Friday, January 22, 2010

Winky Dolls

The search for the origin of the 'scuba dolls' or 'winky dolls' continues. A friend of mine found two more similar dolls on eBay. One has slightly different ears than the ones I have. It must mean that this character has been in production for a while and has gone through a small style development. Unfortunately those sellers can't tell anything about the background either (but thanks anyway Cathelijne!). My pal Leendert found a inflatable one. This doll was made in Japan and looks a lot younger style-wise than it's vinyl siblings.
Browsing the internet in search of information is fun but takes loads of time. So my next step will be to write an email to Cressi -see former post. They have a nice history summary on their website, from the start of the company in the 1930's to present. Even interesting for those who don't dive. With a archive like that they can perhaps point me in the right direction.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Can You Help?

When visiting a flea market this weekend, I found a doll character in scuba wear (on photo, right). I already owned one without the gear (on photo, left). Finding yet another one makes me even more curious about this particular character. Does anyone who he/she is?

The one in scuba wear has 'Rondine Cressi' printed on the fins and 'Cressi Scuba Sub' printed on the bottles. Cressi is an actual Italian scuba brand so it might be a promotional character but my guess is that it's geared up like that just for once-only advertising purposes. (And I know of two other people who own the same doll -without the scuba gear).

The one without the gear has 'Made in Hong Kong' printed on the back. This doll appears to be older and has cuffs and a skirt of cheaper make (plastic sticker in stead of plastic 'fabric'). Both dolls have 3D stickers for eyes that give the impression to open and close when you tilt the doll back and forth. They both have metal earrings and wear a bead necklace. Their arms and head can be moved. The legs are fixed so it can only sit up. There's a little curl relief on their head.

...Anyone?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Los Colores Del Underground

The publication 'Los Colores Del Underground' by Joan S. Luna features interviews (and examples of work) of more than 20 underground artists such as Chris Mars, Alex Gross, Scott Musgrove, Xiaoqing Ding and myself. The graphic design of the book is simple and at first I thought it was a disadvantage. With a fantastical subject like Underground/Pop Surrealistic art I expected more edgy typography and design. But on the other hand, by keeping it inferior to the work it puts the spotlight on the interviews and the personal statements of the artists. And to me that makes it a book worth buying. Now if only I was fluent in Spanish I would be able to read it too...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Them Or Us

My art pals Leendert Masselink, The Sauerkids and LouLou & Tummie are showing in Hasselt, Belgium. The group shares a fondness of silly characters dipped in dark humour, all covered in a splash of exploded rainbow colours. A welcome bit of brightness in the winter, I'll say. Go see their works at the Alley Gallery! (Website Alley in Dutch only).

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Roq Tee's

I made this design for Seattle's finest art gallery -you know who I'm talking about; Roq la Rue! The tee's are being printed as I type and are ready in a few weeks. They will be available in assorted sizes -for guys and girls. Keep an eye on the Roq website or visit my blog to know when they are ready to go!