Monday, September 7, 2009

BLObPUS Custom Show Interview

Tokyo Scum Brigade was lucky enough to score an impromptu interview with BLObPUS at his custom art show at The Ghetto 100 Gallery in Shin Okubo.

Tokyo Scum Brigade (TSB): What’s the story behind BLObPUS? Are you a one-man army or do you have lieutenants?

I started making designs with my friend Michiko. However, she wasn’t married to the idea of exclusively making Kaiju figures and has since moved on to coordinate a T-Shirt and figure store, Kaiju Blue, in Shinjuku's Marui I.

TSB: BLObPUS stands out for its melty, goopy, deep sea monster feel.

What can I say, I love to eat octopus. Perhaps BLObPUS is my unconscious trying to tell me something. I'm also proud to cite H.R. Giger one of my influences.

TSB: How did you promote yourself in the beginning?

BP: I didn’t do anything really. I just started making figures and did my thing. One of my friends who runs a vinyl figure shop in Nakano Broadway liked what I was doing and asked me to start selling through him. He was confident that they would take off.

TSB: Was it all word of mouth or did you make rounds in the convention circuit as well?

BP: The first con I attended was The Tokyo Wonder Festival. I was the only guy hocking Kaiju in a sea of anime and bishojo figures.

These dudes glow in the dark!

TSB: You started out local, but your work has been making waves outside of Japan. How did BLObPUS invade overseas?

BP: I don’t know for sure. I imagine that Japanese collectors sold figures to their foreign friends, and as word spread offers started coming in from America. My core creative group is in Japan, but most of my sales are from foreign buyers.

BLObPUS anatomy

Whose idea was it to open this custom show?

BP: My designer friend T9G (Takuji) proposed it to me. I’ve got a tight network around the Nakano area—We’re like the Chuo Line gang. Plus I’ve made enough connections around the world to bring in some awesome foreign designs.

Slimer!!!! This guy was done by the gallery owner.

TSB: You have a nice niche carved out for yourself.

BP: Oh yeah, everyone’s on the same wavelength. I just happened by The Ghetto by complete accident one day. I came for the d├ęcor and stayed for the atmosphere. This year’s exhibit is much bigger than the last. I even have a co-conspirator with me this time. Let me introduce you to Hanawa.

Hanawa's first custom BLObPUS

Hanawa (HW):
Nice to meet you.

TSB: What’s your relation to BLObPUS?

HW: I’m a longtime fan and have always wanted to do something with his designs. For the shaggy looking ones I started with 70-meter lengths of colored string and elastic that I cut into equal lengths and applied in layers.

TSB: What have you done outside of this collaboration with BLObPUS?

HW: My early projects involved drawing onto t-shirts with felt markers. From there I moved on to murals and small pieces.

A picture doesn't do justice to Hanawa's t-shirt Hell.

BP: Can you believe this guy! He still doesn't have a computer. He needs to get online to start promoting his stuff.

TSB: You have the BLObPUS seal of approval.

Drawings by Hanawa the Great

What have you guys been up to aside from managing this show?

HW: I’ve gotten back into skating again. You can’t beat the scene around here.

BP: I’ve been under attack by seasonal beer. I’m a sucker for anything limited edition. The bar downstairs is also a great place to chill and make connections.

Blobpus Custom Show

BLObPUS and Hanawa were the most down to earth people you could hope to talk Kaiju with. The show runs until Thursday, September 10th so stop by and meet the men behind the madness.

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