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Oct 16, 2006

Pictoplasma Conference Wrap-Up

Day 3: Today yielded less pictures than yesterday but a wealth of information. We headed out to find a few of the cool shops we had listed to check out first thing in the morning, then returned to the Festspiele for more inspirational lectures from the great and good in the afternoon. Dutchman Wayne Horse was cool despite having to present amongst a host of technical errors. His work has a surrealist slant to it, particularly pleasing was his live action Elephantos character who sports a Mexican wrestler mask complete with elephant trunk, underpants and sports socks. That description is bound to lose something in translation but it all had to be seen to be believed, really funny. Next up was Pete Fowler who gave us all pretty much a complete rundown of all his past projects from early small scale toy figures with Sony Creative to his artwork with Super Furry Animals and latterly The Magic Numbers and Kia. Top stuff. There was an awesome presentation from the guy from Shoboshobo (introduced by Friends with You) whose name escapes me. He does a lot of spontaneous, seemingly stream of conscience doodles and also makes one off sweaters sporting his designs.His sound advice was to never throw any sketches away. This whole conference is incredible because it's so open and the artists are all really friendly and approachable.

We also marveled at the surreal cavortings of Friends with You who were resplendent in white suits and red masks (after first appearing through the medium of dance in weird wedding dress kind of affairs), one of the guys was wearing a plastic poodle on his head, again, a difficult mental image to convey without the supporting photos but that darned theatre is pretty gloomy. They revealed the design of their first children's play park called Rainbow Valley and also their plans for a giant blimp parade on Miami beach, crazy fools but very creative, loving, crazy fools!

We just got back from the Pictoplasma party across town, a VJ set accompanied proceedings but i reckon there will be a few sore heads in the morning, perhaps mine included if I don't turn in soon. Come out here next year, really, it's like purpose built character heaven. Even if the focus is not always on the vinyl scene the wealth of creativity out there is a real inspiration. Where's my sketchbook?

Having failed to keep a diary for the rest of the show, possibly due to the 'rock and roll all night and party ev-e-ry day' nature of the beast, I've attached a ton more photos instead. There were so many exhibitions in town that we were really short for time, we saw the Character Paintball at 'Bastard' as window shoppers because it was closed when we got there.

We are all full of inspiration and such great memories of the events of the past few days, it was amazing to see heroes up on stage talking so freely about what makes them tick and giving away gems that really make sense of a body of work like Gary Baseman explaining that 'Toby' was actually a female baby-sitter he had when he was a kid or Tim Biskup (my hero) enlightening us about his state of mind, the 'Helper' and how he sees the helpers role as being sent to do people's dirty work (hence the axes!).

Nathan J was also really charismatic, giving the quirky back story to his Scary Girl universe (the Scary Girl character is based on his daughter and his strong sense of family really informs the Scary Girl universe) he also let slip that he is working with Kidrobot on the next series of Scary Girl figs which all look really desirable(are we allowed to show those prototypes? [ed: yup]) and showed rough clips from the animation.  In memory of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, Nathan kindly provided StrangeCo-produced crocodile figures to the audience.

Jazz from The London Police was a real star too, his presentation was really funny and afterwards he remained on stage (as Baseman gave his presentation) and drew a super-size piece, perfect freehand circles and all.

The 3 guys from Eboy told how their style was initially invented when the internet was a primordial swamp and could only carry teensy files really slowly so they developed the pixellated style where each tile uploaded individually. They are also working with a certain, world famous toy company on Eboy figures but I'm not sure how top secret the project is? I've uploaded some photos anyway and I suppose there were hundreds of people in attendance who could break the silence so please don't sue me! Eboy also showed their own prototypes of blocky wooden toys, truer to the signature Eboy style than the planned KR series but they admitted that manufacturing problems arose so dev. is on hold. Furi Furi showed work from a charity custom rabbit show they did, we saw wicked comic book illustrations of Rabbit Mummy and vinyl toys from the same property and they also screened animations and showed how their recent Nike advert was styled by dismantling sneakers and building characters from the panels.

There were too many other highlights to mention though I admit that we didn't quite get to see all of the presentations, a great big thank you to all contributers, the artists religiously attended every speech, quite an achievement after some of the social events of prior evenings!

-Triclops Robotboy + Triclops Accomplices

[ed: Many thanks to the Triclops crew and Robotboy in particular for the amazing Pictoplasma Conference Coverage from Berlin.]

Click Below for the 100+ pics in the full post ;-)

Posted by Jack @ 04:01 PM in Shows | Permalink  | Comments (4) |


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it's chaz, not jazz....

it was jazz, hip and the hop, rock'n'roll all rolled into one.
Thanks for the update. Brilliant stuff.
As camp as it seems, the Pictoplasma idea of the family (not the Corleones) feels right, doesn't it?

Sorry, I only heard Chaz's name and didn't get to see it written down until down, d'oh! thanks for setting me straight (at least as far as Chaz's name goes).....

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