Following is an interview of Kilroy III of Kilroy's Attic by guest blogger, Teressa J. Wilkes. She asks about his inspiration, his guidance and his introduction as a newbie into the designer toy world.
TJW: SO KILROY III, PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST. A PRINCE AMONG RESIN KINGS? WHO IS KILROY III?
KILROY III: Hmmm, who am I? Perhaps somewhere between a jester and a courtier among kings... Lately I’m a very ADD tinkerer of sorts. So I’d say I’m an artist in my exploration phase. I have many ideas that seem connected only by that theme. I’m working with a lot of creators who seem to have more of a concentration & polished execution, so I’m wondering if that’s where I need to get.
TJW: SO, YOU’RE AN ARTIST IN HIS EXPLORATORY PHASE...I DON’T THINK YOU ARE ALONE IN THAT... WHAT MEDIUMS ARE YOU WORKING IN AND HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ANYTHING INTERESTING?
KILROY III: I started off as a resourceful sculptor... working in any medium that was lying around my house..cardboard, foam, paper... I eventually graduated to working in metals and now resin. I have recently been introduced to the designer toy world... but I wouldn’t describe my pieces as toys... I am still trying to figure that out...
The designer toy world has been a welcome contrast to the standard patterns of expression pervasive in today’s watered-down, formulaic refuse. I don’t know if it’s fatigue, standardized compliance, or just souls dying, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to appreciate the execution of many efforts. I guess nothing is new other than our ever growing awareness of the void.
I’d like to contribute to filling that void somehow...
KILROY III: Yes. Void. Not long ago, I watched a particularly bad film that utilized an extraordinary gimmick. Lasers were bounced off the surface of a rotating Ming vase, in order to resonate the invisible surface textures. These sounds represented the overlapping mandarin conversations of the artisans that crafted the vase some 400 years ago.
If we took those lasers & bounced them off the mass-produced items around the home, would we hear factory workers complaining of carpel tunnel or the clack & clatter of machinery. Who can say that we don't hear & feel that now regardless of recognizing the source or their daily impact.
Without the constant reminders of human touch delivered in the handmade, I believe that resonance we hear & feel in the mass-produced is called one thing; loneliness.
We don't need lasers to detect that...
TJW: WELL, HOW HAVE YOU TRIED TO FILL THAT VOID & ARE YOU FINDING SUCCESS?
KILROY III: Two of my first pieces were puzzle locks... a turtle and a dragon turtle locket. I also developed a working beetle pipe, Sir John, and a hippo mech ring for my sister who loves hippos. My latest solo creations have been my dragon, pirate ship and skull rings... I am all over the place and deliberately so... hence the name Kilroy’s Attic... a home for all my random creations...
Lately I’ve been collaborating with other creators & their influences have raised so many questions for me. I use to just steamroll through executing an idea without pause. When you collaborate that sh#t doesn’t fly. Whether it was waiting for input, or handing over a part of the project, I’d find these forced moments for reflection, that I initially devalued as wasted time & effort. However, slowly but surely those moments have had huge impacts on the work & on myself.
Whether I’m succeeding, I’ll let my mom be the judge of that.
TJW: SO WITH WHOM ARE YOU COLLABORATING NOW?
Well, I’ve collaborated with Master creator, Grey Williamson, president of Carbon-Fibre Media on his Apollo & Val-Mar resin sculpts as well as the Renegade Obama bust. That was a couple years back, but truth be told, that was my first real collaboration. And I really gleaned an incomparable mass of ah-ha’s from those projects.
Currently though I’m working with both Grey & Carbon-Fibre Media’s newest designer Onjena. We’re merging Onjena’s toy robot design, the O'bot with the intergalactic epic graphic novel, Neon Son.
TJW: NEON SON O’BOTS? WHAAA...?
KILROY III: Yes. We are taking the main characters from the Neon Son crossover and turning them into O’bots... These characters are warriors in a post-apocalyptic battle-weary world... so the transformation to a cute robot has been interesting in that it works... cute and tough... a new combination like the sixth savory taste... umami...
I’m also working on our Ghost in the Bot... an O’bot with an actual skeleton... It's part of our Halloween series...
It’s been a whirlwind of discovery & fun. I’m quite proud of the results & revelations so far.
TJW: WHAT ARE THESE REVELATIONS TO WHICH YOU’RE REFERRING?
KILROY III: Well, Grey’s work is always inspiring and innovative and really just impeccable. But those aware of Grey, expect that perhaps a little too nonchalantly. But the ability to adapt his concepts & apply them to diverse expressions really opened my eyes.
And then there’s Onjena. She came out of nowhere with her O’bots. I say nowhere because it took a few moments before I got it. She has written a few children’s books starring four sibling “O’babybots.” Now I clearly see that it comes from somewhere and that somewhere reflects our shared upbringing & beliefs.
