got out of dinner there was a mad dash to the subways .. I didn’t know but in severe weather the trains will stop .. so with that we all said good night early and jumped on trains. As I got off my train and rushed back to the hotel it was pouring Cats and Dogs ! I was soaked … in all the commotion I could not find my phone, either ! I looked for an hour and finally in disgust gave up and pick up my backpack to move it … of course, there was the phone ! Yes, I’m officially OLD …
Tomorrow is a fun day, Ultraman movie and visiting the new OneUp store in Akihabara !
I fall asleep quickly and wake briefly around 4 am, thinking I see a black shadow moving towards me .. I’m so tired I don’t care and go back to sleep ….

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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