Jon DuBose is an artist, designer and scientist who has bought new life into the art-toy + sculpture scene with both his ‘Homebrew’ paints and artistic talents.
Jon DuBose produces his own self directed art, which has been received with open arms by the scene, with ‘Tenacious Toys’ releasing Jons’ Species 246 piece as part of it’s ‘Super Series Sundays’.
(Picture below of the Watership’s Revenge Rabbit, a self directed resin piece sculpted and produced by ‘DuBose Art’)
With Jon gearing up for New York Comic Con with a slew of new releases and collaborations, now is the perfect time to get schooled.
So get to know Jon, ‘DuBose Art’ and ‘Homebrew Paints’ in the interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Jonathan DuBose + February 25th, 1981
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
Describe– a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. DuBose’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pubes:
Watching my Mom make (molding & casting) jewelry in her Jewelry Shop. Never thought that I would end up molding and casting myself.
* age 15 – pube rage:
This is when I first started playing music and became really interested in art, took every art class available at school & was a teacher’s aid for my teacher.
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
Still playing music this time semi-professionally.
A few years later we were signed to King Noize Records – still being artistic, just channeling in through a different media, I guess.That eventually fell apart, I went to repo’ing stuff out of people’s houses to pay the bills.
A few years and two guns later I decided to go back to college and focused on Graphic Design & Fine Arts. Didn’t really know what I was going to do when it was all said and done.
(Picture below of the Toxic Twisters pendants by ‘DuBose Art’)
“Make each project better than the last.” and/or “Can’t stop. Won’t stop.”
I don’t know? What do the hip kids listen to now-a-days? Seriously, all the rock and metal music from the 80s & 90s that I grew up listening to, The Mars Volta, Manson.
(Picture below of one of the many versions of the ‘Plaper + Plastick’ skull, as produced by ‘DuBose Art’)
Favorite TV show(s)?
What’s TV? I don’t really watch it. Normally I catch about 30 minutes of DVR’ed Futurama before I pass out. Occasionally I mix it up with a Predator movie.
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
I don’t really like sports, but if I had to choose I guess I’d say the Greenbay Packers, because my Dad used to play for them. True story.
Predator, in all forms and Sci-Fi, movies with cool creatures.
Favorite books and comics?
I don’t really do books…the last one I read was Jurassic Park, before the movie came out. Comics, I’d have to say The Web of Spiderman #1.
Specifics on Art
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
All of the above. It depends on the project, really.
(Picture below of Jon painting)
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (toys, drawings, paintings, anything)?
I’ve been making art in various forms since I was a kid.
I began professionally a few years ago thanks to my awesome wife who encouraged and supported my artistic shenanigans.
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
Bills need to be paid and doing what they said in High School: “Make money doing what you love.”
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
Too many years of college.
I’d have a degree if it weren’t for the damn Government classes. I just can’t sit through them.
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
Motorbot, Killer Bootlegs, Guumon, Skinner, Jon-Paul Kaiser, Casey Love and a bunch of other people I’m sure I am forgetting.
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
The unsteady paycheck… and/or devoting a ton of time, energy, money and materials into a project – just to have it flop. Man that sucks…
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Supporting my family doing what I love and the challenge of trying to create new & interesting pieces – hopefully each better than the last.
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
I think it’s a change.
A lot of two-dimensional artists are coming over to make their own three-dimensional figures and artwork. Original Toys and DIYs are great means of doing so.
(Picture below of a ‘Kid Robot‘ Dunny, customed by ‘DuBose Art’)
Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)
Dang, you ask the tough questions!
Well, self-promotion is out of the question because I hate all of my artwork. I always have the feeling that I could do better after each project.
I really dig Splurrt’s line of figures Paul Kaiju, Mutant Vinyl Hardcore’s figures – amazing detail and style. And of course the Gummon Daigomi such an interesting piece to work on.
What are your thoughts of the toy forum scene as a way for fans and artists to communicate? Is it a real ‘community’ or just virtual locker-room shit talk? I ask as we are both members of ‘Skullbrain‘…
I just recently became a member of Skullbrain so I’m not really sure how the dynamic works in the toy forums.
I am a member for several prop and costuming forms there, it’s more of a Camaraderie between makers. I think we’re comparing apples and oranges as far as forum atmospheres go though.
(Picture below of the Frost Demon resin, by ‘DuBose Art)
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter-Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
My wife doesn’t see it that way. My wife is my partner, biggest supporter and toughest critic.
But if you do, I guess you could say she’s my Wendy. Or is it Tinkerbell? Either way, she’s 100% on this ride with me, encouraging me every step of the way.
She sees it as supporting the family by doing what I really love, which ultimately, is creating and making really cool stuff. I make other things too, not just toys. Be it costumes, props, masks, etc. Although toys are about 85% of my business currently.
My other family members are also very supportive.
Jon + ‘DuBose’ Art Questions
Describe the method of making a ‘DuBose’ piece?
It depends on what I’m making and what I want the final piece to be made out of.
