Art Whore

Art Talk – Naomi Knaff – Artist, Sculptor and Member of the ‘ToyRonto’ Art Crew

Naomi Knaff is a Canadian artist, sculptor and toy designer making hauntingly beautiful designer toys. Naomi’s works are full of her unique talent and personality – bright colours, intricate sculpts and a vibe that is equal parts violent aggression and timid woodland-creature.

Originally Naomi’s toys were all hand made out of resin, but recently she debuted her first factory made soft-vinyl toy – the Lamorrttt – to international acclaim. With the Lamorrtt being made in China through noted company ‘Planet X’.

(Photo below of one of Namo’s recently released Lamorrtt soft vinyl figures)

Commenting on what inspired her to become an artist, Naomi lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of her artist parents, and noted surreal American director David Lynch:

I had a great childhood and my parents really encouraged our imagination to develop…

When I was 14 a friend showed me Twin Peaks and I was blown away.

It was the first time a saw a story being told that way and it opened a whole new way of developing ideas.

Aside from her own internationally loved work, Naomi is also a member of the recently created ‘ToyRonto’ art-crew, a group of like-minded artists, all living in the Toronto region of Canada, who work in the medium of designer toys. We will be interviewing other members of the crew over the next few months – so stay tuned for those!

But, at this very moment, get to know one of the members of the ‘ToyRonto’ crew – the ever talented Naomi Knaff – by reading her Art Talk Interview below…

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Article – Gabriel Rivas aka ‘Nerviswrek’ Discusses his Drone Blank Figure and Custom Show

We at Art Whore have loved the designer toys of American artist Gabriel Rivas aka ‘Nerviswrek’ for over half a decade  now – and even had the pleasure of interviewing the man himself for an Art Talk back in 2014. Well, recently Gabriel revealed to the world a new Platform Toy he designed, the ‘Drone Blank’ figure.

What’s a Platform Toy I hear you ask dear readers? Well simply put it’s an unpainted toy, with a basic design that is sold for the purpose of being customed by it’s new owner. Kind of like a blank canvas in toy form. Classic examples are the Dunny and Munny figures from ‘Kid Robot’, the Qee from ‘Toy 2 R’ and now the Drone Blank from ‘Nerviswrek’ – which cost $US 25 shipped within America.

Describing the Drone Blank, ‘Nerviswrek’ states how he,

Just thought that this would be a different type of platform, one that doesn’t give you a limited platform. Most other platforms are kind of outlined for you, like coloring books. But this one I think leaves it open to a lot of different designs.

Plus I’ve been using this base for a long time in  a lot of my original work, like over 5 years.

On top of the huge news of a new, made in America resin Platform Toy – and one that is being sold for a very reasonable US $25 – is the fact that Nerviswrek has also decided to play host and curator for an upcoming group show to be held at DesignerCon / Dcon in November this year! For the show, a slew of well known and highly respected artists will get the chance to publicly display their own customed Drone Blanks, which will also be for sale throughout the show – Exactly the kind of scene building event Nerviswrek is known for.

(Photo below of the flyer for the upcoming Drone Blank multi artist custom show – Coming to DCON in November)

Well we thought it would be a good idea to find out more about Gabriel’s ‘Drone Blank’, and the associated multi-artist custom show, so as usual we asked him a few questions… Read all about it, below…

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Art Talk – Benjamin J Adams aka ‘Freak Street’

Ben Adams is an Australian artist, designer, screen printer and sculptor going by the name ‘Freak Street’. Ben creates unique work that  is imbued with a vibrant, frenetic DIY-punk-fury. It’s a style reminiscent of the 1960’s outre-comic scene, combined with the results of growing up in the 1990s – weird lines, hypercolour, drugged out dudes, surfing, monsters, pop culture references and lots of weirdos.

Ben freely admits that his style comes from a youth spent skateboarding, that one time he did hallucinogenic drugs, toys and the underground comics scene, stating:

As a youngster, all of the World Industries and Blind skateboard graphics were hugely influential, I used to draw them all day in my books at school.

