Some quick updates with stuff coming up in shows … First up is this one off custom of Kaiju Negora or Devil Cat Negora … my homage for the Go Nagai tribute show at Q Pop gallery. The show opens Saturday, June 1st and from their past shows will no doubt be filled with many wonderful art and toys 😉 Check out their overview on Go Nagai … I learned lots from it ;-D
and coming up at One Up Store in Japan is a show with toy maker Yamomark figures.I was sent 4 different figures to paint up .. I prefer to not mess with the toys appearance by adding extra sculpted details ( just my thing ) so decided on some nice painted details 😉
above, each figure is sprayed black and has silver spray over it .. using an airbrush and paint brush to bring out the details.
above “dry” brushing silver Monster Kolor over the bumps 😉 and jumping way ahead the final figures all sealed with a glossy coat and color change flakes. The flakes are bests een under a halogen type of light or in the Sun….
I sometimes do what I call the “Galaxy” look on these toys… the surface of this one was perfect so i was able to add some planets as well … it’s a pain when there’s rough surface detail. And as you can see each star is hand done … dot, dot, dot … repeat !
Most guys do not show the bottoms of the toys they paint, but I thought I would and to take the time to say each piece I customize has a clear coat over it from top to bottom. One reason is to me it looks sloppy to have the feet not be clear coated. But mostly it’s something i learned from the Japanese model kits I use to build in the 90s. They would put insane details and even sculpt the under side of feet or in some cases sculpt details that would be covered or glued over. I use to think why they would do that, but read that the sculptor felt by not adding these details not only would he know that they were missing but the Spirit of the model would not convey the proper feeling to the model maker and viewer. Whoa. From that point on when i paint a picture or a figure I do my best to not skimp on the process and even if 99.9% of the people looking at the figure won’t see the bottom of the toy .. I know it’s complete and the toy will know too ;-P
Anyways these all will be up for sale soon, so contact One-Up view their web site if you have any interest in them. Ok back to painting, have tons more to do for an upcoming show in Japan, SDCC 2013, Wonderfest Japan … Of those events, I’ll only be attending SDCC this year and it will be my last official appearance so hope to see you all at Rotofugi’s booth. I will keep attending these conventions but as a Fan from this point forward. But fear not I’m not exactly fading away… this will allow me to concentrate on Kaiju shows and other similar types of events.
Oh and don’t forget Toy Karma 4 in Chicago at Rotofugi .. I will be there in person 😉
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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