Wednesday, November 4, 2015

tldr: hi, i'm back

Freedom never tasted so bittersweet.  Announcement, announcement!  I have returned to my blog!

[pause for applause]

Last year, my company's IT department blocked all computer access to any type of blog.  Since I did the majority of my blog writing while at work, I had to stop.  Work consumed my life and soul until I had no energy to blog let alone paint let alone think about painting.

And then I was no longer working, and this made me greatly happy in ways that you would understand.  It also made me greatly unhappy in other ways that you may not understand.  People keep telling me that I can now focus on toys full time and spend all of my time painting.  That sounds wonderful, but only in the abstract.

I paint because I love to paint.  As soon as I make it my career, I will need to start to live off of the money I make from painting.  Thus, if I don't paint, I don't make money.  Sometimes I don't feel like painting.  Sometimes I decide to binge watch Penny Dreadful or Breaking Bad.  While I am watching episode after episode, I don't want to have that twinge of guilt that keeps my eyes darting back to my painting table every so often.  Making money is something we often feel the need to do to be deemed a "success" in today's society.  In order to potentially make money, I'd paint.  At some time in the nebulous future, I will have to push myself to paint regardless of whether I actually want to in order to continue making money.  This will be the tipping point that may ultimately lead to me burning myself out and I'll still have to paint and sell it and it will make me feel like shit.  And all of that assumes that everything I paint sells!

[paper bag breathing and one therapeutic nap later]

Where was I?  Maybe I'll just be indignant, sarcastic, and witty about anything and everything and become a youtube sensation or trend on Twitter or some shit.  If only apathy could motivate people.  I don't care about lots of stuff.  Together we can agree that we don't care about useless stuff.  woo.

And while I'm out on a tangent, I may as well reveal that when someone compares you to Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, it may feel like a compliment, but I assure you it is not!  You get pegged as eccentric, difficult, and emotionally obtuse.  That was strangely specific of me, but I assure you it has nothing to do with recent events in my life  >.<

So yeah back on topic, you'll be seeing more of me, but not full-time more.  Well, unless I decide to do it full time.  And that would be a mistake, future Tori.  A MISTAKE!

Speaking of mistakes, my biggest recent mistake was not releasing these custom Choices before Halloween.  Lucky you, they're now available at my storenvy store.  Dark Choices.  They're exactly the bunnies from the dark prophecy!  Ooooo spooooky! See?  Aw, that would have been so much better if it was BEFORE Halloween.  Blergh.
Buy Dark Choices.  Or not.  Whatever.
(Please buy it; I need money)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Treat

Tada!  I'm your treat, I suppose.  Some of you might be disappointed by the lack of actual physical treat, but I do assure you, I am ashamed for falling off the blogging grid for so long and promise to come back and stay until *at least* Christmas.  That was a joke.  I'll stay until I either move to a different blog or until I stop painting.  I'd most likely die before I stop painting.

Did someone say painting??  Well, there's too much to catch you up on in one post.  I'm not going to recap the past 6 months (OMG has it really been 6 months?  I'm super sorry.) with a barrage of pictures and an obscenely long and desperate post.  Instead, I'll be weaning you back into my oh so exciting life of painting through shortish posts with only a few pictures.  That way, you'll slowly be brought up to date without being overwhelmed by awesomeness. 

Ok, first and last tangent.  Did you know that the life of a toy painter is not so extraordinarily exciting?  We do all the same things that other normal, awesome people do.  We cook dinner, we watch The Walking Dead, we feel burdened when it's extra super late and we realize that we need to shower.  But what I feel sets us aside from the rest of the pack (which will remain nameless because I don't *actually* know what the "rest of the pack" includes) is creative motivation.  For example: I saw a rusty structure by the side of the road one day and took a picture of it because it was a perfect representation of what rust and peeling paint should look like.  Even though I didn't use the idea (and I still haven't), I still have the picture as reference and have the ability to use it when I need it. 

