This interview is the long version of the interview published in Clark magazine # 15. You will find a lot of additional info on the one who is right now as one of the most prolifices of the ToyDesigners of the Western world.
Frank, for the French who do not know you yet, can you give us a brief summary of what you did so much and what are you doing today?
Well I arrived in the United States in the 1970s (NDR: he was born in Madrid), I groped a few years, then discovered the punk rock scene in the 80s, bossed in clubs for years and J have made tons and tons of posters for the punk rock scene and it has become a way a business.
From now on I do not do any more things related to music. I devote myself entirely to the Toy Design and my paintings, and sometimes it happens to me to do illustrative jobs.
Can you define your style in a few words?
No style at all
You have made hundreds of rock posters in the last 20 years, do you want to give way to new talents for good or is it a temporary break to come back later?
I am "retired" for music. I moved on for something now.
Why is RockPoster is a phenomenon that never really pierced in Europe? Why can not Europeans easily find silkscreen or posters?
I think Europeans are more restrictive on a physical and mental level because of the extent and size of the continent as well as unions. In the US you can start a printing press like that, in Europe there are more restrictions.
The label you headed for 10 years (Man's Ruin Records) is now ancient history. Ironically it looks like the name of the label was predestined since you lost a lot of money in this adventure. Can you tell us what exactly happened and did you learn from this experience?
Everything went well for 4 years and we made a profit but a series of distribution problems killed us. We were too big for the indeed market and too small to have a distribution deal in a major.
What kind of modern art has impressed you in recent years?
There are so many incredible artists in so many different styles. I really like some Chinese sculptors.
What can you tell people who are wondering why you resume and diverted Nazi imaging and that of the soldiers of the Second World War.
Because it seems to me cool
How did you come to the designer Asian toys and when?
I have always collected Asian toys since the 80s. I started to see a new style in Tokyo around 1998 and I was literally snapped. Thanks to friends down I met people at Bounty Hunter and Medicom and go from Tokyo for me.
What is the first toy have returned to you when you discovered this universe?
The Kid Hunter at Bounty Hunter
How was the connection with Medicom?
I have friends who knew them and it turns out that they also knew my job so it's done quite naturally. I often go to Tokyo and Medicom is in the same neighborhood or go regularly and where I know a lot of people, designers.
Can you give us the list of Toys that you did so far.
Humbert 1000% 400% 100% Bearbrick
3 Styles 100% Smokin Rabbit Kubrick
3 STYLES BONE BUNNY
100% BBWT Bearbrick-Herman
3 new toys for December 2005 - still secret for the moment
26 Figurines - Animals and Gangsters
Smorkin Labbit Minis Serie,
6 different Dunny 8 inches,
3 Dunny 3 inches, and full of others during production
Full of tips from July 2005
3 designs for the moment
Hitler 6 inches,
Plush Rabbit (two different sizes)
Rabbit in resin (1998)
These days we see a new Toy stamped Kozik almost every month, do not you think you're going to kill the market with so many outings?
No the American market is growing. Everything sells rather quickly.
Why work with so many different companies for your toys?
Do you want to avoid remaking certain errors from the past that could be expensive? (Produce everything independent)
Medicom for Japan
Kidrobot for the United States
Toy2r is strong in Europe
I have a good presence everywhere, full of different toys etc.
It seems that you are very good at making your own communication / promo, we see you all over the specialized forums. Do you think that's a reason why a good success with the public?
I do not know. I really like talking to people and I am collector myself. I hate the mystery. Maybe it comes from my punk rock period or what.
Does prefer the concept of the limited edition right for you or prefer that more parts are produced to reduce costs for the public?
I play on both paintings, both unlimited and inexpensive things for occasional buyers and kids, the other toys expensive and limited for collectors.
What do you think of toys corporate that Michael Lau does with Nike?
I think it's cool. I'm going out of the Nike in 2006
Do you interest you to production as such or do you leave the company for which you work do the job from 2D files then you wait to see the finished product?
On the customs I do everything in myself, for productions there are pros who take care of sculpture etc. I do all my projects on Illustrator.
I read in an interview that you considered the designer toy scene as "the new support for independent Underground art", can you tell us a little more?
I think yes actually it's important. It's a new form for popular sculpture where until now everything has been 2D or performance and installation. It's a new thing and it's really cool.
What do you prefer to: create new characters or customize existing forms?
New characters, but I also like "standards". Each one to his challenge and interest.
Do not you think that at this moment there is too much customization and easy-to-paints of existing forms that do not really bring new ideas or concepts?
Not really. The better there is. People are creative, but everyone is not sculptor.
Is it the fault of the Toy companies or is it because people like collecting the same shape but with different designs every time?
The standards are cools just like diversity is very pop. But this has a certain financial interest. It's very expensive and it takes a lot of time to do only unique sculptures. Standards allow companies to have cashflow so that they can pass the course.
Who pulls the world from Toy up these days?
360 TOYSGROUP with the Nosferatu Pointman of Futura, it is a cool object.
What are you waiting for this scene that is growing? Fears or fears?
This will grow for a moment and then it will stabilize, but I think it's now a "niche" art obket that is there to stay.
My dream has already realized. I'm not afraid of anything.
Qare your future projects?
There are plenty. Look at the sky.
Have you ever thought about doing a series of animation with your characters?
I already did that in 2000. It was funny but there is no real market for independent animation cinema. You need a deal with a TV channel.
Good what is the deal with all these rabbits?
I like rabbits
Do you want to be reincarnated in rabbit?
Have you ever had rabbits?
Yes when I was little I had several.
What are you hoping for rabbits in the coming eras?
The rabbit will dominate the whole earth.
What are the toys who impressed you most in recent months?
Nosferatu by Futura / Ghoner by Tim Biskup
What is your favorite toy of all time?
The pengouin of Bounty Hunter
With which toyDesigner would you like to collaborate?
Person. I just want to recover the rights of mechanical orange to make toys. This is my dream.
What artist or toydesigner feel close to you?
Who are preferred toydesigners?
Bounty Hunter, Kaws, Secret Base
What is your favorite draftsman?
Which artist would you dream to see a toy designer?
Richard Scarey, but hey he's dead ...
What are your favorite movies?
Aliens, the 5th element, the first Ridley Scott, the Lord of the Rings, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Sam Peckinpah, Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone
What is your favorite site?
Gigposters.com and PalaeoBlog.blogspot.com
What are your favorite animation movies?
The first Disney (before 1960), the Pixar movies, the cartoons of the Warner Bros between 1940 and 50.
What are your favorite mangas and comics?
Metal screaming seventies period.
What are your favorite video games?
Call of Duty United Offensive (Online)
What are your favorite brands ?
CARHARRT, Nike, Royal Elastics, Recon, Subwear, Silas.
What is your favorite shop?
What are your favorite discs of the moment?
Medicom or TOY2R?
Tim Biskup or Gary Baseman?
Kaws or Futura?
KOMAR AND MELAMID
Hong Kong or Japan?
Beta Reticuli IV
Mazinger-Z or Panda-
Dunny or QEE?
Alex The Droog ¼ Scale Resin Kit
Superheroes or Monsters?
Smurfs or Disney?
Nathan Jurevicius or Pete Fowler?
Michael Lau or Todd Mc Farlane?
Happy Tree Friends or Itchy and Scratchy?
Gold cigars cigarettes?
Camel without filters
Cognac or Champagne?
Asterix or Obelix?
Estos Romanos Estan Locos
If you had to vote for the European Constitution what would you vote?
No (in French in the text)
Will Vinyl Kill?