On Saturday May 16th, Chuckwa will be hosting a custom group art show to celebrate the release of Urban War Fair's new vinyl toy Skully. I will have a custom Skully and a Skully-inspired plush deer in the show!
This is my second vinyl toy custom (my first custom was a Nathan Jurevicius jellyfish painted at a workshop hosted by the Magic Pony in Toronto. Actually come to think of it, I also painted a Snorse but never got around to finishing it, so that one doesn't count. :P). I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with the blank Skully at first, but I knew that I wanted to use pink and blue paint and keep part of the white base showing.
I have to admit, the contrast in Skully's eye sizes threw me off at first. Some of my early sketches had an eyepatch over Skully's large eye, and at one point the eye became a huge heart. I was working long hours at the time and my personal inspiration was not flowing like I had hoped for this project. Strangely enough, my final design ended up evolving into what it is as I sat down and started to paint it. I haven't used acrylic paints in almost a year (holy crap, has it really been that long?! o_O), and re-connecting with this medium again really made me conscious of both the paint's flowing liquid form and design potential. I literally had to get in touch with my paint and paintbrush again in order for the inspiration to come back. I was instantly inspired to create a freshly dripped look throughout my Skully's design. I wanted the star and the left eye to look like a glob of paint had dripped on the custom and accidentally (and coincidentally) made the star and circle shapes. After I had finished painting the drips, it felt natural to give the large eye sight since the small eye was blind. The large right eye was directly inspired by retro styled cartoon eyes (like Felix the Cat, etc), and the smiling mouth was added to make it look like a cute and friendly skull. :)
The final look reminds me a bit of the Pac-Man ghosts mashed up with a pink & blue marshmallow from my favourite cereal in the world: Lucky Charms. I ended up naming my Skully: "Delicious Drip".
I also made a Skully-inspired plush deer for the show. I didn't have any trouble with what I wanted to do for the custom deer, probably because I make deers so often. I knew that I wanted to make this deer look slightly different from the typical deer I sell in my Etsy shop, and I wanted to choose a colour combo I've never used before.
I wanted this deer to be edgy and stand out so I went for a bold pink and black for the body. I also wanted to give her a punk look with a fur mohawk. I went to my local fabric store and hand selected the best white fur I could find (I was actually quite disappointed with their fur selection in general, so one of my goals is to find good fur in various colours). The white fur is pretty nice, I like how long it is, and it can be spiked or pushed back/forward. I gave her a white nose to compliment her white hair.
Then I sketched out the Skully logo by hand on a piece of paper, cut it out and used it as the pattern for the symbol's final design. Then I hand-embroidered the black eyes, nostrils and red star onto the mini Skully and glued it onto the deer's body. I added white dots on the reverse side to keep it consistant with my regular deer symbols. I named her "Skully Deer" after the toy she was inspired by. I really like how the mohawk turned out, so expect a few more punk-styled deer in the future! :)
Delicious Drip and Skully Deer will both be for sale at the Custom Mini Skully Show. :) The opening reception is on Saturday, May 16th at Chuckwa (in Fullerton, CA) and the show will run until June 4th. Unfortunately, I will still be in Canada during the opening, but I plan on checking it out when I'm back in LA. There are going to be a lot of great customs there by a lot of talented artists, so I suggest you stop by if you're in the neighbourhood! :)