Art is (sadly?) always on my mind, and sometimes it does interrupt the flow of life.  Friends and family have stood around impatiently waiting while I took a picture or wrote down a newly discovered idea.  And I've learned that unless you have artist friends (which sometimes seriously need to be taken in small doses because artsy-fartsy people can be...unique), not many people actually understand what it is to be a toy customizer.  Ultimately, this needs to be something that makes you happy and something that you enjoy because the odds of gaining infinite glory and wealth is minimum.  I'm not trying to be a Debby Downer, but I've definitely had inquiries whereupon people want to pick my brain, and if you know me at all, I'm not going to sugar coat my experiences or findings, but I will offer constructive and useful advice and feedback.

So, what has SoKo Cat been up to?  Let us start precisely where we left off.  May 2014.  Shortly after I finished painting the Godzillas, I began working on a few commission pieces for an enthusiastic fellow whose contact information in my phone reads as "Godzilla Jimmy."  He was wowed by my awesomeness at Chiller Theatre in April and needed these two pieces repainted.  The King Kong came out a bit more red than I originally intended, but I really do like how he came out.

Here are some work in progress pics! 

King Kong


After that project was done, I patina-ed the hell out of this door for my buddy and fellow artist Nick Jodice.

 Last, but certainly not least, is the piece I submitted for SubUrban Vinyl's Blood Type Positive show: Julian Mortimer.  He has since been sold; sorry for being a tease. :P

Alrighty, nerds.  It is time for me to say good bye for now.  I will be back all too soon providing you with more updates.  If I don't see or talk to you before...tomorrow, have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Hopefully the weather isn't too much of a problem.  We're getting snow in NJ as we speak, which is throwing a monkey wrench into everyone's' commutes and holiday travel.  Ah the joys of working less than a mile from home and hosting Thanksgiving.  No travel, lots of painting sleeping cooking.

It feels good to be back.  Let's chat soon! ;)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

All I need to know I've learned from Godzilla

It's true. 
  • When people wake me up without notice, I can be cranky.
  • When people don't feed me, I can be cranky.
  • If faced with obstacles, I will smash them.
  • Resistance is futile
Oh, shit that last one is the Borg.
  • As an ultimate attack, I will open your mouth and vomit glowing blue bits of destruction.
This isn't matching up as much as I thought it would...

For the past few weeks, I've been working nonstop on some wonderful custom Godzilla toys.  It all began one rainy Saturday when I was standing in a random isle at my local Toys R Us.  To be completely honest, I was escaping screaming, running children, and my isle of solitude happened to carry all of the Godzilla toys.  Because I was desperate to get out of there as quickly as my little Marvin the Martian legs could carry me, I impulse bought quite a few things.

Now, I'll have you know that I did make this purchase with the intention of painting all of them.  Mass-market production toys tend to have fairly shoddy paint jobs, and like McKayla Maroney at the 2012 Summer Olympics I was not impressed. 

McKayla Maroney is not impressed.

The first wave is finally done, and they're wonderfully painted!  They will drop in my store shortly.  Now let's get to the pictures! ^.^

Chibi Godzilla!

Godzilla 1954

Millennium Godzilla

Wait, what do you mean when you say the first "wave" is done?  Well, I ordered a few Godzilla 2014 movie figures, and they have not yet arrived.  Once they do, I will be painting them and adding them to my store with the others.  I don't care what any of you say.  Godzilla is not too fat.

Aaaaanyway, lemme get back to my daily grind so I can finish my day and go home and paint!

Ok, kiddies.  You have a great day!  I'll be back soon enough.  And remember: sometimes people are wearing their sunglasses indoors not just because they are douchebags, but because they have really bad allergies.  The CDC actually recommends that people wear their glasses indoors to minimize the amount of allergens that may irritate your eyes when traveling outdoors.  *snort* Science! *snort*


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Concealed Contriteness!