In later years, discovering counter-culture artists like Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton was very eye opening, they set my drawings on a forward trajectory.

(Some art by Freak Street below)

Recently, Ben has been firing on all cylinders art wise: he set up his own screen printing studio and is taking orders; has been working on his masks and sculpts; and in epic news – has did the art for the new ‘Regurgitator‘ LP Head Roxx, and also provided the band some masks to wear onstage!

So get to know Ben and his art, by reading the Art Talk Interview, below…

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Art Talk – David Laverty of Multi-Media Art and Music Project ‘Snake in the Jar’

David Laverty is a 27 year old Australian musician and the big cheese behind multi-media music project ‘Snake in the Jar’, who have just released their debut LP Saddle Backs from Beyond the Stars.

Growing up in the Blue Mountain region of NSW, Australia in the 1990s, David got introduced to the guitar at the age of 15 and discovered his life purpose.  Soon after David began forming, and playing with a slew of heavy metal bands in the region – groups such as ‘Machine Spirit’, ‘Resonator’, ‘The Aussie Metal Knights’, ‘Sodomize’ and ‘The Moist Ones’ – gaining experience, fans and local recognition.

However, during these years David’s psyche kept returning to the idea of an epic-sci-fi-metal-multimedia project… So he worked and slaved on it for over 9 years in his spare time. Developing the universe, characters, narrative and very importantly, the music.

To bring his project to life, David recently assembled a group of musical and artistic collaborators. This motley crew has recently released their aforementioned debut album, with plans afoot to eventually release other media such as comics, books, games, cartoons and more!

Saddle Backs from Beyond the Stars, the debut LP from ‘SITJ’ is a 19 track musical concept album exploring the (mis)adventures of a bunch of space bounty hunters. It’s equal parts power metal, comedy LP and intergalactic space opera. It is made up of skits, narrative pieces and more standard form rock songs. Think ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ interpreted by a bunch of Frank Zappa loving, power-metal playing musicians… and you’re maybe half way there.

Discussing the ‘SITJ’ project himself, David states,

If Gwar, revived and kidnapped Prince, Lemmy, and David Bowie, drove back to the 80’s to steal the costumes of earth wind and fire, whilst making a pitstop for a bunch of Ren and Stimpy/Teenage mutant ninja turtles/Flash Gordon VHS tapes, plus 3 season of Rick and Morty, and went on a joy ride to the star wars universe. That would be a fairly accurate picture that defines Snake In the Jar.

Snake In The Jar is a Sci-Fi comedy about a group of alien bounty hunters (Saddlebacks) whom have this vast story packed with adventures, they main bulk of it revolves around them trying to save their universe called Aityees, from the dreaded Canaliens, who are trying to take over the universe senate, and lead to mass genocide of many races/species.

The main story begins at the birth of Snake in The Jar and ends when they ended up here on earth, of course, they have been here for a long time, however, and have influenced mankind’s history. Such as wiping out the dinosaurs, accidentally founding earth religion, inspiring many technologies of mankind. Loads of stuff…

It’s a crazy story involving many organizations and characters, there are about 50 or so main characters including the 8 illustrated in the first album: Commander Shaddrach, Headditch, Shredasaurus, Techno Shred, Agatha Fauxx, Dic, Rahh, and Dave.

With the Kickstarter successfully funded, and debut record released – now is the perfect time to get to know all about ‘Snake in the Jar’ via our interview with the creative mastermind behind it all, Mr. David Laverty, below…

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Antoinette Rydyr of ‘S.C.A.R’ – Guest Column: From Darebin to Dustbin

AKA – Discrimination at ‘Homecooked’ 2018 or How Local Creators were Banned from a Local Event Funded by a Local Council

On 2 March 2018 we received an email from Marian Blythe, the new director of the ‘Homecooked Comics Festival’ informing us that we were rejected from their event.

