I came across this piece a week ago. It debuted at my very first Five Points show in 2017. I had already packed up my inventory for the show with a couple days to spare. Rather than sit around and be nervous, I got to work on what would eventually become ‘Honey’. Finishing the day before I was scheduled to leave for NYC. I posted a picture and immediately got a message from someone saying they would be at the show. And they wanted to buy it.
To be honest, that happens quite a bit. What is rare, is someone actually following through. That’s how I met my now good friend Jimi. Because he sent a friend who attended Five Points to come purchase Honey for him. Telling me it was his first designer toy purchase. And it was a piece of art compared to his Funko collection. And even years later when he stopped collecting toys and starting selling some pieces off, he still has Honey displayed prominently in his home.
So why am I telling you about Jimi lol well I was looking back in my feed for Five Points stuff because I heard another person who had purchased my work from that show had recently passed away. I am not sure exactly how and it doesn’t matter. I just know that hearing the news sucked. And I only ever saw her at Five Points shows.
Lindsey was a kind soul. She saw a piece of mine on Instagram and made an effort to stop by my booth. I am not a big artist. I certainly wasn’t then. Most people zoom past my booth on their way to other booths. But Lindsey came up and talked me for a while. Commenting on my work and asking about my dog aka Management. She was a genuinely good person. She made me feel like I was a famous artist in just a ten minute conversation. And after that first time she continued to follow me on social media and send me messages about my pieces. Even sharing my work in other toy groups trying to get people to notice me. Hearing she had passed away and so young, it was just a bummer. The world needs more Lindseys in it.
But this all got me thinking on the kind of work that I want to be creating. As much as I love doing the customs and painting up dragons etc, I miss having just a resin body and wood block in my hand and coming up with characters from scratch. I miss working with wire and trying to challenge myself with each piece to top the piece before. I want to leave behind more pieces like Honey that people can’t bear to part with.
My goal in 2021 is to get back to the art in art toy. And to experiment more with my creations. Too often I find myself leaning towards the what will sell/help me pay my bills and away from the work that truly feeds my soul. I don’t want the only good thing I do as an artist to be that I donate to rescues.