I’m proud & honored to bring these collaborations into the tangibly shared realm.
TJW: CAN YOU SHARE DETAILS OF THIS TRI-COLLABORATION?
KILROY III: Actually it’s more like an octo-collaboration. Eric Nocella Diaz, founder of GoldMane Entertainment, has his fingerprints & invaluable guidance in this. His body of work & knowledge is another treasure trove that I’ve been blessed to reference, both artistically and technically... from his Tuttz, to his monster pieces to his skulls... His guidance goes back to the first three busts I worked on with Grey. I remember trying to cast air-bubble-free busts in the middle of a rainstorm in August in my cellar/studio... Yeah...that was a painful lesson... I had a lot to learn and still do...
There’s also Rodney Jackson, artist and architect of the DONŪ Art Movement.. a kind of a mash up of hip hop, anime, comics and cinema. I worked with him on Rocko Rocket resin sculpts for his children’s book series he co-created with his wife, Yolande. His resourcefulness & execution impress. He introduced me to this concept of “digi-realism” where he paints what looks like graphics done in a vector program. We’ll get to experience his influence on the Neon Son O’bots as well.
The list continues with animator Chuck Collins and toy producers Nelson Asencio & Manuel Jesus of Storybox Ink & maybe more? Chuck just announced his movie deal based on his graphic novel, Dread Society X with director R.L. Scott.
TJW: WOW. SO MUCH TALENT. HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOU DON’T DROWN IN SUCH A DEEP POOL?
KILROY III: I think we’ve all felt & addressed that crabs-in-a-barrel phenomenon and we’re just poised to not only rise above, but together. These artists, really impress with their skills, so they’ve put in the work to cultivate their talents. Regardless of results though, I’m thrilled with the exposure to their influences.
TJW: SPEAKING OF RESULTS, WHEN CAN WE SEE THE FRUITS OF THESE COLLABORATIONS?
KILROY III: Well, the result featuring all the artists I just mentioned will be an exhibition of Neon Son: A New Graphic Novel Crossover @ the Medialia Gallery in New York. The exact address is 335 W. 38th St. 4th Floor, zip code 10018. The exhibition runs from October 10th thru the 27th. Whew! Inhale! Tara Nakashima Donahue is the awesome curator of this great gallery.
I was introduced to Tara through Grey who has had his art featured in her comics-related exhibitions that she hosts at least annually. It was her gallery that reintroduced me to the notion of medallic art and wearable sculpture... Although my creations are not medallions, they have manifested as pieces to be rocked on your hands... encouraging interactivity...
Another result is my surprise inclusion in the second installment of the designer toy show, “Resin is King” this October 4th. Eric Nocella Diaz shared a few of my resin pieces with Benny Kline of the fantasmal Tenacious Toys. Benny liked what he saw & invited me to contribute 10 pieces. These 10 pieces will be blind-boxed with a handful of resin artisans who also contribute 10 pieces respectively.
It'll be like peeking into a teacher's box of confiscated toys, so the contents are guaranteed to be schizophrenic, stimulating & surprising.
TJW: SO A SHOW ON THE 4TH OF OCTOBER AND A GALLERY EXHIBIT OCTOBER 10TH THROUGH THE 27TH. THAT’S PRETTY FANTASTIC, BUT WHY IS THE FORMER RESULT SURPRISING TO YOU?
KILROY III: Wait a minute, why is the result of showing surprising or why is the blind-box surprising?
TJW: BOTH ACTUALLY.
KILROY III: Alright, first, I’m very young in this game and I’ve peeped the work of my fellow contributors. They’re great, refined, polished and have more committed point of views; qualities that I’ve yet to consistently employ. I was confused at my inclusion, but the show includes artists that represent a variety of resin platforms.That relieved most of my misgivings, but my fellow artists are really stellar, so though I’m weary of the contrast, I’m absolutely thrilled with the opportunity & the exposure.
Thank you Eric Nocella Diaz of Goldmane Entertainment, Benny Kline of Tenacious Toys and Brian Ahlbeck of Dead Hand Toys. Oh I did mention that Eric is also in the Resin is King show.
Oh and the blind box! Their appeal is their mystery. They await discovery by seekers of the unique and unexpected. And that’s a real exciting surprise for some lucky collector.
TJW: KILROY III, THANK YOU FOR EXPLAINING AND SHARING YOUR TIME AND INSIGHTS. WE WISH YOU SUCCESSES ON YOUR UPCOMING SHOWS & FUTURE. DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTING WORDS FOR ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE READING THIS?
KILROY III: No. Hold up, I do. Anticipate the debut of our collaborations at NYCC 2012! And that’s it really. Peace.
Thanks for reading! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Please share with me on twitter @tjeanwilkes!