My painting for the Peace Project show
represents my vision of the Goddess of Peace. Half Dove and half Women this Goddess hovers between the Earth and the Stars hoping for Peace for Mankind.
Title: Peace Goddess
Artist: Mark Nagata
Media: Acrylic paints on 20×24 inch canvas
Monster Kolor clear coat varnish
Date: Sept 2012
Here’s some pics of my process for this show. I was sent this canvas and the only direction was the subjects of Peace and Love.At first i thought hmmm, how shall i paint a Kaiju into this ;-P but the more i thought about it Kaiju seemed to me to be too self serving … while Peace and Love seem to be out of fashion these days, it’s something the World could definitely use much more of.
If you look closely you’ll see that the way I posed the figure with the circles and birds is loosely in the shape of the Peace symbol.
The painting will be auctioned off in Japan. I’ve donated the proceeds to help the Earthquake and Tsunami victims in Japan.
while 99% of the time I know exactly what I’d like to paint.. i gave this one a bit more time to thing about how I wanted to convey the subject of Peace … mostly I wanted a more classical feel and not some Kaiju stepping on buildings ;-P
the image of a dove head and woman’s body appeared to me in a dream … so with that idea in my mind I started out sketching onto the canvas. For better or worse, I rarely do thumbnails of full sketches prior to painting… I did draw a few Dove heads from the internet but mostly to get the shape down …
basic sketch on the canvas
adding clothing over the figure and adding some graphic elements
at this point the sketch for the figure is done and the doves flying below are blocked
the sides have been painted, here the middle section is masked off along with the figure to spray the sky. I try to work from the back ground forward when painting.
Sky is almost done at this point
all the masks are taken off so i can see how the back ground is working .. so far, so good …
figure is sprayed .. I’ve gone dark so i can pull of the mid tones and highlights ..but I want the figure to remain fairly dark over all …
the next few pictures I’m bring out the doves, the figure and clouds …
a close up of the detail work …. by the way not shown I’ve added gold leaf to the 3 circles …
at this point I’m pretty much done .. slight adjustments .. but the deadline is near .. so I’m done ;-P
Using Monster Kolor Clear Coat with a soft brush to appy the final varnish .. this step seals in the paint but also brightens and give more depth to the painting … although the depth is something that you would only see in person.
Many thanks for Akashi-san, President of Medicom for this wonderful opportunity and as always Yo Miyamoto for this ongoing help and encouragement.
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.”