I have always love toys. If only I have the space and money, I think I would have collected a whole lot of them. Now, I found a way to fulfil that part of my interest, that is, make my own toys!
I have been using the corrugated cardboards I collected to make movable stationary holders, and also explored into making cars. This time I shall explore further, without any concern about the work being functional (like the stationary holders) or if it makes much sense. Perhaps it's time to simply explore and let my imagination runs wild. I cannot afford to buy those nice looking, fun toys I like, but perhaps I can surely make them myself.
I do not consider myself as creative, but I am surely, certainly inspired (and influenced) by some artists, movies, fantasties, etc. So I would not consider my idea or design original. In fact, I doubt there's anything in the world that's really original original anymore, or to begin with. Everyone is borrowing ideas here and there, everyone is inspired by this or that, everyone is influenced by someone or something in some ways or another.
So, based on the inspiration and/or ideas that sprung out from some artists, or movies that I've seen, or photos/ pictures that I saw, I threw myself into making my first few corrugated cardboard toys.
I decided to make my own version of whatever toys that I want to create, and certainly would not seek to make a replicate of what's already out there. Basically I seek to create my toys based on whatever inspiration that I might have, or simply my version of that particular idea/ model.
I started off with making those that I'm already familiar with, that is something movable... so out came the Trojan horse inspired- donkey and giraffe, and the bigger cars, and bikes... With one idea springing off another, I find myself making one work after after, sometimes even making two or three at the same time.
Inspired greatly by Howke's Moving Castle, I made a few works starting from Moving Cottage to Walking House. From the first piece, Moving Cottage, I added on more ideas and continue creating one after another. The main challenge of this series would be making the tiny furniture as cutting corrugated cardboard into small pieces without damaging it is difficult. Simply tricky. Perhaps I should consider using other types of cardboards for the furniture.
Robot toys also fascinate me. So, how can I not make my own robot toys? Making use of my knowledge on puppet-making, I made the robots movable. So they can turn their heads, move their arms and legs, and also turn their bodies. This of course, would not be possible, have I not made a rather out of proportion prototype to test out all the moving mechanisms. For this series, I have to make sure I don't glue the parts wrongly, and everything is built in order. Else the moving mechanism will not work smoothly. It was challenging but when the robots are all finally put together, the satisfaction is beyond words.
This series of works, I have decided, not to paint them. I've always love the raw-ness of the cardboard, and hopes that everyone else would appreciate its original beauty. Since I'm encouraging recycling, I think if I were to paint, I am in a way using more new materials. Not forgetting that the process of painting itself is tedious (not easy to paint cardboard), and hence time consuming. With that said, I should clarify that for my movable stationary holders and cars series, I have painted as it appeals better to customers. Most people still doesn't like the raw-ness and original colour of the cardboard. So, I still need to strike some balance. However, with this toy series, I am not "mass-producing" (so each toy is exclusive), nor am I catering to mass market, so I reserve the option not to paint.
These works perhaps can be categorized into different series, such as the 'On wheels' series, the 'flying' series, the 'cars' series, the 'bikes' series, the 'robots' series, etc...
So, how well will this series of works do? I can only wait and see, though the response from friends have been encouraging.
This marks the start of my new series of works...
The next step, besides making more of such toys, and expanding the series, I would need to provide storage/ display solution. That can be as tricky as each of the toys are of different sizes.