If you follow my work on social media, lately it probably seems like I’m doing a lot more painting than I am making toys. But that is because I haven’t been able to share the work I am doing behind the scenes or the big news that comes with it. Until now…
The journey of creating designer toys hit a pivotal moment in early 2015 for me….
I was working as a 911 dispatcher, just doing art on the side with the goal towards making it a full time thing, when I posted my first custom vinyl figure on social media. It was the third vinyl custom I had ever painted but really the very first where I wasn’t trying to imitate anyone else’s style. Or trying to do what I saw other artists doing. It was purely me, painting the way I do on canvas but on a three dimensional figure.
Adding the wire work in there is another story for another time. But “Cheesecake in a Straight Jacket” made its debut on Instagram in June. Not long after, one of my favorite artists Brandt Peters, ‘liked’ the picture. Call me crazy, but that one simple thing changed everything for me. I suddenly believed in myself as an artist. I realized how much I absolutely love creating and I didn’t want to do it part time anymore. I quit my job as a dispatcher shortly thereafter. And 5149 & 1/2 Art was born…
Along with the dream of working my way towards having my work shown at the gallery Brandt and his wife Kathie own, Stranger Factory
Flash forward to February 2018…
Brandt Peters and his wife Kathie Olivas were coming to Wootbear in San Francisco for a show. Now I had seen them at different toy shows prior to that point but never had the nerve to actually go up and speak to them. This was my chance to do that.
After about an hour of trying to work up the nerve to go over, several pep talks from my husband and fellow artist friends, and uncomfortably finagling my way through groups of people also trying to do the same thing, I was finally standing next to Brant Peters.
Like any good socially awkward artist, I totally fan girled it and did the whole ‘you totally changed my life spiel’. He was super humble and gracious about it, gave me a big hug and talked to me for me a while on a whole range of topics. Later, I was able to meet Kathie. Who was way more intimidating. This woman is an amazing artist and carries herself like Katharine Hepburn walking into a room. Her presence dominates and she is so put together without coming off arrogant. Basically this woman is The Shit.
Talking to her I was equally nervous and lacking in eloquence. Luckily, I was able to share some pictures of my work and that did the talking for me. She asked me to email her some more examples of my work for possibly participating in a group show in June.
Several weeks later I got the good news….
My dream of having some of my work in Stranger Factory is about to come true. I will have several pieces in a show starting June 1st called Toy Makers of Planet Earth.
As the show approaches, I will be sharing more of the work. But for now, this is all you get….