Phew!  I am most definitely still out of breath from hashtag Chiller Theatre.

Later on, I'll provide a more in depth blog post, but for now, I'm just excited to *finally* let you in on what happened at Vinyl Thoughts New York!  There was an amazing Meowth hat (thanks to Benny Hebert's talking Meowth!  Without him, I wouldn't have been able to do an appropriate voice and few phrases), free beer, lots of cool peeps, but most of all, there was exceptional art.

Now, without further ado, I give you Concealed Contriteness!  (Contrary to what the picture depicts, all of the hoods have menacing red eyes painted on them.)  One is available RIGHT NOW for $10 less than the others.  Consider it an early bird special! ^.^  The other 5 will drop on 5/2/14 at 11:59 PM EST.  If you are super antsy and can't wait, shoot me over an email.

More later.  Promise.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vinyl Thoughts - Sneak Peek Poster!

This advertisement was just released in the toy blogs today.  Mine is the one on the left.  I'm super honored to have been included in the sneak peek pictures!  

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Joy of Painting

Babbling about some vague point in my childhood:  Back when I was a little girl, before I knew anything of miniature or toy painting, I enjoyed Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting.  This half-hour PBS show ate up a good portion of my childhood, as I always stopped to watch the creation of happy little trees.  I remember using some of my kiddie watercolors to replicate waterfalls and streams containing large rocks.  They weren't very good, but gosh darn that man makes everything look so effortless!  Fast forward to a time when I saved school notebooks not for its content, but for the awesome doodles.  Ultimately, I knew that I wasn't going to be the next Monet or van Gogh, but art definitely held a special place in my heart.

Did I have a point?  Oh, come on.  I infrequently have a point. 

Art has been a very active part of my hobbies and expressions of self, and I suppose I have Bob Ross to thank, lol.  On more of a tangential approach, I think of how happy dear 'ole BR was, and have sworn to always find joy in my painting. ^.^

Ok, ok.  Back to actual news and not babbling.  Ok, maybe some babbling.  You know me so well.

Vinyl Thoughts New York:  I wish I could share the final pictures of my latest and greatest project with you!  Alas, it is hush-hush...but you'll see them soon enough, as they are my submission for the first ever Vinyl Thoughts in New York!  I'm going to try to attend the opening reception on Friday 4/18, so if any of you are thinking of going, you'll get to see me! We can say hi and laugh and talk of times past. :D

Doors open Friday night at 7:00 PM. There is a free bar (beer & water), RSIN will be doing some live painting, and there will be a discount code to give attendees that will get them 20% off Munnyworld products on!

You can get directions and more info on the gallery on their website if you need it:

...I feel bad for being so secretive.  Here are some early sneak-peek pics. 

Oh, look!  Dunnys

Ah, Dunnys with hoods (sewn by me!), axes (Duboseart), and painted pants!

I guess I took the "unmasked" part literally.  It's part of the theme, but I can't divulge any secrets! 

I know I always say stuff like this, but these were so much fun to paint!  SO MUCH!  Painting genuinely brings me joy, and for that, I consider myself extremely lucky. 

After this, I have to finish up a commission, and then furiously paint some more Godzilla pieces for Chiller!  Crunch, crunch, crunch time!  13 days until Chiller Theatre! 

Ok, kiddies.  Time for me to say bye bye for now.  Enjoy this glorious 70°F sunny weather while it lasts, and remember to take your daily allergy pill or you will suffer the wrath of mother nature.  I hear she's going to be especially moody this season!

*nerd alert* According to the scientists who are able to compile things like numbers, reasons, and warnings from other numbers, the massive amount of snow from this past winter has nourished the trees, grass, and other pollen-producing plants.  This turned our normal pollen-producing plants into SUPER PLANTS (not a technical term); therefore this spring pollen will be superabundant (an actual word!  Who knew!) */nerd alert*

This science lesson has been brought to you by the letter W and the number 3.

kthxbai :)