We wrote back expressing disappointment and let her know that we have been creating comics for over 25 years and are active members of the comics community. Of particular frustration was the fact that we had helped the ‘Homecooked Festival’ with their funding efforts yet we were blocked from this very event. We requested a reconsideration.

Marian Blythe was not interested in assisting and refused to reconsider.

(Screen shot below of Antoinette’s Facebook post concerning their rejection email from Marian Blythe)

On 18 March 2018 the ‘Australian Comics Journal’ published a news article promoting ‘Homecooked’ and focused on the director Marian Blythe.

Link: http://australiancomicsjournal.com/wp/home-cooked-comics-festival-meet-the-organisers/

I responded to that article and pointed out various inaccuracies, double standards and discrimination but Comments were closed off for fear my comments would spark “a flamewar on ACJ”. Instead, ‘ACJ’ promised that if I wrote an article about Homecooked they would publish it.

The ‘Homecooked Comics Festival’ was on Sunday 15 April 2018. It was held at the Northcote Town Hall and was funded by the City of Darebin. I wrote the article two days later on 17 April 2018. Although waiting patiently, the ‘ACJ’ has not published my article and the site now appears to have gone into semi-hiatus.

Although months have passed, the issues are not resolved and are likely to recur next year at the 2019 ‘Homecooked’. Discrimination in all its guises needs to be called out, so I’d like to thank Josh Griffiths at ‘Art Whore’ for publishing my article… Read it all, below:

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Art Whore Toy Review: ‘OEO Toys’ (Previously ‘Slave X One’) – Ancient Aliens Series – Fun Gus – Soft Vinyl – Initial Release One Off

‘OEO Toys’ (Previously ‘Slave X One’) – Ancient Aliens Mash Up Series – Fun Gus – Soft Vinyl – Initial Release One Off

  • Produced By = ‘OEO Toys’ (Previously ‘Slave X One’) – from the USA
  • Figure Name = Ancient Aliens: Fun Gus
  • Release Details = One Off
  • Material = Mexican Soft Vinyl
  • Country of Production = Mexico
  • Height = 21.5 cm (heads to feet)
  • Depth =  5.57 cm (belly to back)
  • Width =  13.5 cm (foot to foot)
  • No of Parts = 6 (body / torso + neck + two arms + two heads)
  • Released = February 2018
  • Sculpt Debut = 7th October 2017 (in wax form)
  • Release Price = $US 100 + shipping
  • Genre = Soft Vinyl Art Toy

Read the full review and pics after the jump…

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Art Talk – Will King aka ‘3310er’

Will King is an Australian creative, who, under his ‘3310er’ moniker releases wild-lined semi-autobiographical comics, many of which deal with his early life as a teenage vandal.

As an adult, Will has also turned his adult talents to illustration, digital art and set design – with a major focus on the aforementioned comics and cartooning.

Growing up in the regional town of Goulburn in NSW, Will moved to Sydney proper as a young adult and has recently relocated once more – this time to a small-town in Northern NSW (location undisclosed).

When asked to explain his interest in all things art – Will thanks his mother, stating:

My mum would be my biggest influence – She was a graphic designer before I was born and when I was a small child she was making and painting clothes before she got sick…

One things that definitely influenced me with comics was the birthday present I got just before going into year 7. Mum had asked what I wanted for my birthday, I had no fucking clue so I said “I dunno…comic books”. She got me this box of late 90s comics that were all these dark as shit experimental story arcs that just blew my mind.

She’d always buy me art supplies as presents, when I’d stay at her house i’d do tags in my room or in the laundry like a normal fuckwit kid and she never really tried to stop me bless her.

(Some art below by Will depicting him and his mother hooning around on her mobility chair)

With Will constantly pushing his art, and an appearance in Australian indie comic anthology ‘Hash Brown Comix’ in the works, now is the perfect time to get to know both the man and his art, by reading the Art Talk Interview, below…

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Art Talk – Christian “Bees” McGowan of ‘Pigeon Comics’

Christian ‘Bees’ McGowan is a major young American artistic talent who can go from sculpting a perfectly detailed dragon, to painting beautiful watercolours of animals, to drawing hilarious cartoons featuring vomit in a single day. She is a veritable Renaissance-woman!

