Gallery: DesignerCon 2013

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Gallery: DesignerCon 2013

Hitting the Pasadena DesignerCon this past Saturday was an awesome experience. The amount of artistic talent and creativity in that hall was just staggering. Check out our huge photo gallery from the event!

(Artists and/or vendors are listed with each photo, and below the gallery you’ll find a link to each artist or vendor mentioned. If I’ve missed some or gotten something wrong, leave me a message below and I’ll fix it right away. I got so caught up in taking photos, I didn’t always remember to grab a business card.)

If you’re not familiar with designer toys, don’t worry, neither was I. I first noticed them in Portland galleries in 2007, though they’ve been around a lot longer than that. I came away with an impression of limited-edition figures (never more than 200 produced, sometimes as few as 10), always a little on the strange side, many of them downright beautiful.

And rabbits. There seemed to be a lot of big-headed rabbits.

Going to a Con like this is the best way to learn what’s going on with all of this amazing art. For anybody not familiar with the scene, here’s a quick summary. (For anybody who is familiar with the scene…can you contact me? I’ve got questions. Lots of questions.)

Some designers take pre-made base figures (made from a soft, smooth vinyl) and customize the heck out of them. Many of the rabbits are a popular Dunny style, produced by Kidrobot, though those are always sold with designs already printed on them. There’s also Munny, Trikky, Foomi, Raffy, and other figures, sold without any designs on them, for artists to customize. There are many more figures from different companies sold as blank canvases that artists turn into their own creations.

But that’s only a portion of the work you’ll see at a Con like this. There are paintings, jewelry, plushies, buttons, dioramas, polymer clay sculptures, LEGO creations, clothing, and tons more. Some of them are completely from the artist’s own mental world, some of them are wonderful takes on pop culture figures (Boba Fett seems to be incredibly popular.)

While you can find a lot of these vendors at bigger conventions like Comic-Con and WonderCon, seeing so many of them in one place is mind-blowing. Plus the Pasadena Convention Center is more than big enough to hold all of them, without the craziness you’ll see in some of the big Cons. As a friend of mine commented “It’s like Comic-Con. Except you can walk.”

I highly recommend checking this convention out next year. And bring money. It’s worth it.

Clear Dripple – Bad Juju
Dark Snow White – GOIN
Day of the Dead Anatomy
Shark Fin Soup
Heisenborg – Man-E-Toys
99 Deaths of Jar Jar – DKE Toys
99 Deaths of Jar Jar – DKE Toys
Hitchhiking Jedi – Popzilla Gallery
Ivy and Catwoman – Popzilla Gallery
Custom Monster
Loving Succulent – Susuten
Walking Dead Diorama – Jackorama
Walking Dead Diorama – Jackorama
The Last Empire – Jackorama
Smoking Tuttz – Spanky Stokes
Gridwork Golem
Maneki Neko skeleton cat – CroKittyCats
Sew Say We All – Team RoboRoku
Seahorses 1 – Rawrz Toys
Seahorses 2 – Rawrz Toys
Giant 10-doh – Squid Kids Ink
Pony Carousel – NRB Relic
Egyptian Pony Carousel – NRB Relic
Felt R2D2 – Wool Buddy
Skull stick-shift heads – Denise Saffren
Felt Rabbit Thor – Fat Rabbit Farm
Kudakitsune from xxxHolic – Gojowind
Iron Man – Wrong Galleries
Day of the Dead Darth Vader by Obscure – Angry Koala Gear
MoFo – Carson Catlin
Munch Munch – Shadow Delgado
Paw Fett – Avatar666
Paw Fett – Avatar666
Bronze Ovok – Oddfauna
Oddfaunas – Oddfauna
Mini Robot – Cultured Critter Collective
Kikkosket Dunny – Sket One
Sketracha Dunny – Sket One
Hand Painted Surf Board
Hand Painted Surf Board Detail
Les Viandardes – McBess
Spirited Away Sootball Ornaments – Le Petit Elefant
Squid Plushies
Dunny T.I.E Fighter – Jason Chalker
Gunny Series 2 – Josh Mayhem
Inside the Con
I eats flowers – Ink It Labs x Onorio Depiro ( to inquire)
LEGO Dragon – Bryce McGlone
LEGO White Horse of Rohan – Remi
Self-Medicated – Munky King
Steampunk Gizmo Duck – Tim Wollweber
Mercenary Custom Squadt – MannyXRomero
The Super Suckset – BAIT
Full Metal Pony – Blood and Teeth
Iron Man Mouse – Wrong Galleries
Donnie Darko Rabbit
Wolverine Asics – BAIT
Smiling Blue Squirrel “Pint” – Lyla Warren
Magic Narwhal – Kozyndan
Magic Narwhal – Kozyndan
Scribe at work
Rogue – Jeremy Dale
Gas Mask Minion – Drilone
Jessica Rabbit Fine Art – Popzilla Gallery
Wooden King Fu Master – Hyperactive Monkey