Lately I've been thinking a great deal about life, afterlife, purpose, and all the other things that can either excite or depress, depending on where you go with it. These thoughts naturally intertwine with the direction of my art and have caused me to analyze where my work is and where it shall be.
Over the past couple of years I have embarked upon a broad and successful journey of customizing vinyl toys. I really meant to make just one as a self-portrait but I got drawn into making more and more until I have nearly begun to bury myself in them. Before jumping to any conclusions, I am not giving up toy customization. I am, however, reducing the number of custom toys I will make starting now.
This has nothing to do with liking 2D surfaces over 3D. In fact, one of the things I would like to experiment with is sculpting. I just believe that to really reach into my soul and express the ideas that I am meant to express, I need to create completely from scratch without the base-shape of a toy dictating the look of the final product.
The vinyl toys are fun and have taught me so much about the craft of painting. I will finish the series of Beast Buddies and I will continue to customize toys for clients by commission or for exhibits, but I plan to put my focus back into the visions that are screaming for my attention. There are paintings and drawings that I just can't get out of my head and the toy platform is not going to work for these concepts. My work relies largely on scenes and backgrounds to tell a story and convey the essential emotion of a message and toys just do not provide the space for me to accomplish this.
This does not mean that I won't get inspired to customize a toy that's not for a show or a commission so don't be surprised if you see some, but for those of you who have been patiently waiting to see more paintings and illustrations, that time is manifesting as you read this.