Jon Knox has been up countless hours getting ready for this weekend's Designer Con. There he will be releasing an exclusive Jeffrey and Max (above), as well as a ton of other other handmade toys, prints, and t-shirts. He will be hanging out at booth #420 with Paul Kaiju, Monstrehero, and Uh Oh Toys.
DesignerCon @ the Pasadena Convention Center
300 East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
While we’re on the topic of Jon, he was nice enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to do a little interview with us.
VP: Hi there Jon! To start off this interview, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
JK: Let's see…Male, 25 years old, grew up in the south, bachelors in graphic design, living in Portland, and I make toys all the live long day.
VP: So let’s get straight into it. What got you into art and resin casting?
JK: I've been into art as long as I can remember. I haven't gone a day without it since I was 5. I got into vinyl toys while I was in college in 2005 (thanks to a professor of mine) and started making my own toys with resin a couple years later.
VP: Ah! That’s around the same time I started collecting myself. Are there any particular artists toys you collect?
JK: My toy collection is taking over my studio and I'm running out of room to put everything. Jeremyville, TADO, and Dehara are three of my favorites. I have a lot of their stuff and it really inspires me when I'm creating my own toys.
VP: Alright, back to you and your toys. The names you give your figures are pretty realistic, ie: Jeffrey, Kristopher, Dillon, Jamie, etc… Why is that and how do you pick a name?
JK: I actually don't really enjoy naming things. I would name everything something like "Untitled Character #3" if it wasn't annoying. I think naming my characters and giving them backstories is boring and robs them of dimension. I pick names really randomly – from friends, TV shows, that kind of thing.
VP: You should pick up some baby name books, might help out a little bit.. When you paint and sculpt your characters, do you put yourself into them? By self, I mean self image.
JK: Yeah, I'm told that all the time. I think it's impossible not to put myself in my work. I learned to draw by drawing portraits of myself, drawing my own hands, etc., so it just comes naturally.
VP: I notice a lot of your characters have somewhat of a dog face. Why is that? Are you a big dogs person? Cause I’ve seen you upload a ton of pics of your pup. Would he be the inspiration for most of your figures?
JK: I'm really into dogs and I think most other people find them endearing. I think if my characters were 100% human, they'd be creepy. If they were 100% animal, no one would relate to them. I try and find the right balance so people can envision the characters walking, talking & interacting but also have the urge to hold and pet them. My dog Robbie is always by my side and I think my characters reflect his personality, upbeat yet relaxed.
VP: Give Human faces on Dog bodies a try.. see how that works out.. Another question about your toys.. How come we never see some lady figures? Any chance of seeing any of those soon?
JK: Actually, yeah. I've had ideas for a while and have been doing sketches, but I want to do it right. I don't want to make super cutesy girls or bikini babes. Because it's been so long since I've created female characters, I will probably beat myself up about it for another year before releasing anything.
VP: Well.. your world needs to repopulate, so I hope you get on that soon.. Time for the question of who is your favorite character..?
JK: It's like picking your favorite child. Right now Pepper and Dillon are my favorites, probably because I spent the most time developing and sculpting them because they are so large. I've been working on new and different ways of casting and constructing my resins, so I have been making smaller figures because I'm a little bit disaster-prone. So I look at those and just see all of the frustration that went into making them haha. I'm probably going to release some even larger figures later next year. I'd like to get them up to 12 inches and taller. The bigger they are, the more detail I can add, so I'm really looking forward to perfecting my new methods. I like the ones with the most detail the best.
VP: I always see you on away or busy online, what’s a typical day in the Knox home?
JK: Wake up at noon, let the dog out, read e-mail, have lunch, work, walk the dog, more work until dinner, work until 1am or 2am, shower, TV, bed.
VP: Wow… boring.. but you are definitely dedicated to your craft and It’s always a good sign to know your busy. Last question! Any plans of getting your stuff made into vinyl?
JK: Yes, there are a couple in the works. It's all under wraps still, but one is being released really soon hopefully. That's all I can say!
VP: Well thanks again so much for your time Jon! Will definitely be nice to meet you for the first time this Saturday at Designer Con!