Bob Conge's PLASEEBO was founded in 2004 as a shop dedicated to creating unique one of a kind collectable figures and designing original figures for Ultra Limited editions. Since I am a huge fan of Bob's work I had to ask him a few questions. Here goes:
Could you talk about an average day in your life?
Bob: I awaken around 11:00 AM and the next 30 minutes are the most creative part of my day. Almost all of my ideas for new pieces come to me during this period of making quick short hand sketches and notes to work from later. I have a coffee before a walk in the woods and I am in my studio by 1:30 PM answering email, returning phone calls, and taking care of general office stuff. I break for brunch at 2:30 and read whatever books and magazines I am into as I eat. Back in the studio by 3:30 working on packing / shipping and new sculpts till 6:30 when I break for dinner. I then spend time with my family till around midnight. Back in the studio again by 1:00 AM working on new sculpts and painting till 4:00 AM. Seven days a week.
When designing and sculpting toys, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Bob: Childhood memories, world history, biology, myth, art history, well everything I have ever been interested in.
Do you do all your own sculpts?
Bob: All of them except for the Night Gamer, on which I collaborated with my friend William Hand.
What does your studio look like?
Bob: A mess, but I know where everything is. Here are some photos:
The first 2 photos are what the studio looked like before I started building figures.
And then the mess began:
|Painting area in basemen|
Do you have any formal arts training?
Bob: Yes, an MFA in painting from SU.
When people hear "PLASEEBO", what do you want them to think?
Bob: I want them to not know what to think. I hope Plaseebo will always be in a process of becoming. If it gets to a point of just being I will let it go and find something else to play with.
I know you have some special projects currently in the works. Is there any possibility you can share anything with us today? Hints?Anything?!
Bob: I am looking forward to developing other versions in the "Misfits" series over the next few months. I have a few new sculpts in the works that will be produced in resin late this year or early in 2013. Mostly keep the emphasis on building one of a kind pieces or ultra limited editions of 3 or so. There are also a few collaborations in the works with other designer / customizers such as a "Mecha Molezilla / AKA Moledrilla" edition with Todd Robertson that should be out in the next few months. As well as working toward a show with a few friends at FOE gallery late in the summer.
What other artistic mediums do you dabble in?
Bob: While it might be easier to list the mediums I haven't worked in, the last 6 years or so have primarily been designing, sculpting and painting figures. Here are some websites to some of my other work:
How crazy has it been getting ready for NYCC, hows it going?
Bob: I do not plan to attend this year. Most of my recent work is in my solo show at the Phillips Gallery till October 20th. Jon of Rampage Toys asked me to do a custom Ugly Unicorn for his NYCC display at the Tenacious Toys booth and that will be the only piece I will have at the con. This clear vinyl Unicorn custom is the first release of my "Mirage" series of customs I plan to do on clear vinyl figures that will use very little or no paint. The customizing work will primarily be done on the inside of the figures using color gels, gid pieces, glass, etc. illuminated by color changing LED units. Here are some photos of the NYCC Mirage Unicorn:
What do you collect now a days? Could we see a shot of your collection?
Bob: I collect what moves me, from 1900 - 1950 American impressionist paintings by lesser know artists to vintage and contemporary vinyl and resin figures.
What trends do you see coming up within the toy world? How will toy creating, buying, and selling evolve over the next few years?
Bob: I think resin will gain more and more favor with both designers and collectors for a variety of reasons: compared with vinyl resin has the ability to capture an amazing amount of detail and surface texture, the mould making procedure for resin allows for a much greater range of structural variety, the lower production cost and capability to make short runs is a plus for designers, etc. Resin will not replace vinyl but I believe it will eventually stand on equal ground.
Who are your favorite artists?
Bob: Vincent VanGogh, e e cummings, Leonard Cohen and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming toy artists?
Bob: Follow your bliss.
What can the Kaijumonster readers expect from Bob Conge/plaseebo in 2012 and 2013?
Bob: Thankfully I have no idea.