Monday, July 23, 2012

Boys and their Toys

Toys are not just for children. In fact, there is a whole world of Vinyl Toys out there geared towards adults, not children. These toys are edgy, and a real appreciation of art is required to own one and even more so to create them. Being a hub of artistic talent, it is no wonder that we house one such artiste extraordinaire here at Triggerfish Animation – Texturing Lead Frank “FrankSkullboy” Conradie. Riding the wave of the Dreams in Focus exhibition at the Exposure Gallery at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town (where Franks work was on display), here is a Q&A with Frank where he talks about his passion for Vinyl Toys and photography. Read away!

What do you do outside of your work for Triggerfish Animation?

Outside of my work for Triggerfish Animation, I try and get as much personal work done as well. Whether its 2D or 3D work, it's difficult to sit in front of a computer when you get home, so sketching and painting helps a lot – that's when I feel most creative. I also studied photography, and I'm still learning more about it every day, which comes in handy when working in 3D, especially when it comes to Texturing and Lighting. There's always room to grow and there's always a lot more to learn out there.

How did you get into making Vinyl Toys?

The first vinyl toy I created was for a collaboration event between Toitoy and PUMA called The Streets You Live On. It was in December last year and was hosted by Earl Fischoff from Toitoy, in Kloof Street. The shop is filled with vinyl toys and collector’s items, and I have been visiting it on a regular basis since it opened. Toitoy asked me if I would like to take part in the show, where I was given a pair of black PUMA sneakers as well as a Trikky custom toy to customise for the event. I also made a framed A4 print of the character to go with the show. Was fun, and I learned a lot. It's still up for display and sale at the Toitoy shop in town.

Toitoy / Puma collaboration

How did you get involved in the Dreams in Focus Exhibition?

Dreams in Focus is hosted by Simon Archer from Vinyl Destination, another local online vinyl toy shop. It is the first SA custom toy show to feature local AND international artists. I was asked to create a support piece to go with the show's main artist line up. 

What did you create for the show?

For this show, I painted a custom Foomi toy using paint markers. I've got gold paint all over my hands still.

Custom Foomi Toy

What did you hope people would take away from the Expo?

I think it's all about shedding some light on the local toy scene, which has grown quite a bit in the last couple of years and I've been very fortunate to have been part of that. And there's cupcakes and beer available, so that's reason enough to go.  The event is also a great way of raising money to help others, the proceeds going to the Red Cross Children's Hospital Trust in the Western Cape. 

What other exciting expos or events do you have coming up?

I was recently asked to be a featured artist in an online illustration event called The Shape Factory, started up by Greg Darroll from Tokyo-Go-Go, a mad talented Illustrator. Basically I had to create an image based around a simple shape that is given to you. These prints will also be framed and shown in an exhibition hosted in October in Durban. Many local and international artists have been taking part. Check out for more info on that. And next week Thursday 26th of July I will be at the Toitoy shop taking part in a customizing evening for the release of a new locally made custom toy called Bizmoggi.

The Shape Factory Print

For more information on Frank and his work, visit his blog:
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