It usually starts off with an idea and a lump of clay. It usually ends up in a mold of some sort, depending on the final piece.
Are all your works by made by yourself? If you use collaborators, whom and in what capacity?
Unless otherwise noted, I do all of my pieces by myself, occasionally I do collaborate with other artists. Any collaboration is always noted.
I’ve collaborated with Guumon, Ocu_lar, currently collaborating with Motorbot. Future collaborations: myself and Blurble.
(Picture below of the almost finished Bat Surfer figure from ‘I Love Antix’, sculpted by ‘DuBose Art’ – to be released soon)
Your line of resin jewelry is pop-tastic! Please explain the decision in releasing jewelry, and the process involved in producing them.
I had an idea and ran with it. I’ve never made jewelry before and thought I’d give it a go.
I guess it kinda pays homage to my days in my mom’s jewelery shop as a kid…
The process consists of sculpting, silicone and resin – in most cases. 🙂
What was the process involved in collaborating with ‘Blurble’ on the production of his Sparrow resin figure? It’s a damn great piece that harks back to the hyper colour joy + sculptural weirdness that was Playmates toys in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s…
The process? Blurble emailed me with his incredible Sparrow figure. I dig his art, we hit it off & I decided to take on the molding & casting of the little fella.
(Picture below of a box of to-be-shipped Sparrow figures by ‘Blurble’, moulded and cast by ‘DuBose Art’)
(Picture below of a painted Sparrow by ‘Blurble’, produced by ‘DuBose Art’)
How did you incorporate the fur into your Rammit figures?It looks great!
Thank you for the compliment!
I really enjoy the furred-creatures, myself. I’ve worked with fur before on a few pieces, including my interpretation of the Cult-Classic Critters.
I thought it would be nice visually to mix media on the piece and quite frankly, I wanted to test out our paint on the fur – see if it would stick to it. It did. 🙂
(Picture below of some Rammit figures by ‘DuBose Art’)
‘DuBose’ General Questions
You have recently released a new paint product into the marketplace, namely ‘Homebrew’ Paints and Dyes and they are getting praise from the industry, with people such as Peter Goral AKA ‘Killer Bootlegs’, Tim Stephson, Scott Kinnebrew AKA ‘Forces of Dorkness’ and ‘Blurble’ all outspoken supporters…
(Picture below of some ‘Homebrew Paints’)
– what was the science involved in developing and producing ‘Homebrew’ paints and dyes?
Like it says on the bottle, “It’s all very scientific…” and that’s all I can say about that. 😉
– why the decision to release your own paints?
I’ve made my own paint before, ages ago (I’ve had many jobs…) I was always capable of making my own custom colors and blends.
My volume of resin production and painting has increased exponentially, so I decided to make it in-house for myself as a way to cut costs and keep providing my clients with the best price I possibly can.
Shit’s expensive and we needed a solution. HomeBrew Paint/Dye was that Soluton…
A lot of friends and fellow artists were asking me what I was using, I then made the decision to make the proper arrangements to offer it publicly.
(Picture below of a Devastator art-toy by Tim Stephson of ‘Ultimate Skull and Cobra’, painted and died with ‘Homebrew Paints’)
What was it like taking part in the Toys Are Us art show, as curated by Peter Goral AKA ‘Killer Bootlegs’ in early 2013 were you released your Hunter figure?
It was a great experience. I am honored to been a part of a show with so many stellar artists.
What was it like being involved in ‘Tenacious Toys’ Super Series Sunday for the release of your Species 246 resin figure?
I’m super happy about being a part of that series. I think there’s actually some pieces left if you want to pick one up: TenaciousToys.Com!
I’m really happy with how that piece came out. I look forward to the next Tenacious Toys exclusive.
(Picture below of the Species 246 resin by ‘DuBose Art’, released through ‘Tenacious Toys‘)
What was it like being involved in the Kickstarter campaign for the ‘Radioactive Uppercut’ 8-Ball vinyl? You painted 2 resin 1-offs for the project…
It was amazing!
John (RadioactiveUppercut) has amazing illustrations and designs, I really love his work. I’m super honored to have been able to paint two customs up.
I can’t wait for my blanks to get here so I can have fun playing with those!
(Picture below of an 8-Ball resin by ‘Radioactive Uppercut‘, painted and customed by ‘DuBose Art’)
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Currently projects with Motorbot & Blurble. And some other upcoming collaborations I can’t talk about right now. 🙂
Any major projects you want to hype man?
I guess this week’s figure: my Watership’s Revenge Rabbits. The Baron Samedi version in particular. I’m really stoked about how these figures are coming together. But, there’s no telling what will pop up or come in the mail next week!
Oh yeah, keep an eye out for a bunch of DuBose Art Pieces at NYCC.
- ‘DuBose Art’ – site
- ‘DuBose Art’ – web shop
- ‘Homebrew Paints’ – site
- ‘DuBose Art’ – Instagram
- ‘Homebrew Paints’ – Instagram