We discovered Bees’ and her work through Mr. Chance Priest of ‘Victory Comics’ – as Bees has collaborated extensively with Chance on his art toys, painting figures, character art, display backgrounds and more.

Aside from her work with Chance, Bees has an interest in animation, runs her own comic brand – ‘Pigeon Comics’ – and works in almost every artistic medium known to man.

Whilst capable of being aesthetically varied as mentioned, all of Bees’ vast and varied catalogue of works are soft yet strong, feminine yet tenacious, full of movement and detail; and oh so damn funny. We fell in love immediately and know you will too!

Explaining what led her to become an artist, Bees states:

When I was around 4 years old, I saw a behind the scenes clip of Disney’s “The Lion King” where a group of artists were sitting in front of a wall of tiny drawn out thumbnails and I was entranced.

 How could thousands of these small drawings become one big movie?? I had to know!

I’ve been drawing ever since.

(Some Overwatch inspired art by Bees below)

Wanting to know more about her work, we asked Bees some questions about working with Chance, growing up, love, sex, gaining a foothold in the art scene; and much much more! Read all about it, via the Art Talk Interview, below…

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Art Talk 2 – John Bailey of ‘Wage Slaves’

We first interviewed American artist John Bailey back in 2015. Back then he bared his hoverboard loving soul to the world, revealed his 5th grade masturbatory habits and spoke of his interest in proficient rap artist Eminem . Since then he has continued to use his art to purge his feelings of hatred, spotted a UFO and importantly released the 4th issue of his ongoing comic saga – ‘Wage Slaves’ – upon the world.

(Some art from Vol. 4 of ‘Wage Slaves’ below)

Recently, John contacted us wanting to catch up, share his latest comic with you, our dear readers; and generally talk some smack. And being the obliging types… well… we obliged.

So get back up to speed with John by reading his 2nd Art Talk Interview, below…

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Art Talk – James M. Wisniewski aka Jim Wiz

James M. Wisniewski aka Jim Wiz is a self described life-long working artist hailing from America who has been active in the industry for over 40 years now – beginning in the early 1970’s. In that time Jim has worked in advertising, cartooning, story-board art and greeting cards – all whilst also being involved in the comic book industry. There he has also worked for years as a character model for his friend and fellow artist Mr. Alex Ross, worked on his own works and also notably on the ‘Ghostbusters’ comic series.

Indeed Jim is living proof that you can not only make a living as a full time commercial artist but also have a whole lot of fun along the way.

Now after a lifetime of primarily working for others, Jim has recently semi-retired and is finally spending time working on his many personal projects – stating:

I’VE N-E-V-E-R,  E-V-E-R, BEEN SO CAPABLE AND CREATIVE. THINGS I WANTED TO DO YEARS AGO, I NOW DO.

I’M WRITING, ILLUSTRATING MY OWN STORIES FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND AM BUSY WITH LESSER PAYING WORK, BUT IT’S ENOUGH BETWEEN MY WIFE’S THING AND ME.

I AM DRUNK ON CREATIVE HAPPINESS, AND PRODUCING ART.

I’M 66, AND JUST GETTING STARTED ALL OVER AGAIN. I MEAN HOW COOL IS THAT?

Jim, it is very cool indeed sir! Inspiring even.

Now we must here admit that we discovered Jim’s art thanks to our ego… we were trawling the internet one day for mentions of well… ourselves, and stumbled upon a brilliant cartoon depiction of an ‘Art Whore’. It was vibrant, sexy, funny and unique. We fell in love immediately. From there we found Jim on Facebook, sent a friend request and promptly begged for an interview. Which he was happy enough to oblige us with!

(The very art that made us fall in love with Jim, below)

So without further ado, read all about the life of Mr Wiz in his illuminating, funny and very insightful Art Talk Interview, below…

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