Lance aka ‘Renone’ of ‘Renone Labs’ is an American artist, designer, publisher, scene builder, and all round creative mensch who work has been blowing our minds for many years now. His most recent project is ‘Rotten’ – a gang of artists and misfits who create toys, stickers, art, apparel and more.
(Photo below of a toy version of Lance’s well known Minion character)
Seeing as though it has been over four years since we last spoke with Lance, we decided to hit him up for a catch up interview to get up to speed with all his current projects, work with ‘Rotten’, thoughts on the art toy game, his artistic process, and a whole lot more.
Read it all, below….
It’s been four years since we last spoke on the record man! So… Recent life events you have to share with us – Pregnancies? Divorces? Jobs etc?
No new life events. But I do have something I am working on that’s pretty major.
New Job in California. You’re the fist to hear it!
Any other news, gossip or tales you would like to share with our readers?
Yes. I am moving to California to make stuff full time.
You and the ‘Rotten’ gang seem to be a close new collective:
* For those reading at home – please explain the who, what and why of ‘Rotten’?
When me and @rotten_kid first decided to join forces the name was the hardest part.
We went thru a couple of different ones but kept coming back to “rotten”.
* What is your role within ‘Rotten’ both officially and un-officially?
I guess you could say I am Partner and Creative director .
* Who else is involved in ‘Rotten’ and what do they each bring to the table?
Rotten Crew is me @rotten_kid and @willydigitalsculpting
(A photo below of Lance and Rotten Kid)
Art and Toy Questions
Please describe your current process for producing your designer toys? – from original sculpt, moulding, production, to finally holding that sweet sweet finished product in your hands… (dot point all o.k.)
First step is an idea. Here lately I have been trying to non IP Stuff.
Second is 3d sculpting
Third is printing of the sculpt
Fourth is molding
Fifth is casting
Final step is the reward
(Photos below of Petunia Rotten, and a figure in her likeness from Lance and the ‘Rotten’ gang)
There are lots of issues and controversy in the art toy scene surrounding bootlegs, knock-offs and mash-ups… So to get some of that on the record:
* What to you are the differences between bootlegs, knock-offs and mash-ups?
I’m going to go out on a limb and answer this how I feel…
There is really only two to me: Bootlegs and Kit-Bash.
A bootleg is when you take someone else’s property and recreate it in anyway and profit from it.
Kit bash is when you take existing parts and make what you want . You bought the parts but assembled them how you wanted.
* Are there any rules in the resin art toy scene?
I think my wave has rules…
There should always be a certain amount of respect. When I was bootlegging toys or trying to make “pun” toys I always Google searched what I was working on to make sure I didn’t do what had been before. I wanted to create something original. Something different.
The new wave I see making things that have already been done to death.
I just made a tribute to R2 leg Bootlegs.
* What to you separates an ‘art toy’ aka ‘designer toy’ from a regular mass produced toy?
I think they are all art toys.
These things aren’t being played with in the literal sense. They are displayed and photographed. Treasured.
(An art toy from Lance below)
Who are some designer toy makers currently blowing your mind? And what are they doing that is so appealing to you?
@alexmdc great artist that is doing it all himself.
@unboxindustries love what they are doing.
@richpage another one man show turning out amazing stuff.
@motleymiscreations he has come so far and his work is amazing.
And lots of guys I failed to mention because my brain couldn’t think.
Are art-toys for the kids?
They are for whoever wants them.
(A Drone Blank figure by Nerviswrek – customised by Lance below)
Thoughts on the current state of the American Resin Designer Toy Scene?
It’s at a crossroads for sure. I think progression has kinda stopped. At least for me . Which is why I have started making so much other stuff.
What are the top 3 toys you own?
1000 toys iron giant.
What impact do you think 3D sculpting and printing is having, and will have, on the art toy scene?
For me it was a game changer.
If I can think it I can make it in usually a night or a couple nights.
If people wanted to collaborate, work with you or just buy some art – how should they get in touch?
- Renone Lab – Instagram
- Renone Lab – twitter
- Renone Lab – Online Store
- Rotten Kid – Instagram
- Petunia Rotten – Instagram
- Willy Kao – Instagram